Finally here is a new release from TOXIC SMILE, the melodic prog metal band from Germany. After all, it has been three years since their fantastic "classical music meets progressive rock"-DVD "In Classic extension" came out. One year earlier, they had released the official DVD bootleg "Live at the PP5", but their last studio output "Retro Tox Forte" dates already from 2004.
Sadly, this time around we only get an EP from the sympathetic guys from Saxony,
but this release contains their trademark sound in concentrated form.
The first track "Solitude's Sphere" is a great up-tempo progressive rock number,
that is so very typical of the band.
The following track "Insights" shows the band's mellow side instead.
After that, the band from Leipzig speeds up again. "Peak of Delight" starts as a straightforward rock song which allows the rhythm section and guitarist Uwe Reinholz to both shine and to have a fling. The middle section is more melodic again, and of course there's also a fine keyboard solo.
The final track and secret highlight of "Overdue Visit" is "Freezing Rain",
a killer ballad with trimmed-down instrumentation.
Marek Arnold on piano and backing vocals as well as lead singer Larry B. prove with this song that sometimes it's quality and not quantity that counts.
All the songs manage to whet our appetite for more, but after 23 minutes the EP is over and we can only press the "Repeat"-button.
With "Overdue Visit" Toxic Smile prove that they're back with a vengeance and the EP raises hopes that we can soon listen to the band's next full-length album.
Toxic Smile was founded by keyboard player Marek Arnold and drummer Daniel Zehe in January 1996.
At this time both lived in Leipzig. The simple reason for starting the band was that they were fed up with playing student jazz all the time. So Toxic Smile was initially nothing but an alternative project of bored students of
In May 1996, guitarist Uwe Reinholz joined the band. However, it took another two years to find the right vocalist. Since Larry B. entered Toxic Smile, his voice has been the special trademark of Toxic Smile's sound. The band was completed by bass player Robert Brenner in January 2000. Till this time some demo tapes had already been
recorded and the group soon started working on their debut CD "Madness and Despair" (at foen studio).
On October 1st 2000, Toxic Smile released "MAD" (on F.act-records).
The album was especially successful in Asia. BMG Seoul offered the band a major deal. Toxic Smile signed, of course!!
Korean guitarist Ahn Hete supported the band as "special promotion guest" during their time with BMG. "MAD" was supplemented with a couple of new tracks and received a new master mix. In August 2001, after signing the contract with
BMG South Korea, "M.A.D." was released in Asia. At the same time Toxic Smile played a promotional tour in South Korea.
From October 2001 to November 2002 Toxic Smile spent most of their time writing songs for their second album.
In December 2002, the band separated from BMG due to various differences regarding the recorded material and sales.
From February - April 2003, their sophomore album was recorded by Marek and Uwe at Wizard studios.
During July and August 2003 mixing and mastering of the album took place at Famous Kitchen studios (Andy Horn).
"Retrotox Forte" was finally released on March 15th 2004 by Famous Kitchen.
In the summer of 2004 the band started work on the classical project "Waldenburg". In September 2004 Daniel suddenly left the band. Within two weeks Antonius Gruetzner was hired as Toxic Smile's new drummer (and he proved to be a worthy substitute).
In February 2005, the rehearsals for the classical DVD "Toxic Extension" took place and the recording eventually happened in Waldenburg on March 5th.
In November 2006, the DVD "Toxic Smile in classic Extension" was released.
During 2007 and 2008 all members worked more and more on their individual careers.
Since then Toxic Smile has only existed as a studio project. Antonius has left the band - not without recording drums for the upcoming EP. Marek took care of the
mixing and mastering of that record. It will be released in June 2009 on Oliver Wenzler's label "Progressive Promotion Records". In the meantime, Robert Eisfeld,
founder and owner of "Dresdner Drumfestival" has taken over drum duties. FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS !
At the moment the band is still working on their next
to be continued ...