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TerraDown - Judgement

TerraDown
Judgement
by Neil Cook at 07 July 2020, 2:55 PM

These guys are from Breda in the Netherlands, formed in 2016, their bio describes their sound as “Groovy Melodic (Death) Metal”.  I had no idea what that was supposed to mean, and if I’m honest I’m still not sure I fully understand it, I do sort of get what they are trying to say.

To say there is a LOT going on with their music on this their debut album, would be an understatement.  They cite AMON AMARTH and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE as influences, and I can understand that.  There is a pinch of Melo Death, there is a more than a touch of modern Metal, but there is some old school Thrash and at other times an definite underlying, well groove is quite probably the best thing to call it.  The track “Break Your Chains” before it takes a decidedly BLACK SABBATH vibe a its end is practically Funky Death (I was going to call it Funk Metal, but that is still a little lightweight).

The aptly titled first track “Statement”, makes an, er, statement of intent from the get go, as a loud brash AMON-ish opener, screaming guitars and growled vocals, and bouncy rhythm . Its also quite brave to open with the longest track on the album. It is also the most traditional song on here. You could be fooled into thinking were getting an album of straight forward quality Melo Death Metal.  And probably be happy to romp along with them.

Indeed you would probably think that is the direction we are taking with “Volition”, the pace and twin guitar sound lead us in that direction happily, maintaining the energy and pace.

Then things change with the aforementioned “Break Your Chains”.  This is the funkiest, grooviest slab of Metal you will hear. I never thought I would hear, what I am going to describe as Death Rapping, but vocalist Nick Brouwer pulls it off amazingly.  All before a sudden gear change into some doomy SABBATH riffs at the end of the song.  This one will stick in the playlist for some time.

For me “Memories” is a straight forward modern Metal song.  Staccato beats and riffs and a gruff screamer vocals.

Caged In Stone” seems to have Euro Power Metal roots, with its acoustic intro mutating into its rumbling metal pace.  But the vocals are something else and show Nick’s rock range, from rock to death growl in one song, and a couple of great guitar solos too.

How to describe “Black Blood”?  it starts off back in (Melo) Death territory, and twist and turns and subverts as it goes.  This is a loud, thrashy, groovy, mad song.  It is the epitome of the TERRADOWN sound, and my vote for song of the album.

The next couple of songs after that masterpiece, “Overlord”  in particular suffer a bit from following such a strong and diverse song, by being a perfectly good song, but a bit of an anti-climax.  Even with its riffs nick from HELLOWEEN,  “Reburied” which is actually an interesting Power Metal / Death Metal mix, comes across as safe.  Which it isn’t.

From The Skies” and “Into The Devils Lair” are my least favorite tunes on the album.  Although they give us further glimpses of their patented Groovy Melo Death, but both just slightly miss the mark for me, and unfortunately give the album a weaker end than it could have had.

That said, this was a very fine, and different album.  It could of benefited from a slightly different track order and perhaps loose one or two songs, and this would have been a classic.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Statement
2. Volition
3. Break Your Chains
4. Memories
5. Caged In Stone
6. Black Blood
7. Overlord
8. Reburied
9. From The Skies
10. Into The Devils Lair
Lineup:
Nick Brouwer  – Vocals
Jasper Verhorst – Lead guitar
Mark Link – Rhythm guitar
Joris Koenraadt – Bass
Dimmy Marcelissen  - Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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