Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Toxik Live at the Underworld

I only read about this gig a couple of days ago but what the hell I don't like to miss a killer thrash gig with a cool line up like this one. Of course this was Toxik's first appearance in the UK I believe and it was worth it to nab a late ticket to see these tech thrash legends for the first time. I must admit though I can't recall a single note of Think This and World Circus but I do know that they are held in high esteem by thrashers of a certain vintage. Another draw was the great supporting cast of Savage Messiah and Shrapnel. There was a fourth band listed which was a band called Ramraid.

Alas as I walked into the venue and went to check stage times I saw that Shrapnel were no longer playing. Big bummer indeed 'cause their new album kicks all kinds of butt. I don't why they weren't playing but playing they were not. First up were Ramraid. I detected a Scouse accent from the rotund front man so they were from up north hehe. They played regular thrash metal. They were ok and pretty tight but they only had about 20-25 minutes on stage. Not bad stuff and I will endeavour to check out their tunes online somewhere when I can.

With Shrapnel MIA, it was the turn of local masters Savage Messiah to get the slowly filling Underworld to rev up ready for Toxik. And boy did they do that! These guys are like a well oiled machine these days. They have a very engaging front man and a set of songs that really push the bar high as far as melodic thrash goes. They pumped up the 100 or so crowd with a superb set indeed. In fact they were even better than the last time I saw them a while back. These guys are just fucking killer. Everything about them screams metal and the live setting sees them really cut loose with mean face pulls and shredding guitars galore. Every song was a highlight and I could hardly pick a favourite as all the tracks tore the roof off. It wasn't a huge crowd with it being a Monday night but these guys played like their lives depended on it. They deserve to go on to much bigger things that's for sure. If Maiden had any sense they'd take them on tour!

Finally it was time for Toxik and some wicked shredding technical thrash and boy did they deliver. I didn't recognise even one song from the guys but they were tight as the proverbial gnat's ass. I have heard both albums many moons ago but I never got the chance to play them before the gig. I will play them again soon to see what I think about it now in 2014. The baldy guitarist was a shredder supreme with some sizzling axe work on show as well as plenty of bouncy jumpy riffs that made the moshers happy. My enjoyment of their set was reduced from being unfamiliar with the songs but nevertheless these guys were ace and it's no wonder there was clamour for them to make a comeback. The singer's high pitched voice was grating on occasion but thrash vocalising hardly matters too much now does it. They played three new songs which sounded pretty similar to their older material so it looks like they haven't missed a beat. A special mention for the bass player. The guy played awesome technical bouncy bass and pulled some mean and studious faces as he was banging away at his strings. Cool dude!

Another enjoyable night of thrashing goodness in the Underworld but it was a damn shame Shrapnel weren't there as advertised. Make sure you come next time you fools!

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