By Nikita Alekseyevich Khrenov
We’ve had thrash for several decades now. So many bands have picked up their instruments and just pushed their creativity, endurance, and endurance to the absolute limit with the genre. Now more than ever, it’s incredibly difficult for thrash artists to stand out from the pack, though not for Bay area outfit Hemotoxin.
Using the standard 80s thrash sound as a foundation on their recent album Restructure the Molded Mind, the band utilizes progressive songwriting and impressive musical technique to construct quite a beast of a record. Harmonizing leads, dissonant passages, sudden starts and stops… The band pulls out all the stops and it works wonders. “Legions of Alienation” leans into Cynic influences with jazzy arpeggiated chords spread throughout the track while the song “Execution” would fit perfectly into Atheist’s body of work.
While the musicianship exhibited is very precise and tight, the production isn’t too clean and polished. The raw edge to the overall sound keeps the music grounded in its thrash roots while allowing all the nuances to shine through. That being said, the vocals seem to lag behind the rest of the instrumentation. The performance is solid; however, it seems to lack the conviction and drive of the other elements of the music, with some passages awkwardly fitting into the riffs and feeling disconnected.
Fans of aggression and technicality will find great joy in this record. Brimming with harmonic wizardry and blistering shred, Hemotoxin’s Restructure the Molded Mind is a technical thrash masterclass.