Review Summary: "Maximum output! Activate the pit!"
Oh boy, if there ever was a band that stays true to the basic approach and attack of hardcore/punk, these guys would be it. First, look at that album name… just look. Now back to here, the boys from the City of Angels are back, yet again, with another slab of ‘tough guy’ hardcore and if you ever doubted that hardcore was seriouz bizness than newest album Keepers of the Faith
is an album for you, cause this is no fu
cking joke. Terror
have been around for quite a while and even before that each member has already had extensive experience in the scene, most notably with members from legendary straight edge band Carry On. These guys take hardcore to new levels that most wouldn’t really expect, as the new fad in hardcore seems to be either blackening it or mixing it with emotion and dissonance. Terror does neither of that, their music comes in the form of blistering thrash metal inspired riffs and marrying it with hardcore breakdowns, and tough guy two-step ‘one-two-one-two’ breaks. Now, two years after the release of their last album, Terror comes back to take their crown as kings of the ‘tough guy hardcore’ scene, and Keepers of the Faith does just that.
Hardcore is more than just music. It changes lives and is comprised of a collection of men and women, boys and girls of all ages, that share a love for blistering fast and angry music and Terror has taken this ethos and have carved a career out of it. In Keepers of the Faith, we see Terror continuing on their legacy of the lifestyle that is hardcore. ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ is the approach that Terror has taken on this album, and surprisingly, after multiple albums and releases, Terror still pulls it off impressively well! This is Hell and Reign Supreme is going to have to be taking notes down on how to execute this, because they still have quite a ways to go before they can pull this off as easily as Terror can. Keepers of the Faith is basic hardcore, there’s no lie or any way around that fact. The band itself is an easy way to get into hardcore before a listener can start to explore the deeper sub genres of it. However, Terror have done such an honest job at keeping their sound interesting and infectiously catchy that it is hard to fault them, especially on Keepers of the Faith.
Vocalist Scott Vogel is quite the famous man in hardcore. Practically carrying the ‘tough-guy’ image on his fairly broad shoulders, his lyrics of self-help, perseverance and a disgust of what hardcore would call ‘morally wrong’ has given Vogel an outlet for this lyrical ability and it is no different on Keepers of the Faith. Songs like ‘You’re Caught
’ sees Vogel ripping promiscuity in half and their album titled song ‘Keepers of the Faith
’ is a fiery anthem to hardcore in general, uplifting the lifestyle and praising those who ‘keep the faith’. The band itself does a competent job at providing the listener with groovy metallic hardcore, but it’s until the last half of the album that the band truly starts to shine. Terror have always had a thrash metal edge to them, and on Keepers of the Faith we see Terror finally starting to embrace that image a bit more than on previous albums. This is especially felt on their final track ‘Defiant’ which features very impressive thrash inspired drum and guitar work and rewards the listener with, check it, an actual guitar solo that is actually quite good and technical. Now they definitely aren’t your next Slayer, don’t get me wrong, but it just shows that Terror aren’t afraid to experiment a bit. It is because of this that Terror get extra point for their willingness to think a bit outside the box, if only slightly.
If you already have distaste for metallic hardcore, then Keepers of the Faith is not the album for you. Terror, while providing some new ideas, is still Terror. With an album named the way it is, it probably won’t come off as a surprise that they stay close to their approach of tough guy, breakdown laden hardcore that got them the fame that they have. But while bands like This is Hell is slowly starting to sink into mediocrity and obscurity, Terror still have enough stamina and ideas to keep listeners engaged throughout the album. The last half of this album clearly shines more than the first half, so if you are willing to give this a shot then start with ‘You’re Caught’ and if you still can’t stand it, then turn off Keepers of the Faith as the rest will do little to help that opinion.