Record Swap: W. Vs. IronLawnMower

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Greetings and welcome back to Record Swap. Today I’m throwing myself into the coliseum against IronLawnMower, a fan of all things un-skronk. Do I disarm him with the weirdest album in my arsenal, or do I seek the path of unity and accept his likely traditional recommendation as a peace offering? The rules are simple. No research. No foreknowledge. No mercy. — W.

W.’s Assignment: Toxik – Think This (1989)

When it came to assigning W. his record I had a think; he seems to enjoy the more technical side of things. Part of me was tempted to send him something he’d hate like Vomitor or Evil Army. but then I made the decision to not be an immature dick and thought of sending him Dimension Hatross by Voivod (favourite album ever btw), but he’d probably already heard it. So why not Toxik? And Toxik he received. – IronLawnMower

I like metal. I like food. I like to write about metal, and I like to cook food. It makes sense to me, then, to compare different kinds of music to different kinds of food. Some releases tickle your palate with a gingery, zesty guitar solo. Some burn your mouth with spicy intensity. Some take your tonsils through a number of twists and turns as disparate, seemingly incompatible flavors barrage you in unexpected combinations. Think This by Toxik isn’t really any of those things. Instead, the thrash metal played by this band is a staple food, a time-honored American tradition like the Whopper that comes in a neat plastic package that tells your taste-buds exactly what to expect.

That isn’t to say that burgers aren’t enjoyable. Quite the contrary, this hunk of beef comes with a number of genre traditions that will most definitely treat your molars in exactly the way they expect to be treated (aside: these mouth metaphors are getting a bit weird). Sneering vocals spit anthemic polemics against the government, religion, and other incarnations of The Man trying to keep you down through propaganda like that printed on your large cola cup. A crunchy, Burton-esque bass rumbles along in unison with serviceable, speedy drumming, forming reliable and never overstated rhythmic buns for the rifftastic patty sandwiched betwixt them. And we both know that patty is what you’re here for; it’s got just the right amount of greasy sloppiness inherited from the punkier roots of NWOBHM and a steadfast consistency throughout. That riff patty is grilled to perfection, tuned especially to cater to your craving for genuine American meatiness and topped with the slightest hint of a tangy technicality to make each bite a little more rewarding. A light searing from some genuinely killer solos, especially on “Machine Dream”, only adds to that flavor.

Really though, sometimes meeting expectations comes with a little bit of disappointment/and or shame long after the meal has been consumed, and this album is no exception. On top of that riff patty is a cheesy thrash ballad that should have been left to die in the 80s. There’s also the requisite cover song performed by a young band paying lip service to the oldies (“No Quarter” by Led Zep) that’s sure to give most a little bit of heartburn. Tying it all together, though, is that distinct mass-production flavor you tend to get with this type of thrash. It doesn’t matter if the label says Toxik or Havok or Warbringer. You know exactly what you’re going to get. Some like that. Others, on occasion, want a little more.

Thrash metal is like comfort food to me. It reminds me of growing up, of digging into heavy metal, of discovering a distinctly American flavor that I know will always be there when I want something predictable to make me feel good. Toxik is like a nice fast food burger; dependable but never quite reaching that AAA flavor I often crave. However, if I’m in the mood for nothing more than some artery-clogging headbanging action, I know which drive-thru I can I always pull into. – W.


IronLawnMower’s Assignment: Doomsword – Let Battle Commence (2003)

I know IronLawnMower prefers things of a slightly less dissonant variety, and I had yet to talk about one of my favorite more traditional metal albums of all time, so I knew I had to send him Doomsword’s Let Battle Commence. I first happened upon the ‘Sword back in high school while surfing Limewire Pro for metal songs about war to make a playlist to act as background music for shooting Nazis on Call of Duty 2. The plaintive, mighty sounds conjured by Doomsword can’t be called brutal in the slightest, but they’re still very heavy, and Let Battle Commence remains a constant spin for me to this day. – W.

When W. offered to partner up with me for Record Swap, I was expecting incomprehensible
space noise from hell that sounded like metal spiders with syringes for legs raving in my brain.
Yet, when I clicked the link, I was greeted by the sounds of a soft acoustic guitar and singing which in my opinion is always a great way to start a bitchin metal record, and let me tell you children this is a BITCHIN metal record. This band, especially in the vocals department, remind me of Candlemass if Candlesmass sang about Vikings and glory in battle. There’s no way these guys aren’t Swedish. I refuse to believe any evidence on the contrary. The vocalist sounds Swedish. The doom sounds Swedish. The drums sound Swedish. The album cover screams Sweden. I even think a few lines are sung in Swedish from what I can make out.

One of the things I really like about this band is they know when to throw in a clitoris-swelling solo. The solos on this album fall into the melodic side of things. (In my opinion metal solos fall into one of two camps, swelling soulful melodic solos to make you shed a tear or bizzare rape of the higher register that sounds like spiders). In my opinion every metal album needs solos by laws, so it’s good to see a band obeying the laws of Alex, especially on the third track “Woden’s Reign”. That thing could bring a nun to orgasm.

