posted on 12/2009 By:
I had never heard Throwdown before signing up to review the band’s latest album Deathless. I would like to congratulate myself on my good judgment for not hearing Throwdown, before now. For signing up to review Deathless, I would like to punch myself in the face. I have been aware of Throwdown’s existence, of course, but I never really gave the band serious consideration. From the bits and pieces I have read about the band over the years, I gleaned that Throwdown was a straightedge metalcore band often compared to Pantera, and unfavorably so. A listen to Deathless reveals that the Pantera comparison is still wholly valid, but some other even less palatable influences have manifested in the band’s sound.
That Throwdown choose to ape Pantera rather than At the Gates or Suffocation, could almost pass for originality as far as metalcore goes, the genre being virtually redundant by definition. If it seems I am damning Throwdown with faint praise, I am, but I assure you, it is only going to get worse. Pantera has reached such stature in the metal pantheon that a modern metal band can scarcely be blamed from taking influence from them, any more so than they could be blamed for taking influence from Black Sabbath or Slayer. So, I am willing to cut Dave Peter’s some slack for his blatant Anselmo imitation, and likewise the band for some terribly familiar sounding groove metal riffs. A Sully Erna impersonation, however, I cannot abide. While Peter’s sticks to his Anselmo impersonation for the harsh parts, most of the choruses on Deathless feature clean vocals, and in these sections Peters does a dead on imitation of Godsmack’s front man. A Godsmack imitation is bad, but Throwdown sinks lower still, to depths heretofore unfathomable, namely, Linkin Fucking Park. Mercifully, the influence is far from pervasive, but Peter’s delivers some choruses in the patented Bennington whine on tracks such as “This Continuum” and “Pyre”. To quote Joseph Conrad: “The Horror! The Horror!”
With vocals ranging from unoriginal to infuriating, the music on deathless would need to be exceptionally strong to save the album from being a total disaster. No such luck, I am afraid. The music is competently performed, but entirely vanilla. At best the band musters up a pale imitation of Lamb of Gods off kilter, staccato riffing, but more often Throwdown relies on the sort of bland chunky riffs that have been the bread and butter of every poor man’s Pantera since the dawn of nu-metal.
Whether or not Throwdown ever possessed a sound of its own I will never know, because I am sure as fuck never listening to any Throwdown ever again. On Deathless, though, the band’s music sounds like little more than cut and paste mimicry, and mimicry of some shitty music at that. Perhaps Throwdown is striving for some sort of commercial breakthrough. Truthfully, much of the music on Deathless would not sound out of place on a heavier rock radio station next to the likes of Linkin Park, Godsmack, and Killswitch Engage. Times are tough after all, and I doubt metalcore pays the rent much better than any other form of metal. For the average Metal Review reader, though, I suspect, or rather I hope Deathless will have little appeal.
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