TOXIKULL Album Review: “Under The Southern Light”

TOXIKULL
“Under The Southern Light”
Album Review by Iron Mathew

9/10

Toxikull are a heavy metal band from Portugal formed in 2016, releasing three albums to date – ‘Black Sheep’ (2016), ‘Cursed And Punished’ (2019), and ‘Under The Southern Light’ emerging in 2024…

…featuring an almighty eighties feel! The eighties – the greatest decade for heavy metal evolution – was a time when bands such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, Accept, Dio and Manowar basically wrote the heavy metal rule book! A rule book that every band since has lived and breathed! And in the shape of Lisbon’s Toxikull, the band deliver the goods with total aplomb, strutting their way through all nine songs on offer like it’s the 1980’s all over again! And I should know, for I was a teenager during the eighties, listening to all the aforementioned bands develop the heavy metal sound – a sound that’s in my heart and bones, and has been for over forty years! Shit – am I really that old?

Yes, I am – but unlike fireworks, alcohol, gambling and SAGA holidays, heavy metal has no age limit – heavy metal is for everyone, no matter how old! Or young – Toxikull one of today’s younger metal bands. The new album explodes into life with the fast paced “foot on the monitor” fury of ‘Night Shadows’ – the level of head bang ability through the fucking roof right from the start! The band are electric here – roaring through ‘Night Shadows’ with phenomenal purpose and intent, banging the head of every single listener in the world.

What an absolutely barnstorming and breathless opening salvo – Toxikull marching on with the more anthemically paced ‘Around The World’, the band shuddering the ground with an immense amount of force! ‘Under The Southern Light’ has gotten off to an exhilarating start, and I have a feeling, exhilaration is here to stay – the Portuguese four piece striding on with the title song ‘Under The Southern Light’, featuring a more mid tempo menacing feel than either of the two previous songs. The album has seen – or rather heard – three very different styles of metal across its first three songs, I just wonder how many more we’ll hear before the (albums) end! And enter majestic power metal pomp courtesy of the heavy hitting ‘Battle Dogs’, the oomph and swagger of anthemic metal rising high in the air. As are clenched fists too, everyone everywhere saluting the rabble rousing call to arms aura created by Toxikull.

The fast pace of the album opener makes an emphatic return, the band pressing the pedal firmly to the metal as ‘Ritual Blade’ motors on, sending the mosh pits into a head banging frenzy! The iconic foot on the monitor gallop makes its presence felt here, Toxikull echoing many of the NWOBHM traits to deliver a gloriously old school sounding song – ‘Ghost Of A Dream’ a one minute mellow instrumental building the tension ready for ‘Knights Of Leather’ to crash in with all the weight of a wrecking ball in full flight! The anthemic thunder is much heavier than heard earlier, Toxikull once again shuddering the ground with immense force! But this time, buildings shake and walls crumble as ‘Knights Of Leather’ majestically marches on by.

And pace changes again, something the band have been doing all album long – ‘Going Back Home’ striding into sight with just the slightest hint of Southern rock! Yes readers, you read that right – Toxikull have been roaming round the heavy metal genre since the album began, now taking a detour to hop over the border wall into rock territory. And for the albums final song ‘They Are Falling’, the band return to their metal roots, increasing pace and power to allow every head banger in the world one last chance to furiously rock their head back and forth.

Overall, a pace changing gallop of traditional heavy metal, Toxikull offer a myriad of metal styles to please a very wide audience.

TRACKLIST

Night Shadows
Around The World
Under The Southern Light
Battle Dogs
Ritual Blade
Ghost Of A Dream
Knights Of Leather
Going Back Home
They Are Falling

https://toxikull.com/
https://www.facebook.com/toxikull

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