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.