February 03, 2023

Fear of God - Toxic Voodoo (1994)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label Number: 76962-32211-2

© 1994 Pavement Music
Unrelenting, dour, and, yes, toxic; these words barely relate Fear of God's infinite sadness. Led by perpetually cynical vocalist Dawn Crosby, this version of her band's ever-changing lineup featured guitarists Chris Kalandras and Randy Bobzien, bassist Rob Michael, and drummer John Grden. After Fear of God's 1991 debut Within the Veil received intense critical praise, this highly anticipated follow-up was met with an appropriately cool response. Toxic Voodoo's musical decline can be traced directly to the departure of guitarist/songwriter Michael Carlino. Carlino's colorful guitar tracks cupped Crosby's interminably black poetry with delicate arpeggio's and surprise-attack solos forming a spooky cauldron that shadows over this sophomore effort. Kalandras and Bobzien's metal chunk and dive-bomb solos don't conjure up much black magic, leaving Crosby to carry the entire heavy load alone. The sorceress is almost up to the task as she spews her incoherent invectives on tracks like "Beyond the Veil" and "Will of Evil." Crosby's ululating and morbid imagery is particularly haunting considering the singer's death two years later due to alcohol-related liver failure. In the end, all the banshee screams fail to overcome Toxic Voodoo's subpar metal that pins Crosby's incantations to the page, leaving her shredded psyche and vocal chords sacrificed in vain.

 tags: fear of god, toxic voodoo, 1994, flac,


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