In my interpretation, the fourth album of many bands marks the barrier between being a new-band and a well-established band. Toxic Holocaust's fourth offering "Conjure and Command" seems to fit into this framework quite nicely, and it has the sound of a band which has continued to mature and grow since it's predecessing albums.
The lower tempo of some of the songs, instead of spoiling anything in the album, distinctly adds to it - The slower parts add attitude, diversity, and atmosphere, making for a much more varied thrash-album than the band's previous works. Production wise, too, this album could potentially be my favourite. The guitar sound is wonderfully crunchy, and all the instruments seem extremely suitably produced, encapsulating thrashiness perfectly. The booklet which comes with the album proudly states that "Absolutely no drum replacement, triggering, quantitizing, or amp modelling were used in this recording" and with the way the album sounds, I wonder why so many bands feel the need to use these entities, as Toxic Holocaust seem to manage to make a damn nice sounding album without them.
The album blends the old with the new, certainly. While unmistakably a Toxic Holocaust record, changes have certainly been made, and this fact is emphasised by the change in logo, which I found a little disappointing. Sound wise, however, the changes pleased me, although I cannot guarantee that all shall share that belief.
I give the album 8/10. The band is still going strong.
Toxic Holocaust on Myspace
Toxic Holocaust on Metal Archives