Following up 1989’s World Downfall, 2006’s Darker Days Ahead (which featured the late and fucking great Jesse Pintado – R.I.P brother) and 2012’s Hordes of Zombies, can Caustic Attack pulverize the Grind world in 2018?
Obviously, this is the first Terrorizer recording in six years and to say it’s a highly anticipated album is somewhat of an understatement. Knowing that the legendary Pete Sandoval is fit, well and back behind a drum kit is something that will make many a metal head smile – it matters little to long-time fans that he’s swapped from Satanic to Anarchic.
4 years in the making – 14 tracks – 52 minutes – this all stacks up to a substantial release, one that I have really sunk my teeth into. We kick the album off with ‘Turbulence’ and straight away we’re thrown into the deep end. With a swirling drum pattern that proves Pete Sandoval is in fine form and the ultimate grinding tone coming through Lee Harrison’s strings, they’re off to a bloody good start. Harmonizing motif riffs ahead, winding and grinding Death metal done just right. ‘Infiltration’ shows off the Punk pogo drum styles that I fell in love with all those years ago. Just like Napalm Death, Terrorizer can employ such a heavy and destructive groove to their grind that I find it unfathomably good. ‘Trench of Corruption’ is most definitely a stand out track. The way the riffs are built upon and cut away again is superb. The harmonies involved in painting this sonic picture are masterful, the abruptness of it all – too cool, man. Throughout the album, not one guitar solo emerges. It’s just one bangin’ riff after another, assault after assault. The only thing this album misses is the chance to have an air raid siren somewhere within… Catchy, brutal, head down grinding death. Bloody, non-stop ferocity.
Worth mentioning at this point are Sam Molina’s vocals. He knows what the Terrorizer legacy requires. He knows what we as fans expect. Nothing too out there, nothing too wacky… just the straight up gravel growl that he can pull off and never needs stray from. This may sound formulaic and it is but to that end, Sam is giving us what we want in a grind album. He knows his stuff.
Caustic Attack was produced at Audiohammer Studios, Florida, by Jason Suecof who is responsible for the likes of Trivium, Deicide, All That Remains and Kataklysm. Jason is a craftsman and is filled with the knowledge of what works, it always shows. There’s a reason a huge number of bands end up at Audiohammer and this album is another testament to how good they all are. Mix wise, the sound has touched perfect for the style.
The Caustic Attack album artwork has been beautifully handled by Indonesian artist Timbul Cahyono. Having in the past worked with Rotting Corpse and Pyrexia I think he’s a fitting artist to the overall plan of Terrorizer because he himself strives to ‘provoke thought on environmental and social justice, increasing awareness and open dialogue’. This of course links in nicely with the way Terrorizer sees the world’s situation at the minute, easily put up shit creek and getting deeper.
My advice to any fan of this band is to head over to earache and buy buy buy.