Review: Tonic Breed – Outsold

Posted: January 12, 2015 in ALERT: Awesome new music, Band of the Day, Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

First of all, I was sent this request by email to review the newest record by Norwegian thrashers Tonic Breed, which of course I was happy to do. I like it when bands contact me, as it happens not as often as I’d like. Now I’ll be honest, I saw the album artwork and worried, because it isn’t PARTICULARLY stellar. But then again, I’m not entirely convinced that ‘Kill Em All’ had a good cover in all seriousness. Never judge a book by its cover they say. I’m glad I didn’t.

Opener ‘Strife’ builds with a soft keyboard line and some tinkly effects before erupting into a hail of blasting drums and some killer Bay Area thrash riffs. There’s some awesome, Forbbiden style chugging, and the vocals are reminscient of Tom Araya from Slayer, with a dash of early Hetfield in there too. You get the impression that there’s going to be a lot of 80s thrash heyday moments in here. But it isn’t all as straightforward as that.

There are progressive sections, like the jerky harmonies of ‘Fifth Estate, and the chunky title track is all fucking riff. The menacing tone of ‘Bad Company’ brings to mind moments of Metallica’s ‘The Thing That Should Not Be’, with its minor key rumble. It’s bits like this that made me take a good look at Tonic Breed. Modern thrash and modern metal bands in general don’t necessarily take heed of these kind of moments, those particular songs. ‘Blackened Mind’ shows an impressive grasp of dynamics, and there’s even elements of Burton C. Bell in some of the clean vocal sections.

Tonic Breed SOUND unique, which in this world of cookie cutter bands, is enough to get them noticed. Yeah they play thrash, and some killer thrash riffs at that. But they do so much more than just that. Their songs have many shades of grey in there, from the ghostly verses of ‘Blackened Mind’ to the galloping metal goodness (and awesome spiralling guitar wankery intro) of ‘There’s Just One Escape’, to the obviously Metallica-esque instrumental epic ‘Borregaard’.. Tonic Breed dare to do something different, and it has worked well here. Not many bands play this kind of uber melodic, almost progressive power/thrash at the moment. Maybe more should, because this is a treat.

Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNCYR94js3buxrvB_fL9wbrLe_voxwyND

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