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Terrorizer | Darker Days Ahead | review | metal | Lollipop


Darker Days Ahead (Century Media)
by Tim Den

If this review had been written earlier, it would've had a completely different tone. As most metal fans know, Terrorizer/ex-Napalm Death guitarist Jesse Pintado passed away in a Holland hospital at the end of August, just a few days after Darker Days Ahead was released. The band's first album in 17 years was highly anticipated, but Pintado would never get to bask in the buzz. So where does this leave "critics" like myself? Should I praise Darker Days Ahead for being the last recorded material to feature Pintado? Or should I ignore the man's untimely death and be brutally honest?

Listening to this album several times, I tried to find an appropriate way to tackle the review. In the end, I realized that there was just no pussy-footin' around the truth: Darker Days Ahead is not what should've been Pintado's last work. Though it features semi-original drummer Pete Sandoval (of Morbid Angel fame, duh), the new members and the album's lackluster composition have failed to come up with a worthy follow-up to the legendary World Downfall. For starters, new vocalist Anthony Rezhawk does a poor job replacing Oscar Garcia (who, although not an outstanding vocalist, at least sounded like he put forth an effort). He's monotonous and emotionless, seemingly reciting the lyric sheet in his barely-rough voice. It's bad enough when the only other original member besides Pintado isn't involved in this "reunion," but to have the new guy be so flatline? Blasphemous.

Secondly, Darker Days Ahead can barely qualify as a "new album." "Crematorium," "Fallout," "Mayhem," and "Nightmare" are all ancient Terrorizer songs that never made it past the demo stages, and considering that World Downfall had 16 songs, you'd think that the ones that didn't make the cut would be pretty crappy, no? Well, apparently Terrorizer 2006 thought these leftovers good enough for a comeback album. Guess what, they're not. Additionally, the new songs sound interchangeable, this is possibly the worst drum production ever (listen to those toms! They sound like toys!), and the guitarists often fall behind the blast beats, and now you've got a record that would be laughed at if it came from a brand new band. But because it bears the name Terrorizer, it's supposed to be revered?

I know it sound harsh, but to face the fact that this is what Pintado's last will and testament is - not "I Abstain," Lock Up, or "Fear of Napalm" quality grindcore - makes me sad. The man was a pillar of excellent throughout his career, he deserved to go out on a higher note.


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