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Toxic Smile: I'm Your Saviour

By way of a DVD and EP, I'm Your Saviour is the first full release from Germany's Toxic Smile for six years, which came in the shape of RetroTox Forte. Influence wise the list of bands that Toxic Smile lean on for inspiration is pretty standard, with Genesis, Dream Theater, Vanden Plas, Yes and Spock's Beard all being brought to mind at points of this album. However Toxic Smile do manage to present these well worn sounds in a innovative and interesting manner and also without ever sounding like a copycat outfit.

Just about every prog metal release these days comes with jaw dropping musical proficiency and Toxic Smile are no exceptions, with Uwe Reinholz on guitar, Marek Arnold on keys (and sax), Robert Brenner on bass and Robert Eisfield on drums all being undoubted masters of their chosen instruments. It is however the ability to take those talents and turn them into smart songs that sets the class apart from the also ran's and having a charismatic singer doesn't hurt either. I'm glad to say that Toxic Smile thrive in these departments as well, with vocalist Larry B coming over like a latter day Peter Gabriel, or Mac (Powerworld/ex-Threshold), which while not exactly an unusual style to follow, does make for a pleasant change from the usual Labrie-a-likes that prog metal almost invariably attracts. The songs themselves rely on mixing emotional, thought provoking passages with the obvious musical dexterity the band possess and songs like the moving, acoustic based "Walked By Fear" have as much impact as the full throttle riff and Hammond attack of "The Change", where Arnold really takes the chance to stretch out and display all his keyboard talents.

Prog metal this may be, but compared to most bands churning out this style of music Toxic Smile have managed to infuse enough of what made prog so damn interesting in the first place into their music that songs like "The Abyss" and "Poles Apart" will find both prog rockers and metallers equally impressed. When they combine these elements, as they do on closer and title track "I'm Your Saviour", the results really are impressive and illustrate just what a talented bunch Toxic Smile are.

Track Listing
1. Liquid Wall
2. Change
3. The Abyss
4. Hidden Brand
5. Walked By Fear
6. Endless Cycle
7. Pride And Joy
8. Poles Apart
9. I'm Your Saviour

Added: January 8th 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Toxic Smile Official Web Site
Hits: 3076
Language: english

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