Concert Review: Toxic Holocaust + Ramming Speed at Cherry Street Station in Wallingford, CT
Reviewed by: Brian Cross
Metalheads and punk rockers alike united at a bar by the train tracks for a brutal night of extreme music. Four bands and a packed house? What more could you ask for?
Starting things off were local heroes Nightbitch. While the crowd immediately rolled their eyes when the band referred to traditional metal as “tradish,” they’ve got some solid musical chops nonetheless. Nightbitch deserves a lot of respect for both using a Hammond organ in their songs as well as featuring clean singing…by a vocalist who can actually sing. There’s a reason these guys have a strong following around here, and their set was most impressive.
Next up were crossover punks In Defence. Their high speed hardcore and metal mix was broken up by their vocalist telling random anecdotes ranging from Ron Jeremy to tacos to Star Wars. Try not to think too much on that. Anyway, with song titles like “No War But Star Wars,” “The Police are Fuckin’ Rad,” and “Fuck That Shit, Let’s Circle Pit,” In Defence was clearly there to have a good time and rile up the crowd, both of which they accomplished.
In support of their recent record Doomed to Destroy, Destined to Die, Boston’s own Ramming Speed gave a frenzied performance to keep everyone’s energy levels up in the stratosphere. A ripping mix of grind, thrash, hardcore, and searing guitar leads that wouldn’t sound out of place on a power metal record, Ramming Speed really tore the place apart. The title track alone was like dropping a bomb, and the band kept up that level of aggression throughout their set. No one was going to snooze through that!
Toxic Holocaust. What more needs to be said, really? Joel Grind’s amazing old-school thrash/punk project needs no introduction, but I’m going to talk about it anyway. Despite being only a three-piece band onstage, Toxic Holocaust commands the room like there’s an army up there. They wasted no time, tearing into “Wild Dogs” as the crowd finally started moshing nonstop. There wasn’t much space in that venue, so the pit was basically the entire crowd regardless of whether they wanted to participate, but everyone still loved it. Toxic’s new album Chemistry of Consciousness has a well-earned spot on Decibel’s top forty records of 2013, and cuts like “MKUltra” and “Awaken the Serpent” all made an appearance alongside classics like “666” and “Lord of the Wasteland.” Toxic’s music sounds even more powerful live, and they continually brutalized the audience before ending their performance with the one-two punch of “Nuke the Cross” and “Bitch.”
Toxic Holocaust’s tour continues to rampage across the country (check out the remaining dates here), and with the winter fast approaching, some extreme metal is just the thing to warm you up. Grab some friends, a few drinks, and throw yourself into the pit with these guys.