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Terror - Total Retaliation Award winner

Terror
Total Retaliation
by Katharine Hassett at 28 October 2018, 3:23 PM

One of the longer running hardcore bands, TERROR is an LA-based act formed in 2002 and to date has released seven full length albums, which is impressive for this type of music. Straight outta the roots of hardcore itself (California), Scott Vogel formed the band out of inspiration of growing up around the revolution of this transgressive genre. There can be no doubt they are one of the more successful of their niche, selling over 40,000 copies of "One With The Underdogs" and making number 10 on the Billboard Heatseakers chart with "Always The Hard Way." Recruiting all stars of the genre such as Todd Jones and Nick Jett of CARRY ON, it is no surprise that TERROR had an almost instant cult following in the underground scene and their subsequent impact has been simply profound. The recent albums may not have had the same success as their earlier work, but there is no reason this hard-hitting album can't change that – "Total Retaliation" is a solid return to form that should attract new listeners from the get go.

The 29 minute pummeling opens with a blistering mid tempo groove that echoes throughout on "This World Never Wanted Me," Scott Vogel's gutterals, satisfyingly audible and filled with animosity, provide a fitting opening that fleshes out TERROR's trademark sound. The pace quickens on "Mental Demolition," which features the standard two-steppy hardcore riffage that should get any mosh pit violent. "One More Enemy" is a groovy, hate filled track, with all the head banging riffs and gang shouts to tickle any seasoned listeners fancy. The title track, "Total Retaliation" shows a thrashier side to the five piece, never letting up on the core with skank beats throughout.

The album suddenly takes a different turn with a regrettably laughable gangsta rap interlude that I can imagine anyone within reach of their device will promptly skip. It's understandable that hardcore often crosses over with this genre, gangsta rap is arguably just as a aggressive as heavy metal, but the tone is completely out of place and would likely have better served as a promotional single, not a 1:30 second interlude that effectively kills the entire mood of the album. All of this, of course, is a matter of opinion, and I am sure there are plenty of listeners that would be thrilled to find such a change of pace mid way through the album.

"I Don't Know You" refocuses the album towards more of the anger laden sound that is craved by any fan of the hXc veterans. "Suffer The Edge Of The Lies" is yet another groove filled two stepper that leads into the closing track, "Resistant To The Changes." It is not a stretch to say that it is the most powerful track on the album, riddled with a more positive tone lyrically and in terms of the layered guitar work that provides a full-bodied back drop to the quintets signature sound, ending the album in an abrupt fashion.

"Total Retaliation" is a statement from the hardcore legends that they are not going anywhere anytime soon, and this reviewer and longtime fan is hoping they keep cranking these angst-soaked bruisers out. Their influence is clear and lovers of the hardcore scene and newcomers alike will no doubt replay this album several times.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 9
Production : 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. This World Never Wanted Me
2. Mental Demolition
3. Get Off My Back
4. One More Enemy
5. Break The Lock
6. In Spite of These Times
7. Total Retaliation
8. Post Armageddon Interlude
9. Sprint of Sacrifice
10. I Don't Know You
11. Behind the Bars
12. Suffer the Edge of the Lies
13. Resistant to the Changes
Lineup:
Scott Vogel - Vocals
Nick Jett - Drums
Jordan Posner - Guitar
Martin Stewart - Guitar
David Wood - Bass
Record Label: Victory Records
     


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Edited 20 June 2019
 

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