TERRORIZER — Caustic Attack

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TERRORIZER - Caustic Attack cover
4.62 | 3 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2018

Filed under Deathgrind
By TERRORIZER

Tracklist

1. Turbulence (1:59)
2. Invasion (1:56)
3. Conflict and Despair (2:04)
4. Devastate (3:10)
5. Crisis (4:14)
6. Infiltration (4:58)
7. The Downtrodden (4:12)
8. Trench of Corruption (4:14)
9. Sharp Knives (3:05)
10. Failed Assassin (3:17)
11. Caustic Attack (1:01)
12. Poison Gas Tsunami (1:12)
13. Terror Cycles (3:47)
14. Wasteland (4:43)

Total time 43:52

Line-up/Musicians

- Pete Sandoval / Drums
- Sam Molina / Bass, Vocals
- Lee Harrison / Guitars

About this release

The End Records, 12 October 2018

Thanks to Vim Fuego for the addition and adg211288 for the updates

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TERRORIZER CAUSTIC ATTACK reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

UMUR
"Caustic Attack" is the 4th full-length studio album by US death metal/grindcore act Terrorizer. The album was released through The End Records in October 2018. It´s the successor to "Hordes of Zombies" from 2012 and features an almost completely new lineup compared to the lineup who recorded the predecessor. The only remaining member is drummer Pete "Commando" Sandoval. New in the lineup are vocalist/bassist Sam Molina and guitarist Lee Harrison (drummer with Florida death metal act Monstrosity).

It´s seldom an album title describes the music on an album as well as "Caustic Attack" does, but the album title promises exactly what Terrorizer deliver on the album. A vicious caustic deathgrind attack. Sandoval has a powerful and distinct sounding drumming style, which drives the music forward in an aggressive and technically well played fashion. The riffs are played with razor sharp precision but not without a human touch, and the growling vocals suit the music well. The latter do become a little one-dimensional about half way through the album, and a little more variation in that department could have made the album even more entertaining, but it´s not a major issue.

Some sections have an old school Morbid Angel feel to them, but this is not an album that otherwise sounds like Sandoval´s former band. Terrorizer already early on carved a niché of their own by incorporating grindcore, hardcore, and crust punk elements to their death metal sound, and those influences are still heard on occasion on "Caustic Attack", and adds to the fact that the album is relatively varied (considering the core style). The material on the 14 track, 43:52 minutes long album are also pretty catchy and several of the tracks feature hook laden vocal phrases to growl along to. So while this is undeniably really extreme music, there is actually a good deal of memorable moments on the album (an example is the heavy opening section of "Crisis"), and that´s not necessarily something you encounter very often when listening to deathgrind releases.

"Caustic Attack" features a powerful, raw, and brutal sound, which suits the material perfectly. The drums are especially well produced, and the listener is able to hear each drum stroke clearly throughout the album. Upon conclusion "Caustic Attack" is a high quality deathgrind album. It´s fiercely aggressive, relentlessly brutal, and just reeks class in all departments. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
Vim Fuego
Back in 1989, Terrorizer showed the metal world that grindcore didn’t have to be mired in shoddy D.I.Y. hardcore production and sounds, and could have a metallic sharpness to it. The band has rightly been praised and idolized for their influence on grind and death metal. Lyrically, they straddled the line between the political early grindcore, like Napalm Death and Sore throat, and the gore and horror of early death metal, like Autopsy and Necrophagia. Terrorizer was also famed for the high levels of musicianship demonstrated too, with the Morbid Angel pairing of Pete Sandoval and David Vincent showed that simply abusing the hell out of the kick and snare drums, and distorted blown-out weren’t the only way to play grindcore. Jesse Pintado’s breakneck riffage saw him fit in perfectly to Napalm Death.

For many years, it seemed “World Downfall” would be a one-off, treasured by fans of extreme metal the world over. Until 2006 it was. And then something happened to change history. Terrorizer dared “reform” and record a second album! “Darker Days Ahead” was poorly received, and was somewhat overshadowed by Pintado dying only days after it’s release. Another album “Hordes of Zombies” was released in 2012, and a fourth album, “Caustic Attack”, arrived in 2018. The three 21st century albums have been criticised for ruining the legacy of the band, and are supposedly pale imitations of the ’89 original.

