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World Downfall

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  • Napalm Death and Bolt Thrower are often credited for being grindcore’s godfathers, but Terrorizer were every bit as responsible for making and popularizing this type of music. In other words, if Napalm Death (who debuted in 1987) and Bolt Thrower (1988) planted grindcore’s seeds, then Terrorizer watered them and helped them to grow and prosper. Thus, all three bands were at the root of grindcore’s creation.

    And Terrorizer were not only one of grindcore’s first bands, they were also one of the first extreme metal supergroups. Two out of the four band members, bassist/vocalist David Vincent and drummer Pete Sandoval, would later become famous for their involvement in Morbid Angel, and guitarist Jesse Pintando was apart of Napalm Death.

    All metalheads need to know the following two words: “World Downfall.” This is the title of Terrorizer’s first–and so far only–studio album (which was released in 1989). This disc is widely thought of as being immensely influential in the grindcore genre. In fact, it has got to be one of the most important metal albums in the history of extreme music. Terrorizer were, after all, the first American band to fuse thrash with death metal.

    “World Downfall” kind of sounds like Napalm Death, circa 1987 (the “Scum” era), except these songs are longer and David’s vocals are much more constipated. This record is one long, ultra-intense, giga-heavy, super fast maelstrom composed of walls of crushing guitar noise and constant, speed of light blast beats. It is so full of scorching riffs and walloping blast beats, one can’t help but wonder if Jesse’s fret board is smoking and Pete’s bass drum is in splinters by the time the first song is done playing.

    Jesse and Pete are incredibly nimble and skilled musicians. They never fall behind or get lost in the mix, and they both play an equal part in driving the songs’ rhythms.

    None of the songs ever cop into any kind of melody or slow tempos. Thus, when the album is over, about all the listener remembers is one long blur. But, if you listen closely, there are a few standout tracks here. “After World Obliteration” is the album opener, and since it is an onslaught of blindingly fast riffs and pounding bass drums, it sets the pace well for the rest of the songs to follow. Later, “Fear Of Napalm” is a fiery, churning steamroller, and “Corporation Pull-In” is backed by careening guitars and insane drumming. The last really memorable song is track seven, “Condemned System.” Pete really gets to show off his talents, here (he goes berserk on his trapkit and creates an all-over-the-place, jackhammer rhythm.)

    If you’re just getting into Terrorizer (in 2006), you might not understand what the big deal is about, since there are louder bands out there nowadays. But bare in mind that “World Downfall” came before all of those bands. (Without this album, there would be virtually no grindcore as we know it, today.) So, if you’ve given this disc a couple of listens and you still (for whatever reason) don’t get anything out of it, you should still give Terrorizer credit for being so influential. And if you’re a Napalm Death, Morbid Angel, or extreme metal aficionado, there is almost no C.D. you need to buy more than this one.

    Posted on March 4, 2010