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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Throwdown

Vendetta

Review by Mike Korn

Throwdown play forceful, angry music that is quite basic on the surface, but which makes tremendous impact due to the conviction behind it. These guys realize that it is heart and conviction that make a hardcore band truly outstanding. Those qualities seem to be lacking in today's new flood of metalcore acts, which seem to be obsessed with technicality. Throwdown is kind of a link to the genre's past, when hardcore burst out of New York and California with bare-knuckled fury and the honesty of the streets.

Hatebreed is an easy comparison to make, but Throwdown vary the pace a bit more than Jamey Jasta's thuggish crew. There's a bit more variation here than first meets the eye and it helps to make Vendetta more memorable. Also helping is the raging energy in Dave Peters' raw vocals. This guy sounds like he means it and puts a chest-beating anger into his vocal delivery that calls to mind Rollins and Anselmo at their best. In fact, it's not too far off the mark to say Throwdown is like the bastard child of Pantera and Black Flag, with a generous helping of Hatebreed thrown in.

It is not sophisticated stuff and I don't think it will push the likes of Nevermore or Slough Feg out of the top spot for me, but for pit-inducing mayhem that makes you feel like breaking something, "Vendetta" will do the trick just fine.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
We Will Rise
Exploding out of the speakers with almost death metal intensity, this really gets the blood running hot with some killer mid-paced chugging. Peters' ragged vocals make their impact felt early. It's a perfect song to ignite a circle pit!

Speak The Truth
There's an awkward feel to the opening chords of this fast paced track that is actually quite cool. This is another fist to the gut, which picks up the pace really well in the mid-section before a brutal breakdown hits.

Vendetta
There's a lot of the old-school NYHC feel to this power-packed cruncher. "You cannot kill what will not die!" roars Peters, adding "This is war, this is your vendetta!"

Burn
This is the album's first single and has a more modern sound to it. I can hear more of the Pantera influence in the staccato riffs that propel the track. The vocals here come in a breathless barrage, leading to some monotony. I personally would have made "We Will Rise" or "Speak the Truth" the single.
Discipline
Great tribal drumming and a killer slow riff packed with power get this off to a good start before the cut switches to a kind of "rubbery" sounding guitar bounce. Peters sounds really Anselmo-like on this one.
To Live Is To Sacrifice
Wow, what a kick in the head! This opens like the band wants to start a war but soon turns into a more mid-tempo Hatebreed-style stomp. It slows down even further in the second half. This is a really crushing tune!
Give My Life
This cut opens with an almost funky feel to it and then mixes that with straight up speedy hardcore. It also features one of the album's rare guitar solos.
The World Behind
Here's another cut highly reminiscent of the old NYHC scene. This will please the diehards who remember when Agnostic Front, Sick Of It All and Crumbsuckers ruled the roost, but I think it might have gone on too long.

Shut You Down
More catchy Hatebreed-style chugging rifferama is on display here. It's on the forgettable side.
Annihilation (N.W.D.)
This is the heaviest track on the disc. More excellent, powerful drumming provides a rock solid base for this slow cruncher that has a "stalking" feel to it. Dave Peters again sounds uncannily like Phil Anselmo as he unleashes incredibly angry and raw vocal bellowing. "New World Disorder/Fight for Me and My Holy War/New World Disorder/The Antichrist I Kneel Before".
This Is Where It Ends
This brief cut ends the album with a violent hardcore blast, hearkening back to the primal punk past and the roots of Throwdown. This is hardcore at its visceral best.

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