Hailing from Orange County, Southern California, Throwdown have been blasting their Metalcore sound out with various line-ups since 1997, and return with their seventh studio album, 'Intolerance', after a hiatus of five years.
Band leader Dave Phillips has this to say about the album: "Completing this record felt great in so many respects, most important of which was the opportunity to finally give longtime supporters of the band this music that I've had swirling around in my head over the past four years.
"The variety of people from different places and scenes who have found the band through vastly different avenues over the past 15 or so years will each get into it for their own unique reasons, I think. And for those who think it’s junk, it's only about 28 minutes they have to regret."
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Judging by comments on their Facebook page, opinion is divided on this album - it seems to be their version of Marmite. The question remains then, is it a good album, or is it, in fact, junk?
To start with, this is a very different album than its predecessors - the main difference is shorter, simpler songs. The big sound is still there, but this is very much stripped back, no six minute epics like 'The Blinding Light' or 'Godspeed', instead the longest songs come in at a fraction over three minutes.
As such, the album is much more focused on the lyrics rather than long instrumental breaks and harks back to earlier albums such as 'Haymaker' and 'Beyond Repair', but keeping hold of that no trademark big sound, with a nod to the doomier elements of 'Deathsteeler'.
As to the lyrics, well, they are as unforgiving and powerful as the music. On the face of it, having personal empowerment as a theme does seem a bit, well la-di-da, but this is all about being empowered in the face of adversity, having the strength to carry on through all the shit and fight those who would do you down.
This was recorded at Hurley Recordings in Costa Mesa,California with up and coming producer Davey Warsop and mixed at Planet Z, Alongside Dave Peters and Mark Mitchell, Dave Nassie (Bleeding Through, No Use For A Name, Infectious Grooves) lends his soloing skills and Jarrod Alexander (American Nightmare, Suicide File, My Chemical Romance) returns again to drum on this album, although Tim Watts will again fill this role live.
This is a beast of an album, a true return to the style they showed in their earlier recordings; but with the very much developed sound that so characterized the previous two releases. Simple and unrelenting, it is very worthy of the 4 1/2 beers I am giving it.
1. Fight Or Die
2. Borrowed Time
4. Hardened By Consequence
5. Defend With Violence
6. Suffer, Conquer
7. Cut Away
9. Without Weakness
10. Born And Buried Alone
11. Condemned To Live