TOXIK

Thrash Metal / Technical Thrash Metal / Technical Death Metal • United States
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Toxik is a thrash metal group formed in 1985 by Joshua Christian and Lee Erwin of Peekskill, New York. The band's style was comprised of a complex thrash metal base mixed with progressive influences. By the end of 1992 the band had broken up but not before reshaping what was to be termed "progressive thrash".

Bands like Watchtower, Fates Warning and King Diamond had all approached the point of actually becoming mainstream. Toxik was in that group and had an equal commercial potential or greater but before they had that chance the industry changed. Toxik, originally called Tokyo line up, consisted of Josh Christian (guitar), Lee Erwin (bass), Sal Dadabo (drums), and Michael Sanders (vocals).

Due to legal threats by another group with the name Tokyo, they changed over to Toxik in 1985. Shortly there after Lee Erwin left the group sighting personal reasons and was replaced by Brian Bonini
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TOXIK Discography

TOXIK albums / top albums

TOXIK World Circus album cover 3.92 | 12 ratings
World Circus
Thrash Metal 1987
TOXIK Think This album cover 3.95 | 16 ratings
Think This
Technical Thrash Metal 1989

TOXIK EPs & splits

TOXIK Breaking Class album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Breaking Class
Thrash Metal 2017

TOXIK live albums

TOXIK demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

TOXIK Wasteland album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Wasteland
Thrash Metal 1986
TOXIK Think This Promotional Radio Kit EP album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Think This Promotional Radio Kit EP
Thrash Metal 1990
TOXIK In Humanity Pre-Release album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In Humanity Pre-Release
Thrash Metal 2014

TOXIK re-issues & compilations

TOXIK III Works album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
III Works
Technical Thrash Metal 2018

TOXIK singles (2)

.. Album Cover
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There Stood the Fence / Out on the Tiles
Technical Death Metal 1989
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Kinetic Closure
Technical Thrash Metal 2019

TOXIK movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
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Dynamo Open Air 1988
Thrash Metal 2007
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Think Again
Thrash Metal 2010

TOXIK Reviews

TOXIK World Circus

Album · 1987 · Thrash Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Toxik’s 1987 Roadrunner Records debut, World Circus is a lot less technical or progressive than their sophomore album, Think This, and much more in keeping with a traditional Thrash sound. That being said they are rather adventurous, dynamic and technically proficient a that sound.

Some bands sound raw, rough and nasty, but this is utter professionalism, precise and dynamic from start to finish. More for fans of Heathen than Hirax if you know what I mean. The production (courtesy of Morrisound) is clean and the playing is flashy in an effortless sounding way. I also has one of my all time favourite Thrash tunes on it. There’s some nice melodic falsetto (almost Power Metal) vocals, some very impressive virtuosic lead guitar wizardry with all sorts of fancy sweeping and trickery, and of course, oodles and oodles of speed.

Why isn’t it a bigger album then? If I had to guess, the two biggest flaws with the album, are firstly that some of the material can be a bit forgettable after the record has stopped playing, and secondly that the opening track, “Heart Attack” is an absolutely brilliant, catchy, unbelievably fun gem and nothing on the rest of the album can live up to that level or entertainment. If someone asked me “what is Thrash Metal?” its one of the first songs I would play them. Its just a shame the rest of the record doesn’t live up to that unfairly high standard.

That being said, it is not a one hit wonder situation. Anti-drug track “Pain And Misery” has a memorable staccato opening and is one of the most rhythmic Thrash songs released before the 90s. I guess the album is probably most famous for the Title Track having a Thrash recreation of the circus theme tune (do-do, doodoo do do, doo doo) but make no mistake, this is not gimmick band. They are deadly serious, with excellent musicianship and thoughtful lyrics (Eg. “Count Your Blessings” covers the topic of homelessness and not taking what you have for granted).

I love the Ed Repka cover art too. Soooooo Thrash. This is the kinds of thing modern bands like Haydes, Municipal Waste and Havok worship.

Overall; Not the most even record in the world, but definitely worth a look for Thrash fans.

TOXIK Breaking Class

EP · 2017 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Breaking Class" is an EP release by US thrash/speed metal act Toxik. The EP was independently released in August 2017. Toxik were formed in 1985 (under the Tokyo monicker, but soon changed their name to the current one) and released two generally well received studio albums in 1987 and 1989 before disbanded in 1992. For years there were rumors of a reunion and a comeback album titled "In Humanity", but that idea didn´t materialize, and "In Humanity" was released as a 3 track pre-production demo in 2014. So "Breaking Class" is the band´s first official studio release since the "Think This" full-length studio album from 1989.

