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Terror Always The Hard Way

Terror - Always The Hard Way
01. All For Revenge
02. Strike You Down
03. Survival Comes Crashing In
04. Always The Hard Way
05. Lost
06. Last Of The Diehards
07. So Close To Defeat
08. Test My Convictions
09. Hell To Pay
10. One Step Behind
11. You Can't Break Me
12. Dibbs And Murs Check In
13. Hardship Belongs To Me
14. Smash Through You
2006 Trustkill Records

Reviewed by: Cory   //   Published: 8/2/2006

Terror began 4 years ago as the collaboration of hardcore legend Scott Vogel and guitarist Todd Jones, then fresh off of success with short-lived but much-loved straight edge band Carry On. Before they even released their debut they were one of the most popular hardcore acts around and both that record and its follow-up, One With The Underdogs, are contemporary hardcore classics. Right after recording One With The Underdogs however, Jones left the group to focus on Internal Affairs and Betrayed, while Vogel carried on with original members Doug Weber and Nick Jett, adding Jonathan Buske (The Promise, Another Victim) and Frank "3Gun" Novinec (Ringworm, Integrity, Hatebreed) to the fold. [Note: Novinec has since departed the band to focus on Hatebreed, being replaced by Martin Stewart of Donnybrook.] While these guys are certainly worthy additions to any band, Terror just isn't quite the same without Jones and this record is the proof.

This time around, the recording was handled by Hatebreed/Icepick collaborator Zeuss and it definitely sounds the part. Everything about this record is huge, polished and tidy. To be honest, it sounds an awful lot like a Hatebreed record. Is it a bad thing Not necessarily. Hatebreed are a good hardcore band who have established a signature sound. Terror were on their way to similar status but this record just doesn't seem to be a step in the right direction. Many of the guitar lines don't seem out of place, but some of the arrangements and the overall aesthetic of the disc just leave a bad taste in my mouth. Always The Hard Way isn't a bad record by any means, but it seems that a series of concessions and changes have taken place over the last two years or so that have transformed Terror from a standout hardcore band into a less inspired imitator with "better" production values. I'd personally take the sound of either of the first two releases over this one any day.

It seems like Scott Vogel and company may have anticipated this reaction to Always The Hard Way, as they have intentionally recreated the formula of One With The Underdogs almost exactly, as if to curb criticism of its differences. This time around Eddie Sutton from Leeway and Aaron Knuckles from Death Threat are the hardcore heavyweights brought in to do guest vocal duty instead of Jamey Jasta, Lord Ezec and Freddy Madball. Hardcore kid turned turntablist Mr. Dibbs and LA rapper Murs provide the hip-hop flavor previously supplied by Rakaa Iriscience of the Dilated Peoples. This time around though, these touches just don't supply the same charm. Eddie Sutton's appearance is nice and makes a lot of sense considering Vogel's worship of Leeway, but Aaron's vocals don't really do a lot for me. As far as Dibbs and Murs are concerned, their portion of the disc is nothing short of a fiasco. It's not a guest appearance or a shout-out, it's a full rap song. None of the members of Terror rap on the track and Dibbs' involvement suggests that they weren't responsible for the track's beat either. Why is it there then The world may never know.

Bottom Line: If you're a fan of Terror this record probably won't do much to change that. Scott Vogel still supplies all the attitude and energy fans have come to expect, the band just isn't quite doing their part. This record is either a reminder of Jones' importance to the band's success or an example of an established band going through the motions knowing full well that this release will sell just as well as the last. I can't say for sure what's wrong with this record, but I can say for sure that it just isn't as good as their previous releases.

anonymous   posted 6/5/2008 5:22:04 PM
Trust me after hearing their new album, "The Damned The Shamed", You'll appreciate this album a whole lot more...Trust me, their new album is horrible
james_   posted 3/13/2008 10:56:35 PM
i'm just gonna say this cause i always wanted to but this sounds nothing like hatebreed at all. at all. i don't even think cory really listened to it.
FICKLExFUCKER_   posted 3/1/2007 3:24:03 PM
I disagree with this review. Always The Hard Way is a great album. Scott Vogel (sound wise) is much more pissed off and has much more to be pissed off about. But "Smash Through You" seems to be out of place because it is very "self hating". not common with HC.
xBBBx_   posted 1/12/2007 12:24:35 PM
Terror is and will always be HARDCORE
no matter what.
throwbreedengage_   posted 12/17/2006 10:10:53 PM
old shits better, theres a difference from being a hardcore band and have rap song about hardcore. since when did wiggers f*ck up hardcore!

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