Because Dan Cairns hates fun almost as much as Toxic Holocaust and Exhumed like having it, we sent him to review the London leg of their UK tour. HE DOESN’T LIKE THRASH. Bloody hell.
6 things we (kind of) learnt watching Toxic Holocaust and Exhumed in London:
1) Confession time: I walked into the Underworld thinking Exhumed were headlining this show, because I’m an ignorant sod. Imagine my surprise then to find people with actual haircuts and nice trousers clearly there for Toxic Holocaust, a band of which my familiarity was comparable to that of an invisible gnat wafting past my unassuming, bulbous head in a light wind. They’re clearly big among the youths, as aside from the inevitable Camden crust punks, the average punter age was probably about 15. Months. Heinous. I knew their logo had the same kind of font as Municipal Waste, so I just assumed it’d be some revivalist thrash nonsense. They sort of are, but more on that later.
2) I love Exhumed. They’re death metal for people that use the word “party” as a verb, and take themselves as seriously as farting clowns. Of course, it helps that they jam pretty hard. I’d go on to describe in detail what songs they played, and come up with all sorts of desperate-sounding metaphors like “Exhumed hit the Underworld like a sumo wrestler in a truck made of chainsaws” or something, but honestly I sort of just stood near the back, sipping a Guinness, gently admiring their totally brootz death metal, laughing appreciatively at their silliness. It’s nice to see a death metal band with a bit of showmanship. The highlight was the totally bitching solo that nearly killed the guitarist, who then had to be revived with a beer bong by a doctor in bloody clothing. It was like an episode of House gone horribly right.
3) They played the first song off Gore Metal too, so I was a happy bunny.
4) After getting a good noseful of the acrid smell of urine from the men’s toilet, avoiding the little puddle of vomit someone had lovingly placed on the floor and texting my mum, Toxic Holocaust were on.
5) I’m not the biggest thrash fan, unless it features Tom Araya or Rebekah Brookes doppelganger Dave Mustaine, so I honestly wasn’t expecting a lot of Toxic Holocaust, but heck, they got me. I preferred Exhumed obviously, because DEATHMETAL4LYFE, but Toxic Holocaust got me appreciating them in a Bouncy Castle Slayer sort of way. I’d never choose to listen to them on record, but thrash metal is ten times better live, and Toxic Holocaust are clearly good at it, and worth a watch. Plus their bass player looks a bit like famed deathmatch wrestler and family man Necro Butcher. Most metal people do to be honest, but this guy even more so, so that’s an impressive feat.
6) Basically, if I was a teenager again and actually into partying and being sociable (as opposed to listening to OK Computer and The Bends on repeat in my room alone like a mope) Toxic Holocaust would be my go to band. Alas I am not a teenager anymore, and I only listen to sophisticated, mature music. Like Exhumed.