Toxik - World Circus (Re-release)
file under Speed / Thrash metal
Evil Dr. Smith: It took almost twenty years, but when the original issues became harder and harder and slowly sheer impossible to find (both on CD and vinyl) there are now suddenly and almost at the very same time two (!) record labels clever enough to give the two records Toxik made in the late eighties a proper re-release. Last December the Polish metal label Metal Mind reissued ‘World Circus’ (1988) and ‘Think This’ (1989), and last March also the Dutch-based record label released the albums as well. The Displeased discs are far more superior to the Polish version.
Although Displeased haven’t released them in a digipack, they do got the blessing from the original band members of the band and the guys even brought back memories in the booklet, which are also filled with lyrics and photographs (just look at that hair, what a bunch of Bon Jovi wannabes, hahaha!) Only a small pity that the lay-out looks a bit amateurish, the credits of the bonus tracks are poor and that the Toxik guys sometimes telling the same thing twice, or even thrice. Where the Polish versions contain only the original album tracks, the Displeased versions are filled with a lot of bonus tracks that these new versions have a playing time of closely up to eighty minutes.
The speed metal on ‘World Circus’, with cult classics as ‘Heart Attack’, ‘Voices’, ‘False Prophets’ and off course the brilliant title track, is still highly enjoyable (think of Exodus, Laaz Rockit, Nasty Savage and Flotsam & Jetsam), although listening with a fair amount of sentiments is preferable, especially because of the rather poor production (with is done by production icons Scott Burns and Tom Morris, but well, they weren’t giants yet…). Displeased added the ‘Wasteland’ demo (1986) on the disc, which contains solely songs that made it to the album, but played a lot slower and less “typical speed metal”. They’ve also put the song ‘Wasteland’ from the compilation album Metal Massacre IX on the disc (a song that wasn’t found on Toxik’s demo or demo), two previously unreleased tracks with a horrible sound (but one of them, ‘Straight Razor’, is speed metal at its finest), a cover from Kiss (‘Parasite’) with an even more horrible sound if possible, and finally even some radio chit-chats (including one with King Diamond).
‘Think This’ followed a year later and has a thicker and more mature production, and therefore sounds less dated. Not in the last place because of the immense development of Toxik’s music. They’ve kept the high-pitched vocals (although done by another singer), but the music is changed into very intricate music with lots of time signatures and other mathematic wizardry. Think Watchtower, Hades, (early) Sieges Even and Fates Warning. The album is still extremely good, but for Toxik’s audience in those days the metamorphosis was possibly a bit too quick and too extreme. It didn’t take too long before the band fell apart. The album has extras in the form of a live version of the great ‘Spontaneous’ (hello Death Angel!) and a couple of instrumental jams and versions of album tracks. Both albums have been remastered, but the only difference with the original albums is that you don’t have to put the volume level so high to get the same amount of decibels. Excellent re-releases, done by a label with its thrash heart on the right place. There’s also a DVD with live recordings from the Dynamo Club and Dynamo Open Air 1988 to be released this year, and there are rumours that the band got together again for possible live shows in the near future, so eighties thrash metal fans can relive their childhood. So, and now we just have to wait for the re-release of the two almost as brilliant albums from Realm. Fingers crossed!