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Toxic Rose – In For the Kill

Toxic Rose
In For the Kill
by Mark Machlay at 07 December 2021, 6:17 AM

With their sophomore album “In For The Kill” released last September, TOXIC ROSE are slowing proving to be quite the powerhouse in the underground sleaze/glam metal movement. The band was formed in 2020 in Stockholm, Sweden after vocalist Andy Lipstixx and drummer Michael Sweet’s old band LIPSTIXX ‘N’ BULLETZ was put to rest and guitarist Tom Wouda determined his own band wasn’t working. The trio met at a party, hit it off well, started working together and soon hooked up with bassist Goran Imperator to complete the TOXIC ROSE lineup.  The band intended to set themselves apart from others in the metal community with their unique Scandinavian black metal look and mix of dark sleaze with metal. On the strength of singles like “A Song for the Weak”, the band went out to conquer the world with their 5-track self-titled EP released in 2012, receiving rave reviews worldwide. They then toured their homeland and surrounding areas with scene partners like FATAL SMILE, SISTER, and CRASH DIET. Deciding they were ready to go bigger, the band released their debut full-length “Total Tranquility” in 2016.

Unfortunately, with touring and live shows being canceled for much of 2020 and into 2021, TOXIC ROSE was forced to shift gears from the idea of big, powerful live shows and got back to creating in the studio. Notably, there was a lineup change as they announced new bassist Johannes Sandberg in 2018 but softened the blow by releasing the first single from their debut “The Fallen Ones”.  Switching labels from their two previous releases, the band recently inked a deal with Golden Robot Records and dropped their first single “Blood on Blood” in May 2020, second single “Remedy” in September of 2020 and third single “Domination” in March of 2021. Writing on their Facebook page at the end of August, “It feels great to release this beast onto the word! The pandemic has been tuff for all of us, so we’re very excited to finally be able to show you all what we’ve been up to!” The album will be available via CD and digital as well as a special black vinyl edition that unfortunately was delayed until November 12th due to pandemic.

Given the look that TOXIC ROSE sports on the cover of their latest, the listener may be a bit surprised by what they hear, possibly expecting a more theatrical black metal sound much like DIMMU BORGIR. But their incongruous looks bely the fact they’ve delivered a fat chunk of hard rock bordering on metal that is not only enjoyable but caught me air drumming along with a few of the songs on “In For The Kill”. The fun gets right in with the gritty, crunchy guitar riffing onslaught that is the opener “Blood on Blood”, wasting no time telling the listener to “Get ready for domination” with an even more snarly, yet quite melodic vocals of Andy Lipstixx. It’s quite an anthem to start off an album and suitably revs the listener up for a good time. Hitting hard again, you get “Heroes” that features a nice melodic riff that would feel right at home on an AVENGED SEVENFOLD record, but these guys give the riff more snarl and bite. In fact, the first five tracks, are all bangers from the slow burn of the title track, the sinister and slithering “Remedy” and the epic, nearly symphonic “Angel”. Unfortunately, outside of the impressive time shifts and guitar work on “Domination”, the latter half of the album didn’t catch my attention as much. But all the good, outweighs the less than stellar tracks on “In For The Kill” and I think they are elevating their niche genre and am happy to hear more from this unique mashing of sleaze/glam metal that is TOXIC ROSE.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Blood on Blood
2. Heroes
3. In for the Kill
4. Remedy
5. Angel Down
6. Outta Time
7. Domination
8. Open Up ‘N’ Bleed
9. New Breed
10. The Great Escape
Johannes Sandberg – Bass
Michael Sweet – Drums
Tom Wouda – Guitars
Andy Lipstixx – Vocals
Record Label: Golden Robot Records


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