As you all know TERRORIZER is one of those bands that had a huge impact on the extreme Metal scene with the release of a single album, 1987’s “World Downfall”. Other one-album-wonder bands of this stature would of course include luminaries like CYNIC and REPULSION. But rumors about a potential TERRORIZER reunion have been swirling around for a long time and now, 19 years later, a new TERRORIZER full length is upon us.
Actually I felt quite indifferent about this reunion. I don’t really mean that in a bad way, but this band had already cemented their place in the Metal Hall Of fame with their classic debut, so I didn’t have the highest of expectations for this new album – if they managed to build on past glories that would be great, but if they somehow faltered I would still not be that worried since I still had “World Downfall” to fall back on. Anyway, after a couple of spins I feel I am now able to accurately assess the new TERRORIZER effort.
Starting off with an intro that would have sounded out of place on any of the early OBITUARY albums we are treated to the title track and one thing is immediately apparent – there is much more Death Metal present here than the insanely aggressive Death/Grind that flowed through the band’s early work. It’s not necessarily a bad thing as tracks like “Crematorium” and “Blind Army” are classy numbers in the best MORBID ANGEL tradition and you know why that is… “Fallout” is a scorcher of a song with its deceptively simplistic riffing giving way to some brilliant Sandoval drumming and Thrash passages. Newcomer vocalist Andy Rezhawk pulls it off quite well and his long growls are neck snapping. The album hits a bit of a rut midway through with tracks like “Mayhem” and “Nightmare”, but fortunately the band hits back with instant classics like “Victim Of Greed” (just listen to the flawless Death-meets-Thrash-meets-Grind riffing on here!) and the rerecorded version of their classic “Dead Shall Rise”. Sandoval is as lethal as ever with lots of superfast fills and blasts, while fellow veteran Pintado achieves a great guitar sound that harkens back to late 80s Death Metal. Tony Norman’s bass is only really effective on a couple of tracks though…
The musicians are masters of their trade, but somehow I can’t help but feel that this release runs a bit on autopilot. The over the top aggression and recklessness of their debut is all but gone – replaced by “safe”, calculated music. 19 years is a long time, but I think that after all this time the band should’ve done something more with the material on here. Actually this reminds me more of MORBID ANGEL’s “Domination” album than “World Downfall”. But when they allow themselves to experiment the results are stunning – just listen to the outtro “Ghost Train”, a track with some ominous piano playing backed up by all kinds of blasting courtesy of Pete Sandoval. It’s on here that they managed to create the most atmosphere and the feeling this little number invokes is fucking creepy! Too bad it came so late in the album.
It sounds like I’m really knocking this album, but I’m really not. I juts feel that this all feels a bit perfunctory. Of course tracks like the aforementioned “Fallout”, “Crematorium” and “Victim Of Greed” are mini masterpieces, but the bulk of this album cant lift itself beyond the mere ordinary.
Good work but it could have and should have been more. (Online August 20, 2006)