Total Retaliation

Written by: PP on 23/02/2019 13:13:39

I've got a couple more stragglers from 2018 before we close the year for good. One of them is the seventh album "Total Retaliation" by testosterone-fueled hardcore heavyweights Terror. Always a delight to witness live, the band's studio output has been swinging in consistency for the simple reason that more often than not, Terror songs were designed to be played live, not in a confined studio. Case in point: "Live By The Code" five years ago was a brilliant piece of tough-guy hardcore lined with sweet melodies and catchy chant-alongs, whereas its follow-up, 2015's "The 25th Hour" was a far more forgettable effort due to its insistence on total metallic chaos at the cost of quality songwriting.

So the good news is that "Total Retaliation" is much better in comparison. It plays on Terror's strengths: the vicious, fiery barks of Scott Vogel in their gloriously effective simplicity lead the charge, whilst down-tuned, crunchy riffs take us from one breakdown to another. So basically, Terror being Terror, little surprise there. Tracks like "One More Enemy" and "In Spite Of These Times" combine muscular testosterone with relatively catchy hardcore structures, and make sure to leave some of the metallic hardcore vibes of "The 25th Hour" in the distant past.

Oh, if only that were wholly true, because about half the tracks on the record still insist on Trash Talk style, chaotic metallic hardcore soundscape that isn't particularly inspiring nor memorable: a few weeks down the line these just aren't the Terror songs you are remembering from their back catalogue. A quick comparison to the tight guitars on the hardcore punk track "Total Retaliation", to the signature Terror style two-step stomp-and-go of "Spirit Of Sacrifice", or the thrilling melodies of "Behind The Bars" (here we are approaching Comeback Kid-esque melodic hardcore: thumbs up) show why these stylistic options merit much more attention than the mindless metallic thrashing of tracks like "Mental Demolition" or "Break The Lock".

So in summary, "Total Retaliation" is a Terror album alright. Fans of the band's back catalogue will lap this up even though it's not among their best: quality hardcore textbook style with next to no bullshit (aside from the hip-hop interlude) clouding the mosh.


Download: Behind The Bars, One More Enemy, In Spite Of These Times
For the fans of: Hatebreed, Lionheart, Madball
Listen: Facebook

Release date 28.09.2018
Pure Noise

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