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Terror - Always the Hard Way Review

by Hobo

So I walked into JB-Hi Fi the other day, scouring the shelves for the last couple of decent CDs the store offers when I came across Terror's Always the Hard Way. Strange… I thought. Released by Trustkill in 2006? I haven't heard any buzz about a new album. As one of my favourite hardcore crossover albums is Terror's debut (Lowest of the Low), I naturally picked it up without question.

But then another thought flashed into my head. Remembering their sophomore release, One With the Underdogs I began to wonder what direction the new material headed in. For me, OWTU lacked the balance of its predecessor. The formula had become dangerously close to generic metalcore - thrashy verse, shout-along grooving chorus, thrash very, chorus, slow down meaty breakdown - hey! We got us a song!

The lyrics and the exorcism of anger came second to the meatheaded mallcore kid friendly headbanging breakdowns. Sure, it still was intense, but the riffs started losing their edge and their originality. There were no surprises - the songs were fairly solid, but all in all it was a fairly standard hardcore album. It could not come close to their debut - all the gang vocals, the production values and all the catchy grooves could not match the power of LOTL. It was as though Terror were trying to appeal metalcore loving, s***-eating fans out there.

Before I had a chance to listen to the album, I checked out the booklet. That is some amazing f**kin' artwork man. Great classical style art depicting battles, wars and general violence - a croc fighting a lion fighting some men fighting a serpent fighting a wolf fighting an evil hippo? And all in the style of Michelangelo? Absolutely awesome.

Then I get to my stereo. Bleh. I do not like what meets my ears. The production to start with - the guitars have lost a bit of their meat and their clarity. There's no razor edge to the guitar chops. The kick drum is a f**king irritating weak click instead of the pummelling natural-sounding double bass in the previous releases, coupled with an old school Boston HC style snare. And the vocals - way, way too overproduced.

A review tells me the album was produced by Zeuss, who has led his name to the abominations of later era Hatebreed (bores the f**king s*** out of me, I'll only listen to the debut) and Throwndown (the epitome of s***ty dumbed down meathead metalcore). While my initial fears of Terror becoming a generic chugga band weren't realised, the album nonetheless, sucks. The riffs are even more unimpressive than those on the last album. The vocals have lost their edge and the drums have lost their power. The lyrics are, well what you'd expect - the same old same old.

I read a few reviews and I was astounded that other reviews actually applaud this album. This is another calculated cash-in on the metalcore movement - dumbing things down, toning down the aggression, lowering the intensity, overusing gang vocals and angsty lyrics. For all I care this could be the new f**king Hatebreed release. It's all phoned it - the passion, the battering intensity and the love of hardcore punk rock isn't there.

Terror began their career as a powerful crossover act with an extreme level of aggressiveness and intensity and more importantly, with the hardcore legacy of Sick of It All and Madball in the back of their skulls. Like Hatebreed they have become a terrible caricature of what they once were. Sure guys, you're making a bit more cash, you're booking bigger venues - but at the end of the day you will never again write an album such as your debut. Peaking on your debut? Not good guys. Look at Sick of it All - still churning out some of the best material of their career.

You can keep your new Terror b/s. I'll get back to some real f**king hardcore; Sick of it All, Mindsnare, Bane, Converge, Toe to Toe, Asschapel, Madball, Blood for Blood, Ramallah, Dillinger Escape Plan, Ringworm, Watchmaker, Throwdown (AUS) and Agnostic Front. And yes f**kwits I realise many of those bands are crossover, post-hardcore or otherwise drawing from influences outside of punk - what do you think I am, stupid?… don't answer that - and don't buy this album. I won't even bother mentioning the stupid hip-hop interlude.

CD Info and Links

Terror - Always the Hard Way

Label:Trustkill (Hardcorekill?)

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What do you think ?:

Posted by Hobo:
I like gang vocals, but theyre a bit lame when overused. With Terror I love LOTL and dont mind OWTUD - but this new one sucks. Ive only heard Another Voice once, but I liked it. Have you heard Bane's The Note? Thats another awesome album. More old school hardcore, some great riffs and great lyrics.

Posted by Deinonychus:
I like Terror and Hatebreed, too. Even the new versions of them :). Haven´t heard the new Terror yet.
Bands you ´ve mentioned - yes, like most of them, but why do you all hate the massive "gang vocals" ? I like it, it´s one of hardcore great features, and not many bands are doing this now :)
BTW, I don´t like the last AF release Another Voice - man, they sound like Hatebreed, don´t they ? Maybe because Jasta´s production, who knows ?

Posted by Hobo:
Uhh... Billy.

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Posted by yaasel:

Posted by yaasel:

Posted by yaasel:

Posted by dsafsfd:

Posted by Hobo:
Buy their debut.

Posted by dsafsfd:


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