This Time It's War
Terror Plots


4.0
excellent

Review

by botb USER (9 Reviews)
November 17th, 2010 | 28 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Terror Plots is a visible culmination of the hard work and determination This Time It’s War have put forth over the past years and an undeniable self-triumph in artistic integrity, and what a triumph it is.

Progression is sometimes a difficult road to follow. When hardships come far more abundant than praise or smooth sailing, the road gets much tougher and taking the easy way out seems a much better choice. Based in Richmond, Virginia, This Time It’s War is no stranger to hardship. Constant line-up changes have plagued the band since their birth in 2004, and after several EPs and finally cementing a solid line-up in 2008 TTIW was able to score a co-headlining tour with a pre-Sumerian era Periphery. Work began on their first full-length and a record contract was signed in 2009. However, hardships once again showed their ugly beady eyes. Scheduling conflicts with the studio they were recording with pushed back their record release time and time again and tracks were left unfinished for ages. Once the record was finally finished, the record company decided the final product was not marketable enough giving This Time It’s War two choices. One to change and add music according to what was selling in today’s market and stay signed to a very popular label, or stick to their guns and stay true to themselves as artists. They decided to take the road less traveled and self-release the album that was originally slated for a Summer 2009 release.

Terror Plots is a visible culmination of the hard work and determination This Time It’s War have put forth over the past years and an undeniable self-triumph in artistic integrity, and what a triumph it is. The music found on Terror Plots ranges from progressive metal (with a strong emphasis on progressive) to melodic death metal influenced metalcore (with a very slight emphasis on core). Also showcased is a very noteworthy technicality in strange-time signature usage as well as some polyrhythmic riffing and drumming. The songs themselves are extremely varied and won’t have the listener thinking they’ve heard the same thing twice at any given moment. Breakdowns can be found on this album, but one would be hard pressed to find simply open note chugging anywhere on the album for more than a few seconds. Every separate instrument does its job very well and shines quite brightly.

The first thing that jumps out at the listener as opening track “Manic Dependence” assaults them is a tapping solo courtesy of guitarist Justin Lawson. The song takes no time in jumping right into some excellent melodic death metal influenced riffing and some gorgeous chords. The lead spotlight is split fairly evenly between Lawson and the other guitarist Alan Simpson and leads range from extremely tasteful and fairly simple (as heard near the end the extremely melodic but Meshuggah-esque“11:34”) to blistering in speeds (as heard at the end of the most melodic death metal sounding track “Into The Abyss”). The bass is quite low in the mix but still very easily heard and never ceases to maintain a solid backbone to Terror Plots as well as add some quite groovy bass fills. But what makes bassist Jeff Jennings quite remarkable is not his ability to provide an extra umph, but rather what he does while playing bass. While playing the bass lines to each song, Jennings also is simultaneously able to add an extra layer of atmosphere with a synth keyboard made just for his feet. The fairly simplistic yet really appropriate synth is a welcome addition to the songs on Terror Plots and gives many melodic and spacey parts more of a full sound such as in highlight track “Unslaved”.

The vocals on Terror Plots also have quite a variety to them, as listeners will notice from the get go in opening track “Manic Dependence.” Vocalist Scott Quigley’s main delivery changes mostly between a Darkest Hour mid-to-high range rasp to a very interesting sounding Akerfeldt influenced low growl. However other vocals are also showcased such as some more metalcore sounding half-spoken rasps and shrieky mdm-esque highs as well as some extremely well executed crooning cleans that add some quite well concocted melodies into the mix of some of the prettier parts. All of these different vocal styles (none of which are hard on the ears) are heard on opening track “Manic Dependence” and do not get old as they are interchanged quite often throughout the album. The drums are also quite noteworthy throughout Terror Plots as drummer John Gammon flaunts his chops more than once. His fills are very tasteful and thought out (such as the opening fill in “11:34”) and Gammon is also a capable groover adding some very interesting polyrhythmic ideas and some very proggy odd-time drum grooves into the mix.