The observant reader out there might have noticed the word “reform” was in “quotation marks”. It was like that for a “reason”. The criticism levelled at the “reformed” Terrorizer, and the three subsequent “albums” really is moronic. It is proof that those voicing these criticisms are elitist fools of the highest level, and have no idea of the true legacy of Terrorizer. A bold claim? Perhaps. But then, consider this:

TERRORIZER BROKE UP IN 1988.

Yep. There was no such band as Terrorizer in 1989 when “World Downfall” was released. What’s more, some of the songs on “World Downfall” weren’t even Terrorizer songs. Explanation time.

After Terrorizer broke up, Sandoval joined Morbid Angel, and vocalist Oscar Garcia continued to work with his other band Nausea. Bass player Alfred Estrada ended up in jail. Enter one Shane Embury. Napalm Death’s four string grind maestro Embury loved Terrorizer’s demos and the split they had shared with the aforementioned Nausea. He pestered Earache Record’s main man Dig Pearson into funding a posthumous Terrorizer album. And the rest is history? Well, not quite. There was the matter of recording the album.

Sandoval was ensconced in Morrisound Studios in Florida, busy recording Morbid Angel’s incendiary debut “Altars of Madness”. Garcia and Pintado arrived at the studios to put the album together. Busting Estrada out of jail was a bit beyond the resources of the band, so Sandoval’s band mate Vincent was pulled in to cover bass and some vocal duties. Right so time to rip into it? Er, not quite… Garcia had also played guitar in the original Terrorizer, but realised he couldn’t remember how to play most of the songs. No matter, Pintado had that covered. And away we go… almost. There weren’t actually enough Terrorizer songs to fill an album. What to do? Well, why not borrow some Nausea songs. So they did. Eight hours in the studio, with Vincent and Scott Burns twiddling the knobs in the studio, and “World Downfall” and Terrorizer were done.

So, a band which no longer existed recorded a single album of songs that weren’t even all theirs in super quick time, and what happened? Well, basically everyone fucked off to their respective new gigs, “World Downfall” hit the shelves, and extreme metal fans went mad for it.

So, back to the present day. 29 years after the band’s debut, a fourth Terrorizer album has arrived. There will be the usual naysayers and elitists going on about how it won’t be as good as the original, and that present day Terrorizer isn’t Terrorizer, that it’s a cash-in, a rip-off, a fake, or whatever else. Let them fester in their smug elitist stink. Anyone who takes the time to actually listen to “Caustic Attack” will be rewarded with what Terrorizer has always produced – sharp, intelligent metallic grindcore which is both thought provoking and fun at the same time.

The biggest difference between “Caustic Attack” and “World Downfall” is the improvement in production and sound quality. While “World Downfall” set new standards for grindcore clarity, “Caustic Attack” is sharper still.

Sandoval’s performance in particular is stunning. He has more room to explore looser high speed rhythms than he did in Morbid Angel. Three decades have not dulled the man’s skills in the slightest. From the first moments of lead-off track “Turbulence” he’s straight into his trademark machinegun double kick drums and rattling the snare like a man possessed. What is also instantly obvious is that the trademark Terrorizer riffs are there in bucketloads, and that the new line-up of Sandoval, bassist/vocalist Sam Molina and guitarist Lee Harrison are a match of any previous line-up of the band.

In the past, Terrorizer has mainly produced on short songs, with only a few making it past the three minute mark. Hell, the legendary “Dead Shall Rise” only just clocked past that mark at 3:05. This time out, there are a few longer songs. Does it mean the band has slowed down at all? Nah, you definitely haven’t been paying attention. Five songs come in over four minutes long. This is not a bad thing at all. It just means there’s more Terrorizer to savour. “Crisis” is the first of the longer tracks, but it doesn’t seem like it.

That’s not to say that the hardcore blasts of the past have disappeared either. The title track and “Poison Gas Tsunami” are sharp and, well, caustic and leave the listener salivating for more.

There’s nothing groundbreaking or new on offer here. That is not why you listen to Terrorizer, because the band broke that ground already, in 1989. This is simply the fourth installment from a highly influential band which never managed to record an album in it’s original incarnation. Anyone unable to get past that is a fool to themselves. Extreme metal, grindcore, deathgrind, or whatever other label you want to slap on this band, simply doesn’t get much better than this.

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