Lich King – Toxic Zombie Onslaught

Lich King – Toxic Zombie Onslaught 4/5
{Link Removed at Request}

Lich King is a relatively new band that helps make up the ‘thrash revival’ we’ve seen in recent years. If I was to liken them to an 80’s band, my first thoughts go to Bonded by Blood-era Exodus, or maybe Vio-Lence. Frenzied riffing, and a ridiculously reverbed vocal performance with a great sense of humor and enough charisma that the jokes aren’t dropped. Actually, humor might be the most important weapon of Lich King’s repertoire. These people know their instruments, and can write a song, but what makes them stick out in the sea of thrash acts is their over-the-top lyrics and subject choice. That’s great, but it also limits how far the band can go, at least in my opinion.

I never really got the popular way of describing bands by their song titles, but here it’s a very accurate descriptor. F.E.: Attack of the Wrath of the War of the Death of the Strike of the Sword of the Blood of the Beast. They are that over-the top. This is one band I’d look up lyrics for, just because they’re that good. “Black Metal Sucks” being the key perpetrator in mind. The only problem that comes to mind is the thin line the band walks by basing their sound around their humor. Lich King pulls off the first example with flying colors, but “Black Metal Sucks”, while hilarious, is the weakest song here musically. It suffers from an extremely simple riff, and instead of a solo, the band supplies a faux black metal burst at the end of the song. It’s funny, but it’s not good metal.

The albums opener deserves some mention, if only for the punch line of “For the Lich king is fierce and wicked awesome.” Those of you who check out Necromantic Maelstrom in addition to Toxic Zombie Onslaught will notice that the key difference between these two releases is that the band has become a tighter unit over all. The guitarists (Rambo and the Hulk) have really worked on their flow and it show. Fucking Tyrannosaur (the vocalist) has improved his variety, and Hulk Hogan (their drummer) is still quite a force. There are enough tempo changes and new riffs that the music never gets boring. They’ve kept that Bay Area taste in riff style and production is still properly raw and crunchy. My main complaint is that Darth Bassist is buried.

In spite of this heavy praise, there are problems present. I wish there were more solos, or if not more, just an improvement in solo quality. I’m still wondering where the bass is. I’d like to warn LK that they can only go so far with this funny stuff, and if you guys ever stop taking your music as seriously as you do now, a quick trip to the annals of the forgotten is in order. Until then, any fans of Gama Bomb, ExMortis, or Municipal Waste should do themselves a favor and give this a spin.

By C.J.Ulferts


Lich King said…
Yyyyeah, BMS was a throwaway... filler. It caught on though, and now I wish we'd put effort into it.

The humor's becoming a prevalent focus in all the reviews. I do wish people would focus more on our focus, which is the thrash.

Thanks though... and thanks to google alerts.
Lich King said…
Except, y'know, not so much thanks for putting up a link to the pirated album.
Tom B said…
If you want it removed, just say the word.