Website: METAL TEMPLE (http://www.metal-temple.com)
Date: May 2008
I had a good time listening to TOXXIC TOYZ’s "F.E.A.R." album. A self-financed CD that clearly displays good work done by this French quartet, and - to be honest - when the whole ’package’ is pure and ’spot on’, then the ’music’ case at once can (and should?) unveil a better face; let alone the fact that "F.E.A.R." is a notable album 100% capable of winning your attention.
The band released a 4-song demo CD in 2004 and "F.E.A.R." is the first full-length attack. A private recording, but the overall result is nothing less than fine. There’s a great job being done in the guitars section here. The chords are flirting with both Hard Rock and Heavy Metal sounds, while there’s a variety in riffing. The band has embodied lots of ideas in the songlist, resulting in interesting tunes with excellent leads allover. It’s no wonder there are songs in here with more than 6, 7 or 8 minutes of duration. Really, a dynamic work by Fred (guitarist) at least. But the whole clan is in good mood. There’s lots of multi-vocal refrains, the rhythm section is in good ’chemistry’ and does not stick to the basics, while Rick’s singing does deliver the goods with a kinda personal touch.
OK, and now you wonder "so, what’s the music about"? Here I’d disagree with the brief band’s bio in their official website. To me, TOXXIC TOYZ surely consists of well-trained metalheads but they do - in some level - have included some ’new /RockMetal’ elements in their songwriting. Yet, nothing awkward, since they have definitely put much sweat in the songs’ structures, that’s obvious during the first CD spin. One time I listen to the ’hell breaks loose’ speed of IRON MAIDEN or HELLOWEEN, then I get stuck into some MEGADETH or DREAM THEATER or PAIN OF SALVATION ’technical’ web, later to experience some LILLIAN AXE or ’late’ WHITE LION enigmatic hardrockin’ cinemascope, eventually to be drugged in a THERAPY?-meets-TOOL ’current stream’ outbreaks. And all these without forgetting to mention the band could as well be hailing from the UK in the mid-90s.
A really interesting album, for the ’wide’ Metal fans. It did even shake my ’traditional’ ideals. Really hope they’ll pull the trigger via a label (if they want so, of course) next time.