When we last left Dave Rotten, he was delivering some tortured roars for FamishGod. Well, Dave is back, but this time he’s altered his delivery and is fronting a thrash band, Holycide, on their debut EP Toxic Mutation released under his Xtreem Music label.
Frankly, it’s hard to imagine this is the same guy. While FamishGod’s vocals were the guttural, death metal variety, Holycide sounds more like Kreator or Sodom with Dave’s attitude-laden grunts taking center stage.
Opener No Escape jumps out of the gate with a frantic pace with shades of Anthrax and Sacred Reich coloring the thrash riffs. The guitars shine on this one, with a soaring solo around the 2:30 mark. The second track, Blood Typhoon slows the tempo ever so slightly with the bass taking a more prominent role in the rhythm section, delivering some thundering breakdowns during the verse segments.
Apocalypse Riders is probably the most diverse track on the album, which is no surprise considering it’s also the longest track at 5:28. It starts out with a short segment of Scream Bloody Gore-era Schuldiner guitar worship before descending into a mid-paced chug that slowly accelerates into a slamming chorus before slowing down again to give that up-and-down feel.
The remaining two original tracks maintain roughly the same formulas, with Radiation Endgame seeming like it was expressly written for live shows with a proper mosh pit. The EP also includes a cover version of Dark Angel’s Merciless Death, which is a fine tribute to the original song.
At the end of the day, Toxic Mutation is an absolute blast to listen to. While Holycide is certainly no game-changer in the thrash subgenre, they don’t sound like a simple re-thrash attempt either. Holycide have put together a damn fine album of raw and aggressive thrash you should at least give a listen to.
Special thanks to Transcending Obscurity PR for the complementary review copy.