Assassinos Em Série
Review by Alex on February 4, 2019.
I'm willing to bet that you don’t like thrash metal as much as these Portuguese maniacs. Never have I heard a thrash metal record expressing so much praises for the genre; not only does Toxik Attack lay in worship at the feet of thrash metal (sorry, old school thrash metal), they also do it in a fun and gratifying way. Assassinos em Série is an enthralling and fun old school thrash metal record, however; it does have it's share of downfalls. Toxik Attack with Assassinos em Série showcases Portugal’s adulation for to the ole skool.
The musicianship (instrument-wise) is competent enough especially in the guitar solos and leading riffs which for me are the stars of this operation. And the drumming is what one would come to expect from a thrash/speed metal band. When combined you really get that feeling of being amongst the early 80’s moshing and headbanging pits in small clubs and venues promoting the first breaths of thrash and speed metal. The catchiness of “Thrash Maldição” and “Loucos pelo Old School” makes it hard not to head-bang; and being placed within such close quarters of each other, they ensure you’re constantly engaged. The riffs and solos are fabulous, they sparkle not only on the mentioned tracks, but for the entirety of Assassinos em Série. The momentum is kept throughout the playing time of the album though there are some instances that either quicken or decrease in speed such as on “Prazer de Matar” and the title track among others.
The vocals deserve special attention, because they both shine and stumble on Assassinos em Série. Nico666 sounds like he is holding a wand whilst casting a spell during his verses, they're not sung, but take on a more spoken/summoning form. At times they appear to be very out-of-sync with the rest of the music and on other occurrences they also sound very strenuous when trying to execute those high pitched screams. His screaming technique is strange; it sounds like he is attempting to imitate the cawing of a parrot whenever those parts show-up. It works sometimes, such as on the track “O Sanguinário” which could be listed as one of the stronger efforts on the B side. At that moment the scream doesn’t sound forced or short breathed due to it being introduced during the chorus, as there is more time to catch one’s breath. That said, it’s only during the verses I find the problem most prevalent in the vocal section. Some lines seem too lengthy and sound cramped when trying to keep up with the pacing of the drumming and riffing, thus bringing rise to the sloppy moments on the record. This problem made the music sound very mediocre, even karaoke in some instances.
As an overall release this is decent but could have been great if the vocals were a bit better executed on a consistent basis. The song writing could have also benefited from a few improvements as to prevent structural sloppiness due to the implementation of excessive lyrics an not being able to fittingly construct them. One can only hope these issues are rectified in time for the next release because the potential to achieve a great heights lies within the band. Toxik Attack definitely has a sound they can call their own thanks to the vocalist, all that's required is a bit of brushing up vocally and composition-wise.
Rating: 6.7 out of 10145