Toxic Holocaust - Biography

Toxic Holocaust is a thrash metal band whose love for and command of the genre’s musical conventions put nu-metal’s more commercially viable product to shame. The band is essentially one man, Joel Grind, whose post-apocalyptic fantasies of zombie degradation provide the fan of classic thrash with a welcome alternative to nu-metal’s whinging dramatizations of personal agony.

Grind started Toxic Holocaust in Baltimore, Maryland in 1999 as a recording project. Two unnamed musicians accompanied Grind on Toxic Holocaust’s 1999 demo, Radiation Sickness, but Grind played everything (excluding a handful of guest appearances) on subsequent records. After several limited DIY releases—a 2001 split 7-inch with Oprichniki, the split CD-R with Hellacaust Implements of Mass Destruction/Nuclear Apocalypse:666 (2002 Skullfuckingmetal), and the Critical Mass CDR (2002)—Toxic Holocaust released its first proper album, the home-recorded Evil Never Dies (Witches Brew 2003). Grind hired a rhythm section for a 2003 tour; Toxic Holocaust has almost always appeared as a trio in concert.

Toxic Thrash Metal (2005 Arsenal of Glory) collects the previous year’s “Death Master” and “Power from Hell” singles along with various tracks from compilations and tribute records. Grind recorded the second album Hell on Earth (Nuclear War Now! 2005) at home on an 8-track, then toured North America, Japan, Europe and Brazil with various hired bassists and drummers. If you can find a copy, the DVD Brazilian Slaughter 2006 (2008 Mutilation/Unsilent) captures the band live in São Paulo that December. The two songs on the very limited 5-inch single “Reaper’s Grave” (2006 Gloom) are otherwise unavailable.

Toxic Holocaust signed to Relapse Records in 2008, around the same time Grind moved to Portland, Oregon. Relapse reissued Toxic Holocaust’s first two albums that year, and Grind recorded the third Toxic Holocaust album, An Overdose of Death. . . (2008 Relapse), in Seattle with producer Jack Endino. Exclaim! reports that Toxic Holocaust’s 2009 appearance in Nashville, Tennessee drew protests after a local news broadcast alarmed parents with the band’s latest video, “Nuke the Cross,” and its cover of Nuclear Assault’s “Hang the Pope.” As of this writing, the band’s most recent release is the “Gravelord” single (2009 Relapse).


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