Written by: Kev Rowland
Well, Toxic Smile may not exactly be Spinal Tap, but they do seem to have an issue with drummers and by the time they came back with their third studio album in 2011, seven years on from ‘Retrotox Forte’, they were also on their third drummer with the rest of the line-up remaining the same. It was now some fifteen years since the band had started, and they are clearly on the same path as they have been throughout namely their existence, namely progressive metal that also contains a large amount of dynamics, mostly from the high use of piano and the bass sometimes taking centre stage, with the wonderful vocals of Larry B. over the top of them all.
Toxic Smile have created their own style, which although often likened in some ways to Dream Theater, is actually very much their own. They mix some shredding guitars with melodic passages, piano, a guitarist and keyboard player that have been as one since the very beginning and all the years of recording and playing together has just made that bond ever tighter. They rarely produce really lengthy songs, instead concentrate on producing punchy material with hooks and melodies that sometimes moves into almost pop areas, whereas at others it is so complex and convoluted that on-one could ever mistake them for anything apart from a highly adept prog metal act. Their previous studio album is my least favourite, but a lot has happened with the band between that one and this, and ‘I’m Your Saviour’ more than makes up for any shortcomings that one may have had.
Liquid Wall // The Change // The Abyss // Hidden Brand // Walked By Fear // Endless Cycle // Pride And Joy // Poles Apart // I’m Your Saviour