Review: “Judgement” by TerraDown

Winners of the Dutch Wacken Battle in 2019 that saw them play off against a whole host of other bands to get their opportunity to perform at one of Europe’s largest Metal Festivals, TerraDown gave themselves a huge platform to share their music upon. Citing influences in Amon Amarth, Avatar and Killswitch Engage, Nick Brouwer (Vocals), Jasper Verhorst (Lead guitar), Mark Link (Rhythm guitar), Joris Koenraadt (Bass) and Dimmy Marcelissen (Drums) have sort to create a diversity, uniqueness and energy in their sound by combining elements of Melodic Death Metal with Grove Metal. 

The anthemic start of “Statement” is a call to arms with fist pumping attitude. In the riffs they have created something that has the groove of Pantera and the swagger of Killswitch Engage while Brouwer has a solid unclean range that would also work with a heavier band. Starting any album with a song that eclipses the 7 minute mark is a brave decision but TerraDown have chosen a strong, well crafted cut for the role. The finale of a spoken word that gradually gets angrier with each repetition before bursting into a vibrant solo is masterfully created. “Volition” is a shorter track at just over four minutes and introduces some Lamb Of God esq moments with Brouwer proving he can give Randy Blythe a run for his money vocally. It would certainly be interesting to hear their take on a track by the Americans. The breakdowns section and “Bleigh!” moment has some impressive percussive backing and a real rager of a cut. If you were hoping for a power ballad with “Break Your Chains“, look away now because it’s no mirror for “Unbreak My Heart“. Brouwer uses a different voice to project half of the lyrics, a sort of off kilter fast paced spoken word (not rapping) before stepping back into his usual throat ripping style. The guitars bounce around with a 90s Metal overtone that seems to want to break into some Clutch but doesn’t quite do it, in a fun kind of a way.

From that fun aspect back to a more traditional Melodic Death Metal sound with roots firmly in the Gothenburg sound, “Memories” is the obvious choice for a lead single for this album. That’s mainly due to the fact that is is a solid summary piece for the album as a whole, showcasing exactly what the album is about while giving you a glimpse into what they’re all about. It also has a killer staccato riff bridge into some almost flamenco guitar work before climbing into a tapping solo of grand stature. “Caged In Stone” has more of a Thrash influence in it with some schizophrenic lyrics and some frantic riffs in the bands by this point signature style that have a timelessness to them and plats perfect partners with “Black Blood“. Mixing up the vocals on this one we are treated to some seriously Demonic uncleans against a backdrop of melody before a catchy chorus with cleaner vocals and solid hook. “Overlord” lifts from the Mosh n’ Roll sound into a cut about an all seeing, all knowing on looker that brings with it more punch, thought it does loose a little bit of its edge being just that little bit over long with an extra chorus in there.

Reburied” has some Entombed moments in it, lyrically starring into an abyss of insanity as a reawakening of a traditional Thrash lyrical theme. It’s galloping latter half is brilliantly executed with a face melter of a solo before a closing bloodcurdling scream. A palm muted section followed by a scream that shows that the last one wasn’t a one off, “From The Skies” has more of a dirge laden groove to it before building into some punchier riffs. Brouwer sounds solid and self-assured, he doesn’t hide behind any introspective lyrics. There is the odd moment where the vocal is slightly strained as he switches into a deeper tone, that transition isn’t always as smooth as it could be and it stands out here. “Into The Devil’s Lair” closes the album in some style introducing some classic Metal with some Iron Maiden and Metallica esq riffs thrown into the melting pot as some of their influences appear very much on their collective sleeves. Brouwer demonstrates some excellent storytelling abilities and you can’t help but wonder with the diversity on this album, where TerraDown will go next [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Statement
  2. Volition
  3. Break Your Chains
  4. Memories
  5. Caged In Stone
  6. Black Blood
  7. Overlord
  8. Reburied
  9. From The Skies
  10. Into The Devil’s Lair

Judgement” by TerraDown is out 8th May with pre-orders available here

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