TERRORIZER — World Downfall

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TERRORIZER - World Downfall cover
3.59 | 15 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 1989

Filed under Deathgrind


1. After World Obliteration (3:29)
2. Storm of Stress (1:27)
3. Fear of Napalm (3:01)
4. Human Prey (2:08)
5. Corporation Pull-In (2:21)
6. Strategic Warheads (1:38)
7. Condemned System (1:22)
8. Resurrection (2:58)
9. Enslaved by Propaganda (2:14)
10. Need to Live (1:17)
11. Ripped to Shreds (2:52)
12. Injustice (1:28)
13. Whirlwind Struggle (2:16)
14. Infestation (1:55)
15. Dead Shall Rise (3:05)
16. World Downfall (2:36)

Total Time: 36:13


- Oscar Garcia / Vocals
- Jesse Pintado / Guitar
- David Vincent / Bass
- Pete Sandoval / Drums

About this release

Full-length, Earache Records, November 13th, 1989

Thanks to UMUR for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
Emerging from the cesspools of 80s extreme metal, the Los Angeles based TERRORIZER were one of those bands that took the logical next step by incorporating the grindcore fusion of heavy metal and hardcore punk and added even more extreme death metal elements to the mix. The band had a short first run having only been around from 1986-89 and squeaked out only one album WORLD DOWNFALL which was only released by Earache records after the band had already called it quits.

The band’s short history was more of a brief gathering rather than a long term band project and had this debut album not become an underground classic, the band would probably never had reformed in 2005 and then again in 2009 to release several newer albums. While TERRORIZER had a short time when they played live, they benefited substantially from the late 80s underground cassette trading world that was catapulting extreme metal bands into the next stage of popularity.

Founded as the trio of vocalist Oscar Garcia, guitarist Jesse Pintado and drummer Pete Sandoval, the band picked up Alfred Estrada who was replaced by David Vincent on bass before recording WORLD DOWNFALL at the request of Earache Records who saw the band’s potential in the burgeoning underground grindcore metal world. With the cover art and overall sound clearly borrow from Napalm Death’s album “Scum,” TERRORIZER simply took the music to the next level of extremity with heavier distortion, faster tempos and death metal growls and blastbeats.

While not quite sticking to the micro song standards of less than one minute in length tracks, the sixteen tracks still retain a rather hardcore punk attitude with tracks ranging from over a minute to no more than three and a half. While other bands like Nuclear Death, Azagthoth and DNF had experimented with the fusion of death metal and grindcore earlier, it was TERRORIZER along with the Chicago based Macabre that really brought the new deathcore subgenre to the forefront of the late 80s diversification of extreme metal.

Despite not being the first to craft the deathcore fusionary possibilities, TERRORIZER is often credited as having done so. WORLD DOWNFALL pretty much follows the standard grindcore characteristics of Napalm Death and early Carcass that borrowed crust punk compositional styles augmented with more extreme metal bombast. This is one of those cases where the classic status has somehow tried to make this album into one of those magnificent albums of the ages but i stand with those who find this album a bit tedious and overrated.

Firstly, TERRORIZER was NOT the first to adopt this style of death metal / grindcore hybrid and the delivery of the album comes across as extremely monotonous. The band clearly added the more ambitious instrumental prowess to carry across their ability to play the music on a higher technical level with blitzkrieg deliveries of extremity and aggression, however where WORLD DOWNFALL is severely lacking is in the compositional department as all the tracks whizz by sounding like only slight variations of what came before ( a trait that plagues many “core” albums).

For the most part the riffs are identical, the percussive bombast doesn’t deviate too much from the status quo and the grooves, once established, pretty much deliver the exact same semi-melodic output for the entire album’s run. In fact i can’t think of a single thing that this album brought to the metal table that hadn’t already been done before. While WORLD DOWNFALL has gained the reputation as one of the great extreme metal albums of the 80s, i find it rather monotonous and uninspired which apparently the band members themselves agreed as they would all jump ship soon. David Vincent and Pete Sandoval soon joined Morbid Angel. Jesse Pintado moved on to Napalm Death and Oscar Garcia to Nausea. Good but not great.
Vim Fuego
'World Downfall' is one of those albums often namedropped by extreme metal fans to grab a little kudos among their peers, and so they should. While the original line-up of Terrorizer only recorded the single album, it is still held in high stead because of the sheer quality of it.

