Remember a few weeks ago when I asked if people would be interested in writing for Global Thrash Assault? Well a few of you responded, the first being Joel, the owner and operator from another heavy metal blog, Stay Heavy Always. After a few emails I sent Joel his first album to review, Biotoxic Warfare’s Lobotomized. Not only did Joel finish the piece ahead of when he said he would, he did one hell of a job! Read his thoughts on Biotoxic Warfare’s debut album Lobotomized below:
I feel I should begin this review with a disclaimer: I have not listened to a large amount of newer thrash metal. I’ve liked plenty of the stuff that I have checked out (Gama Bomb FTW!), but a lot of it eventually leads me to reach for the classics (Municipal Waste, for example, often makes me want to listen to Nuclear Assault; ditto Toxic Holocaust and Sodom), and, at the risk of sounding like the old man I’m becoming, a lot of it just sounds the same to me (and don’t get me started on the logos). But I want to give it an honest try, and I figured joining the Global Thrash Assault team would be a big step toward forcing myself to listen and learn. Enter my first assignment: Biotoxic Warfare’s debut album, Lobotomized. I don’t think there could be a more appropriate band to convince me that not all modern thrash metal sounds the same.
Formed in October 2012 in Heraklion, on the north coast of the island of Crete, Greece, Biotoxic Warfare play death metal-influenced blackened thrash metal that couldn’t possibly sound more European. Echoes of Kreator abound, especially on the opening instrumental “Mors Indecpeta”, but it never sounds derivative or forced. The riffs are downright menacing, the drums are chaotic, yet tight as…well, a drum I guess (simile is not my strong suit), and the vocals are some of the most rabid and furious I’ve heard from a newer thrash band (the only comparison I can think of is Skeletonwitch, but they’re not really similar at all, aside from the sheer ferocity). And the guitar solos – holy smokes, y’all, the soloing is indescribably beautiful and ominous, flowing in, out, above, below, and directly through the monstrous wall of sound. My only beef with the overall sound is that the bass is very low in the mix, which is not entirely uncommon in thrash metal; the bass is mostly only noticeable when I listen to the album in my car and can feel it rattle at certain points.
Lyrically, Biotoxic Warfare aren’t breaking any new ground, but they tackle the typical thrash tropes of religion, war, and insanity in a way that leaves no denying the intelligence of the band. For example, the title track finds a confused narrator strapped to a table, about to be “cured” of his disbelief in a Christian god through lobotomy with a crucifix. “Parasitic Life” tells a disturbing tale from the point of view of a malevolent life form growing inside a hapless victim.
The band logo is pretty outstanding as well, as is the cover art, with its visual representation of the fate of the poor schmuck from the title track.
In all, this is an excellent debut album, and I for one am stoked about the idea of hearing more from this band. It clocks in at a lean 38 minutes, and frankly one minute longer would be one minute too long. After all, we all need to breathe and rest our necks eventually.
Standout tracks: “Dysphoric Reality”, “Lobotomized”, “Parasitic Life”