New material from classic 80s thrash band Toxik has been anticipated for a long time. Not just because it’s almost 30 years since their last record, but also because the band has been working on it for seemingly a very long time. Though it’s not a full length, “Breaking Class” is what the band has come up with so far, and the result may not be too enticing to long time Toxik fans. The band definitely still plays thrash, but instead avoid the super technical nature they were once known for. In addition, the return of “Think This” vocalist Charles Sabin isn’t all that noticeable. He rarely hits a sky-high note, instead opting for a more normal upper range voice. Fortunately, mainman Josh Christian still has plenty of opportunities to show that his shredding skills are just as impressive as they were 30 years ago, with his best playing coming on "Psyop".
Everything about “Breaking Class” feels a little too modern. The American flag on the cover makes it immediately clear what this entire EP is about, giving it strong vibes of Coldsteel’s “America Idle” EP (though that one was far superior). Even though the riffs themselves are pretty fast, it just doesn’t feel as authentic as it once did. The title track is definitely the fastest and best of the three songs, and it has an outstanding nod to the title track of “World Circus” with a psychotic riff after the first chorus, but the overall impact of the song isn’t quite what one would hope for.
“Breaking Class” ultimately falls in a very strange space in terms of reunion efforts because it doesn’t completely miss the mark like many other bands, and yet it just doesn’t feel right. The sound and technical skill are there, but they don’t come together properly, and so this EP is likely to get lost amidst the plethora of modern sounding thrash releases being released in 2017.
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3.3/5 or 66%.
Written by Scott