Joel Grind is from the wrong side of thrash metal’s tracks. Obsessed with death, satanic imagery and the ever-present specter of nuclear annihilation, Portland, Oregon’s Grind, a feral wild child who doesn’t even look old enough to drink, and whatever black thrash/punk sewer rats he’s able to find to play alongside him in Toxic Holocaust have wallowed in the filth and grime of the metal underground like demonic pigs in mud since 1999, content to bash away at insanely fast, primitive hardcore that’s best listened to while huffing ammonia in a janitor’s closet or taking part in an S&M orgy in a dingy, cobweb-filled basement.

And there’s no use in trying to civilize Grind, who seems to like residing in places that even those bound for hell would avoid, as the new 22-track Toxic Holocaust anthology From the Ashes of Nuclear Destruction indicates. Rummaging through a land fill of caked-in-dirt demos, garbage-strewn compilations and vinyl-only splits with the likes of Municipal Waste and other scum-of-the-earth types, From the Ashes of Nuclear Destruction is anything but clean and holy. It is vile stuff, indeed, and yet, however vulgar and utterly silly it all is, the trashy D-beats, cloudy production and sulfuric, blackened riffage of Toxic Holocaust are also irresistibly entertaining.

The product of too many hours spent under the influence of ‘80s metal hooligans Venom, Bathory and Exodus, as well as punk violators Black Flag and Gang Green, Toxic Holocaust let it rip on hellish speed-metal rides like “Created to Kill,” “Send Them to Hell,” “Never Stop the Massacre,” “Army of One,” and the fuzzed-out rampages of “Reaper’s Grave” and “Death Brings Death” – Grind’s vocals at time almost indiscernible, but always evil. Showing no love for Christianity, Grind and his minions pound the gnarly “Nuke the Cross” into the ground and discharge the high-velocity “666” without pity. “Bitch” and “Agony of the Damned” are more dynamic and heavy, showcasing Toxic Holocaust’s relentless drive and ability to downshift tempos in the blink of an eye.

In one sitting, it’s almost impossible to take it all in. Manuel Noriega would have given up and been grateful to face his fate after about five minutes of this.

Still, although you wouldn’t want your mother to know you’re listening to this and even liking it a little, Toxic Holocaust is sort of fun, like a bad horror movie. A steady diet of From the Ashes of Nuclear Destruction might drive one mad, but in small doses, it’s a guilty, even dangerous, pleasure, even it does sound occasionally like someone is suffocating it with a pillow.

Label: Relapse (CD format can be bought here)