Before 'World Downfall', grindcore as a genre was often dismissed as noise because it was often poorly executed, and always badly produced. The old formula was to take one or two riffs, a fairly simple bass line, a straightforward drum rhythm and politically charged lyrics, and basically smash out a song without any concern for the conventions of music. Terrorizer's secret of success was the band members could actually play their instruments. While still played at breakneck speed, the songs were longer, more complex, and held their instrumental definition better than most grind of the time.

There is still little room for subtlety. Blast beats abound, the lyrics pull no punches, and the shout-along choruses (if you're quick enough to spot them) are utterly bestial. At its time of release, the speed of the music on this album was almost unheard of, with only a few bands, like Napalm Death, Carcass, and Extreme Noise Terror doing anything which even came close. Unlike those bands, Terrorizer was an incredibly tight unit, and didn't need to rely on high velocity to cover any shortcomings in musicianship.

Terrorizer was a bit of a grindcore supergroup. Drummer Pete "Commando" Sandoval and bass player/vocalist David Vincent both played with Morbid Angel, while guitarist Jesse Pintado later joined Napalm Death.

This album can seem like a cyclonic blur from start to finish on first listen, with almost every track of the same consistency, but that's not to say they all sound the same. Standing head and decomposing shoulders above the rest of the album though is the legendary "Dead Shall Rise".

If you're a fan of grind, or of all things brutal, you NEED this album.
World Expectation Downfall

In every genre of there are a few almost entirely undisputed classic albums. In traditional heavy metal it's Iron Maiden's The Number of the Beast. In progressive rock it's Close to the Edge by Yes. The list goes on and on... But every now and again you'll stumble upon a "classic" that makes you scratch your head in complete bewilderment. World Downfall by Terrorizer is an album that made me do precisely that. Often considered a legendary and immortal classic, World Downfall has been a disappointment since the first time I've heard it. I bought this album not because I'm a huge fan of early grindcore, but more so because I am a pretty big Morbid Angel fan. Seeing that this album contains Pete Sandoval on drums and David Vincent on bass (both of Morbid Angel), it was only a matter of time before I snatched it up. What I found was not the masterpiece I'd heard so much about, but a sloppy, unprofessional, and noisy album graced my CD player instead. Needless to say, I was pretty disappointed.

From the very beginning, I want to advise everybody to NOT purchase this album for the same reason I did. If you are expecting something in the vein of Morbid Angel, you will be sorely disappointed. What we have here is not a well-thought out death metal album, but a raw and primitive early grindcore release. Expect something in the vein of early Napalm Death (another band I'm not a fan of), but with some more death metal influences mainly in the vocals. If you like early grindcore this should be right up your alley (and already in your collection), but I'm not sure that this will impress all death metal fans such as myself. This is simply too noisy, simple, and trivial for my tastes.

World Downfall is a 16-track, 36:13 album. As you can probably tell, the album itself is short, and the songs are short as well. I'm very happy about the former (if the album were much longer, I couldn't sit through it), but the songs have very little attention to detail and songwriting. It sounds to me like they were all written on the fly, without ever making any improvements or changes. None of the songs are distinguishable from each other, and by the end of the album all of the songs sound exactly the same. Don't expect much variation on World Downfall. I honestly can't recall any of the individual tracks after just hearing the album.

The musicianship is a mixed bag. Pete Sandoval's drumming is excellent as always, although he is much sloppier than usual. His usually intricate drum patterns are replaced by "let's play as fast as we can and hope it sounds good!" - a standpoint that usually bothers me. David Vincent's playing is basically inaudible, so we don't have to worry about that. Oscar Garcia's shouted vocals annoy me tremendously, and are really painful to listen to. Jesse Pintado's guitar playing is muddy and sloppy, but I guess that was kind of the intention of this album. He still does a very good job though, despite my lack of interest in Terrorizer's style.

The production is pretty poor IMO. For a 1989 grindcore album it could've been worse, but I'm still not too impressed. The sound is very muddy and just creates a big, often annoying, wall of sound. The production is very raw, with no attention to intricacies whatsoever. Not my cup of tea, to say the least.


