Artist: Terrorizer

Title: Hordes Of Zombies

Type: Album

Label: Season Of Mist Records

As with any outfit that released an album that was arguably a defining moment in a metal genre and then released nothing else the question begs as to whether said band really needs to release any thing else at all. Terrorizer fit this description perfectly when they released “World Downfall”, an album that has been used as a template for many grindcore acts of the US style inclination many times with recent additions being Insect Warfare and Wormrot. Those of us old enough to have been around when said album was released were totally and utterly gobsmacked at the sheer violence and ferocity the album possessed. When “Darker Days Ahead” was released with a different vocalist I quickly ordered my vinyl copy and slapped it on the turntable and awaited “World Downfall Part 2 or The Return, etc” to come blasting forth from my speakers with the same dirty sound that had David Vincent on bass knocking shit out of said speakers, Pete Sandoval clean stripping varnish, Oscar growling in your face and the late Jesse Pintado hacking and slicing at various extremities of the body on the said seminal album from 1989. Alas “Darker Days Ahead” was disappointing on that front and came across as a solid death metal and grind album that lacked ferocity but not playing ability.

Some six years later and third album “Hordes Of Zombies” has arrived with Katina Culture having a tough job in following the awesome Jesse on guitar and with the same shouter, Anthony, still bellowing the lining of his lungs off. Again this is in no way a return to 1989 being more aggressive than “Darker Days Ahead”. After the obligatory horror style intro the title track blazes in with a riff not too far off proper Slayer. The vocals are terrifying guttural and follow the same one liner then pause style. Once you get the fact that you’re never going to get “World Downfall Part 2” this is a violent death and grind album that will give the new Cannibal Corpse album, “Tortured” a good run this year. A short stabbing ferocious riff greets you on “Ignorance And Apathy” alongside a furious grind beat, an attribute that is closely followed on all grind albums. If this album had been released under a different band name or by some new upcoming band this would rank extremely highly on all fronts, but cynical press people have to take in all considerations and rate it based on the Terrorizer moniker.

Be that as it may this is a savage album make no mistake. Tunes like “Subterfuge”, “Radiation Syndrome” and “Flesh To Rot” are devastating, pure and simple. As with the latest Lock Up album criticism is always going to be high for bands that have a reputation to live up to but in reality this is a damn good album no matter what. “Prospect Of Oblivion” is relentless on the blast beat front, whereas “Malevolent Ghosts” focuses on beating the crap out of you with massive double kick and has a really tuneful quality about it; honest. “Forward To Annihilation” has a short intro before launching into a great riff that is heavy in a dense sense not fast, which is why this is a death and grind album in the same way that a band like French nutters Benighted are. Closing duo are “State Of Mind” and “A Dying Breed” the former of which keeps to the death metal side of riffing whereas the latter is immensely speedy and very close to what you would want in terms of grind. I have absolutely no doubt that this is likely to be viewed cynically by the music press which would be criminal when you have such a brilliant display of death and grind no matter whose name is behind it. Take my word for it, it’s a damn good album and you’d be a fool not to check it out.

(8.5/10 Martin Harris)