Live By The Code

Written by: PP on 07/08/2013 21:34:56

"From the broken home, I was thrown straight into this world"

Those are the opening lyrics to "The Most High", the opening track on "Live By The Code", the fifth studio album by the always controversial and hotly debated tough guy hardcore band Terror. They've often been criticized for sounding monotonous and boring on record, whilst critical acclaim has always surrounded their highly energetic and explosive live shows. Personally, I think "Always The Hard Way" was a hardcore classic, whilst the following two albums failed to deviate from the formula and alas weren't differentiated enough to matter outside the die-hard circles in the hardcore scene. It has always been difficult to be different in the realm of hardcore (even more so in the Serious Fucking Business subgenre that Terror play in), and so the difference between a great record and an average one can often be hair thin.

"Live By The Code" is an example of a great record in the genre for a wide variety of reasons, not least because of its fantastic lyrical tidbits like the one quoted in the beginning of this review. Released without much hype or fanfare from their new label Victory records, the band have quietly released what is arguably a career-defining album and quite possibly the best record this genre has seen in a couple of years. It's the first Terror record where we're hearing real variety, both in terms of the riffs, the lyrical topics, but especially in the way Scott Vogel commands what is essentially his band and his soundscape. "I'm Only Stronger", for instance, toys with very unusual guitar melodies for a Terror release. "The Most High", as mentioned before, showcases what down-tuned groove really means in hardcore and why it can be an amazing asset when applied correctly. "Nothing In Your Head" is an anthem for an entire genre, sure to be shouted back at the band in crazed sing alongs at live shows, but it's equally passionate on record. Basically, the type of relentless urgency and reverberant immediacy that has always been a key element in a Terror live shows has finally been captured properly on record by producer Chad Gilbert. This record is intense through and through, purposefully shoving Vogel's pissed off yell into your face, while keeping the guitars brutally heavy. Fist pumps are abundant with this one, let me tell you that much.

The messages revolve around typical hardcore themes, sure, but this time Vogel has dressed them into great one-liners and smart passages that make them just that much more effective. In fact, one has to admit that Vogel's performance throughout "Live By The Code" is the best one of his career - which is not surprising given this is the best Terror album to date by a long shot. It's a record packed to its rim with tracks that will in due time be considered hardcore classics. Don't miss out on the first Terror record where the songs sound different, and they sound bloody fantastic!

Download: The Most High, Nothing In Your Head, Cold Truth, I'm Only Stronger, One Blood
For the fans of: Hatebreed, Lionheart, Final Prayer, Madball,
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Release date 05.04.2013
Victory Records

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