“Toxic Waste”, the snappily titled split EP from American crossover thrashers Municipal Waste and straight-up thrash metal act Toxic Holocaust, is one of those records that has a certain sense of inevitability about it. As two of the biggest names in the thrash revival movement, a scene just as associated with musical promiscuity as its thirty year old progenitor, it was only a matter of time before they came together on the one record and now they finally have. Happily, label Tankcrimes are offering the split as a free download as well as a in a 12” vinyl format complete with Andrei Bouzikov cover art.
With each band only getting two tracks each, Municipal Waste get right down to business. ‘Trapped in the Sites’ is classic Waste, short and to the point with lots of tempo changes and riff after catchy riff. It feels a little more akin to material from “The Art of Partying” than to most recent release, 2012’s “The Fatal Feast”, but truth be told, there’s not a lot in it. ‘Mourning Sex’ is the better song of the two and could easily have been taken from the “Fatal Feast” sessions. It’s faster, more furious and features an impressive dual guitar battle that brings the track to its close.
At less than ninety seconds long, Toxic Holocaust’s ‘We Bring Em Hell’ is another rapid-fire onslaught of pounding drums and chugging guitar riffs. The band opts for a much more raw sound than Municipal Waste and it brings an interesting contrast to the split. Instead of Waste’s technical precision, Holocaust are all about speed and classic thrash riffs held together by a punk-inspired DIY spirit. ‘Altar-ed States’ has a very strong Venom, or even early Slayer, vibe to it both sonically and in the lyrics – there’s even creepy voice-over samples slipped in towards the end of the song.
It seems churlish to complain about a split EP that is being given away for free but there’s an unshakeable sense that “Toxic Waste” is a little, well, unambitious. Neither band is exactly known for breaking the mould but what we essentially have here is four offcuts from their most recent albums, clocking in at just over eight minutes in total. Solid tracks, for sure, but nothing really indispensable except maybe for hardcore fans. Given the short running time, a couple of covers of each other’s’ songs wouldn’t have gone amiss and would have made “Toxic Waste” a little bit more of a curiosity.
All things considered, “Toxic Waste” is certainly worth the download if you’re a fan of either band but it’s not likely to win over any converts. Municipal Waste continue to crank out slick, high octane, tightly-written tracks while Toxic Holocaust keep grinding out their niche at the murkier end of the sub-genre, all spit and sawdust to Waste’s polish. This is modern thrash-by-numbers and a perfectly satisfactory listen – just don’t expect any real surprises.
Buy the Limited Edition Colored Vinyl here.
Download it for free here.