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Toxik: World Circus (remaster)

1987 was a time when many of the thrash titans were really hitting their stride, with Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Overkill, Testament, Slayer, and Exodus all riding high with strong selling albums and sold out tours. At the same time a little band from Peekskill, New York named Toxik released their first album for Roadrunner's Roadracer division, World Circus. This four piece took a somewhat different road then their peers, as World Circus is filled with fast and furious metal tunes long on technical guitar riffs & solos, plus plenty of hitch pitched falsetto vocals. The band, comprised of vocalist Mike Sanders, guitarist Josh Christian, bassist Brian Bonini, and drummer Tad Leger, traveled down to Morristown Recording Studio in Tampa, Florida (home to many great recordings from bands like Death, Deicide, Obituary, Atheist, and Morbid Angel) to work with Tom Morris and Judd Packer, and the result is the splendid World Circus.

Although not quite as technical as the releases from Watchtower, World Circus does have some similarities to that band, especially in the vocals and technical guitar work. Josh Christian is a very talented player, as he churns out a multitude of intense riffage, virtuoso solos, and flashy fills on songs like the mega-speed of "Heart Attack", the crunchy "Voices, the manic metal of "Social Overload", and the technical masterpiece that is the title track. Sanders' high pitched vocals might not be for everyone, and you could say that he lacks any sort of variety in his style, but if you can imagine a cross between Geoff Tate, Rob Halford, and King Diamond at their highest level shriek, and if that sounds OK to you, then Sanders' style will work for you. Ironically this was to be his first and last album with Toxik. Other standouts here include the impressive solo guitar vehicle for Christian which leads into the prog-metal gem "47 Seconds Of Sanity/Count Your Blessings", the rampaging fury of "False Prophets", and the blistering thrash attack of "Victims". Kudos also needs to go out to drummer Tad Leger and bassist Brian Bonini, who both consistently deliver amazing rhythm and grooves throughout this album, especially on the blinding, fast paced numbers.

Being an avid fan of Toxik when they first hit the underground metal scene in 1987, it was a shame when the band never really made it big like some of their less talented peers. Thanks to this new remaster from Metal Mind Productions of this solid debut, those who failed to discover this trash gem back in 1987 can hear for themselves the promise the album had. After some line-up changes, the band returned in 1989 with their excellent sophomore, and sadly, final release, Think This. More on that in the very near future...

Track Listing
1. Heart Attack
2. Social Overload
3. Pain & Misery
4. Voices
5. Door To Hell
6. World Circus
7. 47 Seconds Of Sanity/Count Your Blessings
8. False Prophets
9. Haunted Earth
10. Victims
11. Machine Dream-bonus track
12. Radio Interview 1989-bonus

Added: January 16th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Metal Mind Productions
Hits: 3519
Language: english

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