Of course you can’t have solos without riffs, and this album has plenty of those, giving off atmosphere of epic battles raging for 53 of our earth minutes, my favourite likely being the main and chorus riffs on the second song.

To finish with I would heartily recommend this band. – IronLawnMower

Well, that was an anticlimactic battle. I’m over here babbling about food while IronLawnMower swings his steel around. At least we’re both headbanging. Want to get involved in Record Swap? Email me at toiletovhellwhiff@gmail.com.

(Photos VIA)

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  • IronLawnmower

    I’m hungry now. Also are you aware toxic are from the 80s since you compared them to modern bands?

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      I do love Toxik.

      • IronLawnmower

        As you should

    • Vote for Jeb

      No research, remember?

      • IronLawnmower

        Oh aye. Turns out doomsword are Italian which really threw me. Also the production on toxik sounds modern as hell

        • Vote for Jeb

          Yah, I think the production is why I misplaced them. The 80s thrash ballad makes a lot more sense considering they were in the 80s.

          • IronLawnmower

            I actually like the ballad because my tastes are bad

          • Vote for Jeb

            Hahahahahahaha. I’m super stoked you enjoyed Doomsword.

          • IronLawnmower

            It is cool and good

    • Have you listened to sacral rage?

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        Lol’d at the album name.

      • ┼Taubryee Plaza┼

        Scrotal Rage BRO!!!!

      • IronLawnmower

        I regretfully have not

        • If you like Voivod and Toxik, you’ll love it

          • Vote for Jeb

            I like Voivod more than Toxik.

          • Me too <3

    • Hey, you! It was a fun read 🙂

      • IronLawnmower

        Thanks dude. I was scared it’d be terrible because I’ve never written before

  • Super Nintendo Chalmers

    You toilet spelunkers both lucked out. These two albums are the TITS.

  • DOOMSWORD >>>>>

    • Max

      DOOM’S WORD>>>>>

      (I’m only guessing, but I’m sure there must be a band called Doom’s Word somewhere.)

      • Vote for Jeb

        Nothing on Metal Archives.

  • ┼Taubryee Plaza┼

    My guitarist is a total Toxik fan boy. What a nerd. Although I am too.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NWqnDvvApI

  • ┼Taubryee Plaza┼

    Damn, if this intro does not make your tear up a bit…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iV0_Eo3Smqg

  • Shrimp in a Pizza Box

    What if I wanted incomprehensible space noise from hell that sounded like metal spiders with syringes for legs raving in my brain? 🙁

  • TOXIK AND DOOMSWORD >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  • Thumbs up for this Record Swap!

    I listened World Circus from Toxik and it’s an OK and fun album; the burguer analogy was spot-on, Dubz. I thought I would like more DoomSword, but it’s probably because I’m tired. Will check it laterz.

  • BEARD-SPLITTER

    Id like to do one of these one day

  • Paris Hilton

    I like Record Swaps the way I like biased, kinda racist Facebook posts and articles: no foreknowledge, no research, no mercy.

    • JWEG

      #RedCupsMatter
      #BoycottAdidas

  • ┼Taubryee Plaza┼
  • Boss the Ross

    Nice choices, will give an in depth listen to both.

  • dubs, your writing is like … something exquisite. you never cease to amaze me!

    • ┼Taubryee Plaza┼

      Going to school, being dedicated to learning, and also being a doctor will do that.

  • Eliza

    Started this thinking I’ll like the Toxik record more, being a sucker for old-school thrash, but I finished it by falling in love with Doomsword.

    • Vote for Jeb

      You’ve made the right decision.

      • Eliza

        You’re right. The thing with Toxik is that, to me at least, there is nothing to their sound that makes me want to ever listen to them again.

  • 365chaosriddendays
    • ┼Taubryee Plaza┼

      I still need to listen to this album.

      • 365chaosriddendays

        If you like “Behexen” and “Sargeist” probably you’ll like this one too. It’s good!

        • ┼Taubryee Plaza┼

          Well, I like both of those bands. Bookmarked for tomorrow.

          • 365chaosriddendays

            Good, speaking about bands we both like, the devastating “Altarage” has completed their album, so, the next year good things will come!

          • ┼Taubryee Plaza┼

            FUCK YES! Thanks for the news. I’m looking forward to the new
            Skáphe and Nyogthaeblisz too. Apparently nyogthaeblisz sent the album to Hells Headbangers so it’s finished I guess.

            EDIT: New Blasphemy as well I guess too.

          • 365chaosriddendays

            You’re welcome, I heard music from Skáphe just few weeks ago and I like it and I don’t know who are Nyogthaeblisz but I’ll discover soon!

  • Waynecro

    “Clitoris-swelling solo.” This man knows his guitar-solo feels.

    • IronLawnmower

      I try. I try

  • Scroinklypoop McFartinPloppin

    As much as I’d vote for the lawn mower, W pulled out the big guns with Toxik.