No airs, no graces, no gods, no masters; this is hitting hard, beating down, aggressive music. Armed with their seventh studio album, Total Retaliation (Nuclear Blast/Pure Noise) and bucket load of muscle and testosterone to palm-mute chug into your face, LA five-piece Terror, bastions of traditional Tough-guy Hardcore, bring the chants, the slams, the pit-anthems and the attack in their own inimitable and unmistakable approach.
Setting their stall out from the first riff of the first track, as is their wont and their way, ‘This World Never Wanted Me’ is openly defiant and challenging lyrically, celebrating in being outside of mainstream acceptance while laying down a mid-tempo slab of a marker that states this album will be gnarled and is going to punch you in the ear – repeatedly – before Terror begins a welcome and exuberant run through the full gamut of HC tropes across the albums thirteen track, twenty-eight minute run time.
Terror know their power lies in, well, power, and their preference for simplicity and effectiveness trumps any other attribute. Highly skilled and the best in the world at what they do, the title track is a sub-two minute crossover Thrash explosion, with Scott Vogel snarling over chainsaw riffage. ‘Get Off My Back’ sets free Chris Linkovich’s rolling bass that segues into a Biohazard bounce via a huge gang-chant, while ‘One More Enemy’ sees matters back in the mid-paced stomp territory with a chant-and-riff combo that serves as a vicious right-hook. There’s even time for Vinnie Paz to drop a highly effective break and segue with the urban Hip-Hop trip of a ‘Post Armageddon Interlude’ halfway through before ‘Spirit of Sacrifice’ brings the Madball crunch.
I’m not sure if it is plagiarism to rip off or paraphrase yourself, but not so long ago I opined that Motörhead didn’t do bad albums, only good ones and great ones, and that is an abstract that applies to Terror. Not only do you know what you’re going to get before you even hit play, you also know that a prerequisite level of quality will apply, for the Californian bruisers know only one way – the Hard(core) Way – and it is a style they are renowned for maintaining and upkeeping in its simplest and truest form. Total Retaliation may not be their defining moment, but it is a riot in a can, and a whole lot of belligerent fun.