If I can get this review drafted as quickly as the music belting out of my earphones is being played then I’ll be done very quickly indeed… Tóxica are a back-to-basics thrash metal band from Argentina and, in case the name of the album didn’t give it away, they sing in Spanish. So don’t expect any comments on the subject matter of the songs. I pretty much struggle with English without adding another language to the mix.
Tóxica have been going since 2013 with their first release being Egoismo Autodestructivo, an EP they put out in 2014. For those who don’t have it – the last four tracks on the album are this EP which was previously only available on CD. They followed this with a split EP Cacería / Warzone which they shared with Japanese thrash act Code Red. Ahogados En Contaminacion is their debut full length release and it’s immense.
In complete fairness, Tóxica bring nothing new to the table. They’re a classic old-school thrash act for the modern age, playing what they play very well indeed. As such, this is pure South American thrash metal with no fancy twists or attempts to subvert it by slipping anything else into the mix. What does set it apart is the meaty production.
While many thrash bands go for the tinny/trebly sound so you can hear the individual notes and appreciate the fretwork, Tóxica have cranked up the bass resulting in an album that not only snaps your neck, it bludgeons you to death. The pace is unrelenting with songs like “Terrorismo Financiado” tearing through their lifespan with terrifying speed, pausing only to kick you in the balls on the way past. Where the near blast-beat drums pause, they’re replaced by insane guitar licks, whammy bar dives and bass guitar twangs designed to shake your internal organs into mush.
I’m skipping through the album as I write, trying to pick out highlights, but it’s genuinely just one big run of thrashing fun. It’s easier to point at the one track that’s a bit different, and that’s “Transicion a la Muerte”. It’s definitely slower, and goes more for a swirling, distorted guitar sound with fewer speeding breaks – pretty much the opposite of any other track on the album. You have to have some variety, I guess, and it’s not a bad song. It did take me a few listens to appreciate it, though, simply due to the fact that it didn’t seem to fit at first.
If you like your thrash with a Latino edge to it, and with the promise of bruising moshpits, then this is a great album.
Ahogados En Contaminacion is out now.