Xmal Deutschland were one of the best live acts to come out of the 4AD label. I had the great fortune to see them when they were touring after this album, and the live atmosphere they conjured up was electric.
'Tocsin' continued on from their excellent debut 'Fetisch', and the excellent 'Sequenz' EP, with the band growing into their sound and expanding their horizons beyond the raw, angry feel of the first album. 'Tocsin' has a more self-assured, more tightly constructed range of songs, much more in keeping with the other bands on the label.
Although 'Tocsin' was the last album Xmal made with 4AD, they did go on to produce one more excellent (if more commercial) album on Polygram Records called 'Viva'. After that the band lost most of its founder members and descended into mediocrity, with a final album in 1989 called 'Devils', then fizzled out altogether.