So how do you pick up 28 years down the line? Well...Toxik used to play a technical type of thrash/speed metal with high pitched screaming vocals, and while the instrumental part of the music is still in technical thrash/speed metal territory, the vocal style has changed a bit. Lead vocalist Charles Sabin can still hit a high note when that is needed and do it frequently, but he now predominantly sings in a slightly lower register. He is a skilled singer with a strong voice, so he makes it work well, although I can´t deny that I miss the completely over-the-top high pitched vocals on "Think This (1989)", but that´s a matter of personal taste, and Sabin´s performance here is arguably of a high quality and nicely varied too. The rest of the band are also well playing. Guitarist Josh Christian (who in addition to Sabin is the only remaining member of the lineup who recorded "Think This (1989)") plays sharp and thrashy but also more melodic guitar riffs, harmonies and leads, while the new rhythm section of bassist Shane Boulos and drummer James DeMaria do a great job playing powerful energetic parts driving the music forward.

"Breaking Class" features 3 tracks and a full playing time of 12:36 minutes, so it´s only a short taste of how Toxik sound in 2017, but it´s a sweet taste leaving the listener wanting more, and that´s always a sure sign of good quality material. The tracks are powerful, thrasy, melodic, and played and sung with great passion and conviction, and they are relatively varied too. The EP features a well sounding production, which suits the material perfectly, so upon conclusion "Breaking Class" is a great comeback for Toxik, which arguably shows they still have what it takes. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

TOXIK Think This

Album · 1989 · Technical Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Think This" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US power/thrash metal act Toxik. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in October 1989. Toxik was founded in 1985 and released two albums before disbanding in 1992. Despite generally good reviews and positive fan reactions, the band never broke through in their homeland, but had a decent following in both Europe and Japan. Since the release of "World Circus" lead vocalist Mike Sanders has been replaced by Charles Sabin and the band have added a second guitarist to the lineup in John Donnelly.

The music on "Think This" is technically well played US power/thrash metal with occasional progressive metal leanings. Actually the weight has shifted a bit more towards progressive metal than the thrash/US power metal sound of the debut album although thrash metal is still the dominant "core" sound. Tracks like "Black and White", "Technical Arrogance", and "Machine Dream" are however full blown progressive metal tracks to my ears and it is sometimes a bit difficult to tag the music correctly because of the combination of stylistic elements. The two former mentioned tracks both feature obvious Voivod references, but acts like late eighties Fates Warning and especially Realm are also valid references.

The shift on the lead vocalist spot has resulted in the band´s sound becoming slightly more accessible in that department, but the music is overall more challenging and varied than the case was on the "World Circus (1987)". What hasn´t changed is the extremely high level of musicianship on the album. These guys are incredibly skilled and pull off playing some very technically challenging sections and make it sound easy in the process. The sound production is powerful, but it is in this department that "Think This" could have been slightly better. I could have done without the cover of "Out on the Tiles" by Led Zeppelin too, but it´s not downright horrible, just a bit unnecessary. "Think This" is still enjoyable as it is though and a 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

TOXIK World Circus

Album · 1987 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"World Circus" is the debut full-length studio album by US power/thrash metal act Toxik. The album was released through Roadracer Records in 1987. "World Circus" was recorded in the now legendary Morrisound Studios in Tampa, Florida with Jim- and Tom Morris handling the production. Toxik was founded in 1985 and released two albums before disbanding in 1992. Despite generally good reviews and positive fan reactions, the band never broke through in their homeland, but had a decent following in both Europe and Japan.

The music on "World Circus" is technically well played US power/thrash metal with occasional progressive metal leanings. The riffs are intricate, sharp and fast-played. There is no doubt that guitarist Josh Christian is a brilliant guitar player and that his contributions to the music is what elevates it to a higher level. The rhythm section is very skilled too. The production leaves much room for the bass, so it´s very audible in the mix. Lead vocalist Mike Sanders is incredibly skilled too, but pretty surely an aquired taste. His extremely high pitched screaming vocal style is probably hard to appreciate for some while others will praise his vocal acrobatics.

Musically it´s artists like Target, Realm and Watchtower that are references although I also hear nods toward early Annihilator (check out the riff in "Heart Attack" that sounds like the riff from "Human Insecticide"), Fates Warning and King Diamond in the music. Quality wise Toxik are also on the same high level as the mentioned artists. While most tracks are energetic, fast-paced and thrashy, the band do occasionally venture into more progressive territories. "47 Seconds Of Sanity/Count Your Blessings" is the best example of this, but there are intriguing ideas featured in most tracks.

"World Circus" is simply through and through a quality technical US power/thrash metal release. The vocals might challenge some people beyond their limit, but if you are able to enjoy them, "World Circus" is a near brilliant release. The sound production could have been slightly better, but it´s a minor issue and overall a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is fully deserved.

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