Review Summary: Grindcore at it's most badass.
As I've discovered among my journey of metal, the thrash genre can only get so heavy or so brutal before it completely evolves into something entirely different. The German bands were pushing the limits with their spastic approach to the genre, and then there are the proto-death metal bands, but there were also those crazy bastards in the UK who really loved their hardcore punk, but much like the thrash acts, they needed something more extreme. Terrorizer, took the early grindcore sounds from across the ocean and injected a dose of thrash intensity, as well as some minor death metal attributes which resulted in one of the most influential grind albums ever in "World Downfall."
To begin, the production is excellent. Probably Scott Burns' best. The instruments are well balanced but definitely "raw". Jesse Pintado's guitar is thick and nasty, with head-splitting heaviness and a low death metal pitch. That's to help remind you that you're listening to metal, not the high-speed political punk of a certain English quartet. David Vincent plays a crushing, ultra-distorted bass, though his playing typically follows the guitar except on a few occasions. Oscar Garcia has a deep, harsh growl that really sets the atmosphere of death and despair, two of the more dominant lyrical subjects on here. The drums are solid, and the bass drums have a distinct thump rather than the hated "clicking" that would soon become a Scott Burns trademark, or just a trademark for a lot of metal that came afterwards.
The riffing is relentless and badass, but truly exceptional in that Pintado doesn't need to play at light speed to be effective. Example: the beginning mid-paced groove of Fear of Napalm is one of the most memorable riffs in metal history. Hell, every riff in that song goes without flaw. However, it's drummer Pete Sandoval's performance that takes the cake. His playing is mind-boggling; hyper-fast, yet incredibly precise. No sloppiness here. Listen to the many drum fills on the opening track, or any other for that matter. He shows amazing speed and variation, two attributes rarely seen simultaneously. Although this is not the first grind album (thank you, Scum), I do think Sandoval's epic drumming techniques inspired a generation of metal. Explosions baby!
Most of the album is played at warp-speed, but the band can change tempos at the flick of a switch. Songs like "Corporation Pull-In" and the title track have (relatively) mid-paced riffs that simply dominate. But it's that blast beat and those shredding six-strings everywhere else that define the album. Put Reign in Blood, Deicide, Scum, and Seven Churches in a blender set to "liquefy" and you might end up with this. Deathgrind at its most raw and awesome.
It's a shame that the band split up around the time of World Downfall's release. They deserve a lot of respect for this album. When heavy music comes to mind, most metalheads don't mention this band. However, don't let their ignorance mislead you. World Downfall is the complete package. Thankfully, these guys reunited back in 2005 and have released two full album since, but they were released far after the reign of grindcore and the classic era of death metal had ended, and they just pail in comparison when put next to this one. Seriously, if you claim to be a true metalhead and you don't have any knowledge of World Downfall, listen to it immediately. I think the face will enjoy the feeling of itself ripping apart from the super riffs, or perhaps the feeling of your ass being kicked across town by the extremely brutal drumming. I mean, we all get our assses kicked sometimes, why not let it happen by something awesome?