Overall, Terror Plots is a really well executed debut full length from a band that has some major chops. It’s only a matter of time before This Time It’s War is touring this release extensively and getting noticed by more understanding, less trendy labels. I, for one, can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves next as they mature as a unit and continue putting out crushing metal.



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user ratings (10)
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
botb
November 18th 2010


17886 Comments


For those of you interested in this, you can check it out before buying it in it's entirety right here:

http://thistimeitswar.bandcamp.com/

for me this is more of a 4.5 due to personal bias but dropped it to a 4 for the review.

p.s. any constructive criticism is appreciated, this is the first review i've written in forever.

Acanthus
November 18th 2010


9812 Comments


Never heard of the band before, I'll give them a listen. I really enjoyed how the review gave examples of what leads to expect, and the overview of the different vocal styles was a nice touch.

Pos.

botb
November 18th 2010


17886 Comments


yeah no one is going to really have heard of them on here i dont think. they're kind of hometown heroes around here, but they are definitely worth checking out. thanks for the feedback!

Scrambled
November 18th 2010


394 Comments


never heard of them either but your great review piqued my interest.

the first song's beginning reminds me of cloudkicker sorta, though perhaps that is because both are digital download albums haha. first few songs are pretty good, will give the rest of this a listen

botb
November 18th 2010


17886 Comments


you can also get a hard copy of this via their merch store if you want to. it's on itunes for the more lazy people like meeee. thanks for the pos's and feedback fellas

sexpoi
November 18th 2010


648 Comments


great review i'm definitely gonna check this out. pos'

Scoot
November 18th 2010


22207 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is damn good shit, especially for a debut. Good review.

botb
November 18th 2010


17886 Comments


yeah they have an incredible amount of promise in the coming years. that's partially because they've been a band so long though so they've had time to really kind of mature before putting out any kind of full length. glad people are checking this out, they're great friends of mine.

Emim
November 18th 2010


35389 Comments


Gotta check this out

botb
November 18th 2010


17886 Comments


do it mimsy! the variety of music on here is pretty cool. it ranges from like techy and heavy as fuck to melodic and pretty as fuck and the last song has some pretty crucial mock-opeth riffery. oh and the breakdowns that DO exist on this album rule.

WARisalliknow91
November 18th 2010


493 Comments


I'm so glad this band is finally on here. They are huge in Richmond, Fredericksburg, Springfield, and Dc. Bunch of cool guys who deserve to get noticed.

botb
November 19th 2010


17886 Comments


very much so, i had thought about reviewing their ep's but figured i'd wait till the full length was out. and yeah they're pretty big around virginia and dc.

Pebster49
November 19th 2010


3023 Comments


Pretty Legit, probably listen to the rest of this album later in the week but judging off "Pathways" its going to be in serious contention for my top 20 of 2010

slandroid
November 19th 2010


13 Comments


Hey guys, this is Alan from TTIW. We really, really appreciate all the positive feedback you guys are giving the album here. Thank you so much!!

botb
November 19th 2010


17886 Comments


slan get off sputnik :p

yeah this is definitely going to be making my top 20.

botb
November 22nd 2010


17886 Comments


more people need to check this out.

WARisalliknow91
November 23rd 2010


493 Comments


Definitely. They need to get out of the watered down metal scene around here and move up.

botb
November 24th 2010


17886 Comments


yeah they're way way way too good to be as underappreciated as they are. but they'll be touring a lot in 2011 so they'll get more exposure. i just wish more people on sputnik would look into it.

feedhertothesharks
November 24th 2010


144 Comments


where can you download this album ?


slandroid
November 25th 2010


13 Comments


It's available for download direct from us at thistimeitswar.bandcamp.com, or you can get it from iTunes Store, Zune Store, Amazon MP3, or a bunch of random online retailers that I can't list right now. Or you could buy a physical copy from us via thistimeitswar.bigcartel.com.

We're not well known enough for it to leak all over the place



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