Review by Felix on June 3, 2019.
Back in 1989, it was a great adventure to discover World Downfall. In a time when the initial thrash metal movement began to lose its power rapidly, it felt good to be confronted with another way of radical music - and, to be honest, it was more radical than almost every thrash formation. Suddenly and without warning, Terrorizer fired a massive shot into the hungry crowd of extreme metal maniacs. With a previously almost unknown intransigence, they ripped any type of harmonies to pieces. Even 30 years after its release, the album has a devastating effect and its only mistake is that it was simply too good. Immediately after its final tones had vanished, it was quite clear that this was a once-in-a-lifetime work. Too bad that Terrorizer broke the silence after 17 years. This was no good idea, but fortunately another story. So, let's concentrate on this masterpiece which was produced by Dave Vincent and engineered by the very competent Scott Burns. He had already been involved in great albums such as Death's "Leprosy", Whiplash's "Ticket to Mayhem" and Sepultura's "Schizophrenia" and Terrorizer profited from his experience.
World Downfall sounds coarse and vicious, rebellious and nasty. Its homogeneous appearance makes it strong. The decision to publish 16 songs that reflect the uttermost defiance against the usual parameters of the music business is one thing - to execute these pieces in such an excellent way is something different. Gifted with the technical skills, Terrorizer do not create chaotic tracks per se. They work with high precision - but exactly this precision in details opens the door to a sometimes confusing and more or less chaotic overall impression. Especially the A side is bewildering, because some songs seem to flow into each other while one merciless riff hunts the other. The slightly dull sound adds a dark color to the compositions, but the riffs themselves also spread sinister intentions. Needless to say, that Oscar Garcia also rages against everybody and everything. His f**ked up voice exactly matches the musical statements. The monolithic material meets a monolithic line-up and among other things this duplicity makes the album so exciting.
But the band has even more to offer. Each and every track burst out of the boxes with a maximum of spontaneity, energy and savagery. Indeed, there is a barbaric component in the music that teaches the listener the meaning of archaic cruelty, albeit Garcia's hostile growling deals with modern conflicts. "Nations falling to defeat" is not just the first line of the opener, these words also mark the beginning of the lyrics of "Strategic Warheads" and perhaps this lyrical curiosity shows the f**k-yourself-attitude of the line-up. Either way, Terrorizer know the rules of grindcore and spread left-wing dogmas. "The rich get rich, the poor stay poor, working hard, all for nothing" - these simple statements sound rather stupid, but they work excellently in the context of this album. The typhoon of negativity is irresistible, and the band lives up to its name. The instrumental parts leave a trail of devastation and it goes without saying that the barking of Garcia does not provide relief. Of course, very intelligent minds can blame the full-length for its monotony, but I beg to differ. The material scores with its genre-typical uniformity, this is my interpretation.
The anarchic rigor of the album is the perfect breeding ground for immortal anthems. The maximally intensive triple strike of "Human Prey", "Corporation Pull-In" and "Strategic Warheads" marks the orgasmic climax of the album, but the remaining material ignites a conflagration as well. The mighty and malicious guitar work with its minimum of variation and the almost robotic yet devastating double bass create an infernal cocktail and songs like "After World Obliteration", "Need to Live" or the title track express the pure disgust about lying politicians, puppets of the military industry and society in general. No egomaniacal guitar solos disturb the denunciation of more or less each and every convention. The clearly structured eruptions of hatred appear as an unstoppable avalanche that buries everything beneath it. Pete Sandoval's drumming ensures - where necessary - that no one leaves alive. His blast beats, his force and his precision - in short: his entire performance is absolutely outstanding.
"Dead Shall Rise" is the title of another highlight on World Downfall, a song with a superhuman dynamic and a fiery core of destructive power. Was its name the impulse for Jesse Pintado (R.I.P.) to revitalize the band in 2005? It remains a matter of speculation. What we know for sure is that World Downfall cannot be beaten. Not by any configuration under the banner of Terrorizer, not by any other formation. It's a stand-alone document of its time, second to none and an awe-inspiring monument. Do yourself a favor and experience this album. The perfect combination of grindcore and death metal awaits you. 30 years old and not a bit tired: Congratulations!
Rating: 10 out of 10