World Downfall is a legendary and groundbreaking extreme metal album, but my personal enjoyment level is very low. If you like grindcore, you probably already own this album, but as an outsider from the genre, there's very little for me to enjoy. I'm going to be generous and give a 2 star rating, but I honestly can't understand how this album even comes close to its current status.
World Downfall is the debut full-length studio album by American grindcore/ death metal act Terrorizer. The band features high prolific musicians who would all go on to fame in other extreme metal acts. Terrorizer was a very shortlived act ( active from 1987 - 1989). Bassist David Vincent and drummer Pete Sandoval would continue in Morbid Angel, guitarist Jesse Pointado became a member of Napalm Death and vocalist Oscar Garcia continued his career in Nausea. The album was released by Earache Records in November 1989. The actual recording of the album ( in 1989), which took place after the band had split-up in early 1988, took 8 hours including mixing. World Downfall is widely considered an early grindcore classic.

Those who come to World Downfall expecting something that sounds even remotely like Morbid Angel, because of the presence of two members from that band in the lineup, will be very disappointed. Those who come to World Downfall expecting something that sounds like early Napalm Death and Nausea, will on the other hand get exactly what they came for. The music on the album is old school grindcore which means that there are both blasting grindcore parts and mid-paced parts that are in some ways similar to early death metal. The songs are generally very short and effective as on most grindcore albums ( maybe just a bit longer than your usual under a minute grindcore attacks though). Don´t expect much sophistication or attention to detail, because the songs are very raw and simple. The fact that the album was recorded almost live gives the music a very raw and authentic feel, that I know many people think is great. For an album recorded in 1989 and especially for a grindcore release from those days the production is actually pretty good. Listening with today´s ears the production is flawed though and personally I miss what it is people find so powerful about the sound. I actually think it lacks a bit of punch. The songwriting isn´t very interesting either, and I can find a lot of other grindcore releases that works much better for me.

World Downfall is one of those cases where the classic status of the album overshadows the fact that the album is a bit mediocre. Just because an album was groundbreaking doesn´t mean it should automatically have God-like status IMO. Groundbreaking does not always equal great. I´ll play nice and give a 2.5 - 3 star rating, but honestly I´m not too impressed.

Members reviews

World Downfall is by far my favorite Grindcore album of the 80’s. It’s become really clear to me why most Grindcore doesn’t do it for me while Terrorizer kicks ass.

1. I don’t like silly/humorous music, which a fair portion of Grindcore is. This means lyrically and sonically – Terrorizer is full of hardcore riffs and angry, pessimistic messages that mesh well with the chaotic, manic wall of aggression.

2. Unlike most Punk genres, if you want to play Grindcore, you have to know how to play your instruments… Doing everything as fast as physically possible without having some amazing technique and precision just sounds awful. Terrorizer is full of extreme talent and capability. They nail everything they aim for and always sound precise (save the vocalist… more on that later).

3. If you want to play Grindcore, you need decent production. If you’re just going hard on every instrument as aggressively as possible, and you don’t have some sort of production job that can individualize those instruments, it just sounds like noise. World Downfall has some very good production without compromising the grit or making it sound clean. There is no sheen to it; simply a very good job of making sure every awesome riff is still audible over those pounding drums, and the bass gets some great treatment too.

There is one huge weakness here, else it would be a near perfect grind record. The vocalist.

I know what people say, “you don’t listen to extreme music for the vocals! It’s for the riffs!” Never for a second have I felt that way, and never have I understood it. If vocals are present, they matter, and if lyrics are present, they matter. They are pieces of the art that forms the whole.

The vocalist here doesn’t have a bad sound, and the lyrics are fine. The written lyrics are fine. The words that come out of the vocalist’s mouth hit about 50% of what’s written, 40% of the time shout random words or syllables that are not understandable, and 10% of the time completely skips a verse or chorus and says absolutely nothing. There are no full sentences or lines, at best a few of the words are launched out, sometimes not even in order. It’s like the vocalist had never seen the lyrics before, they just gave him a paper while they jammed and he decided to wing it.

Imagine if any other band member did that with their instrument. The album would sound like absolute crap. Why do vocalists get a pass? Not from me. Really drags down an otherwise top-notch grind album.

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