THROWDOWN – “Deathless”

A slower and more melodic, yet catchy as hell album

We all miss Pantera – I do, you do, Odd Crew do… The opinions on Throwdown though, vary from “Awesome! They sound like Pantera” to “They suck! They sound like Pantera. Well – this can be pretty much said about their new album too, although it is kind of different.

The band obviously has tried to vary up things a little this time around by throwing new elements into their musical mix. “Deathless” as a whole is quite slower and more melodic than its predecessors, although if there is a suitable comparison to other bands it remains the same as before. And really, if this is a hardcore band I’m a tram car!

One happy tram car that cannot get enough of this CD! The album opens up with “The Scythe” which is something like a slower Lamb of God with a clean chorus ala Killswitch Engage. And this is a combination that works out really well! The next track “This Continuum” also uses the formula of nice groove metal verses and a catchy melodic chorus. And yes, throwing a whole new set of clichés in an already clichéd music may not seem like the best idea ever, but in practice it has worked out awesome.

Towards its middle part the album kind of moves away from that direction and becomes way more sludgy and features slower, longer songs that are driven mostly by Dave Peters’ Anselmo-ish vocals. And the dude delivers a splendid performance. Songs like “The Blinding Light” and “Ouroboros Rising” crush mostly because of the singing. The songs are simply perfect – cool riffs, interesting drums, awesome vocals and well thought out melodies… And then comes “Skeleton Vanguard” that once again turns the album in a new direction with the excessive use of cowbell that makes it sound like something off “The Great Southern Trendkill”.

Yes, I miss the speed and energy of “Vendetta” and “Venom and Tears” as well. But in the end the decision whether they are going to play fast or slow is up to the band to make, and all we can do is say whether we like what we hear or not. And in this particular case things seem to have worked out great because I can’t stop spinning this.

Verdict: 5 / 6

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