(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Lead Journalist/Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
It has only been 28 years since Toxik’s last official studio release came out. In the nearly three decades since, the band has gradually become an almost mythical entity.
With years of one-off festival appearances, small European tours and highly select, rare American dates, Toxik helped mold their legacy with a less-is-more philosophy. All of that sporadic state of being here, without ever really being here in full, is about to come to an obliterating end.
On August 4th, the current incarnation of this iconic thrash legend will come screaming back to life with their long-awaited return. The three-song “Breaking Class” EP is really to be hailed for multiple reasons other than the band’s obvious lengthy absence. One of the main ones is it marks the return of classic era vocalist Charlie Sabin into the band, the voice of the band’s highly influential ‘Think This’ album.
Alongside Sabin is the primary source of Toxik‘s long running lifeblood, guitarist Josh Christian. Rounding things out in the circa 2017 edition of the group are drummer James D’Maria (Generation Kill) and bassist Shane Boulos. What the quartet have captured on this EP is nothing short of astounding and, more importantly perhaps, right in line with the revered legacy of the band’s past.
“Breaking Class” is a record that touches on everything that fans have loved about Toxik over the years. It possesses mind-blowing technicality, highly politically charged lyrics and just enough of a humorous tongue in cheek attitude to keep things entertaining. It hearkens back to the band’s classic beginnings within the pioneering age of thrash metal. All while managing to modernize the unique New York-infused style of chaotic, high output metal and its dynamics.
Clearly, we stand at the starting point of a whole new era for the metallic landmark that is Toxik. A point that gladly embraces that band’s respectable past, but, at the same time, looks ever-forward to what it can now bring to the game. Take note now, new wave of old-school, thrash-inspired warriors and pay your due tribute to one of metal’s stalwarts that paved the way for what you do this day.
Stream the triumphant return of the revitalized Toxik, the “Breaking Class” EP via Soundcloud below, available for digital & physical pre-order now here.