Review by Jeff Maki
Terror has been flying the flag of hardcore since its inception in 2002. Just a five-minute sit-down with vocalist Scott Vogel will have you well educated in the genre’s early history and schooled in its most influential bands. The band has never quite “made it” nor do I think that was ever its intention—it just continues to hang around, releasing six studio albums, EPs, splits, touring, doing photo shoots solely at locations with concrete and asphalt, and so forth. You know, things that hardcore bands do. “Total Retaliation” is the band’s first new material since 2017’s “The Walls Will Fall” EP.
“Total Retaliation” is exactly what you would expect from Terror. It’s a straight-to-the-point, 30 minutes of metallic hardcore. I feel like I’ve said this before when writing about Terror, but the band is at its best and most intense when it slows things up, breaking down to its metallic crunch, spotlighting Vogel’s violent scream to rally the troops to whatever it is we are rallying against.
With all the subgenres of “core” that have formed over the past two decades, Terror has remained rooted and stayed true to the early ’90s era. It’s more Sick of It All or Madball than the newer, modern breed of “hardcore” bands (which I feel are really metal just labeled as hardcore anyway).
“Total Retaliation” isn’t going to break any new ground for hardcore and as a whole is a by-the-books type of album; it’s one you will enjoy the heck out of on first listen, even if you feel like you’ve heard it all before.
Standout tracks: “Mental Demolition,” “Break the Lock,” “In Spite of These Times”
Pure Noise Records
September 28, 2018