Heart Attack

As much as I adore Testament, Exodus and Prong, the biggest draw of the weekend for me is the chance to see New York technical thrashers Toxik on consecutive evenings (flights willing) and seeing the band that I have only seen once previously. 

Friday evening Josh Christian leads his troops into the Dynamo club for the pre festival festivities. They’re headlining the venue over one of Lars Ulrich’s favourite new wave of British heavy metal bands Diamond Head (who reside fifty miles down the M6 from my home in Stourbridge) and Belgian thrashers Toxic Shock. A little over fourteen hours later they’ll be hitting the outdoor stage to several thousand more metal maniacs for a further fifty minutes in Eindhoven.  

Their only two albums, 1987’s World Circus and it’s follow up Think This released in 1989, are considered classics within the genre. Three years after the second record they disappeared and nothing else was heard properly for over two decades when founding members Mike Sanders and Josh Christian (vocals and guitar respectively) teamed up with drummer Jason Bittner. In the last year Bittner has become a permanent member with Overkill and Charles Sabin from the second album has replaced Sanders. 

I’m not sure if the band ever played the British Isles in their heyday as I can’t find any evidence of them playing over here, so I’d like to think that their last show at the Underworld that I attended in 2014 was their first, and until the Monday after Dynamo, their only UK performance. I’m a bit gutted I’m missing the London show, but twice in the three days before they land over here and a trip to the capital could be deemed as greedy, plus Lee Aaron plays Bilston on the same night. 

Its pretty remarkable how after all these years the Dynamo festival can call upon bands that played the event back in the 80’s and 90’s. Toxik are one of many bands that have a live release recorded at the festival from 1988, and over the three latest editions of the event are returning line reconquering heroes. It’d be nice, and very much a pipe dream, to see Forbidden and Lääz Rockit making return visits. 

Heart Attack is the opening salvo from the debut album. Both albums that generally command a pretty eye watering price with the modern phenomenon of eBay collecting. Even the Metal Mind reissues from 2007 also go for ridiculous prices at times.