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Toxikull - Cursed and Punished Award winner

Cursed and Punished
by James Brizuela at 24 September 2019, 7:23 AM

TOXIKULL, is an old school thrash sounding metal band from Potrugal, formed in 2016. TOXIKULL found great success in their last release, an EP titled “The Nightraiser”. The success of this EP led Toxikull to play big metal festivals in Portugal and Spain. They return with their second full-length album, “Cursed and Punished”. What do you get when you blend IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, and ENFORCER together with some vicious guitar riffs and wailing vocals? You get speed demons TOXIKULL! There is good thrash metal out there, then there is TOXIKULL. These guys exist in a tier all their own. I have not been this invigorated by a thrash metal band in quite some time.

When the album kicked off the with instrumental “The Summoning Pit”, I had no idea what was going to lead after that. “Cursed and Punished” is an album that blends the best parts of old school sounding thrash but elevating it with the absolute punishing riffs and vocals. The second and title track for the album, “Cursed and Punished”, lays the groundwork for the punishment (pun intended) that ensues. The track hits the ground running and never lets up. The chanting vocals paired with the wailing vocals adds that pure thrash adrenaline. The punk styled drums unrelenting in their aim to keep the cadence going. Then you are hit in the chest with the incredibly talented guitar solo. I could not stop myself from headbanging through this entire album. Even when it seems that tempo slows down a little bit, you are met with absolutely crushing music. “Helluminate” providing that exact slower crushing music. The tempo is a little bit slowed down, but you are still met with that crushing musicianship. I am such a big fan of the tradeoff between the wailing vocals and clean vocals. It adds that extra element of ferocity. What is most interesting about this track is out of nowhere the tempo comes crashing down to showcase this almost power metal vibe. For the last couple minutes of the track you get to just becomes hypnotized by the 80's metal prowess that TOXIKULL provides.

This is not a one-dimensional thrash band by any means. You get that speed metal, punk infused style, and even this brilliant 80's power metal feel as well. “The Revival” brings another element to this already impressive album. The track is quick and slower interlude that is much different from the entirety of the album. What makes me appreciate this slower tempo is that it gives you the ability to take a breath. Take in the IRON MAIDEN-esque track and appreciate it for all its glory. You don’t get a whole lot of time to breathe though as the fierceness of the music returns with “Rising Dust”. The track brings you back to the prototypical thrash sound, but it is so much more. The clean vocals take center stage on this one. It is remarkable to be able to hear this 80s styled music elevated to this higher level. The simple fact that this only the second full-length album just shows how incredibly talented these musicians are. Now there is something I did not really expect to hear that surprised the hell out of me. “Dark Glory” brings in some heavier vocals. TOXIKULL is playing to my love of death metal. To me there is a lot of old school death metal in this track. But this is how brilliant this band is. They are not just some plain thrash metal band. They bring more and more elements in to aid to their musicianship. From start to finish “Cursed and Punished” shows off the absolute professional skills that TOXIKULL has.

Cursed and Punished” is a thrash metal fans dream. TOXIKULL pay homage to their thrash predecessors while simultaneously elevating 80's styled metal to a level that I do not even think could exist. I am so impressed at how they can show so much brilliance in their thrash. The music is so intricate, beautiful, and chaotic all at once. Put this album in your rotation immediately, because it an absolute homerun.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. The Summoning Pit
2. Cursed and Punished
3. Sacred Whip
4. Killer Night
5. Helluminate
6. The Revival
7. Rising Dust
8. Dark Glory
9. Speed Blood Metal
10. In the Name of Evil
Lex Thunder – Vocals, Guitar
Michael Blade – Guitar
Antim “The Viking” – Vocals, Bass
Garras – Drums
Record Label: Metal on Metal Records


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