TERROR • Pain Into Power (White Vinyl) • LP
"Do you like hardcore punk? Good: so do Terror. While their sound might be as familiar as the chunky collegiate lettering often used as a quick signifier as to what kind of beatdowns and gang vocals to expect from a genre that is at times defined by its obstinance, it continues to persist and impress through sheer force of will.
Central to this is frontman Scott Vogel, who since we last heard from him has moved back to his native Buffalo and built Pain Into Power under lockdown restrictions, in collaboration with his geographically scattered bandmates, including returning guitarist and the album’s producer, Todd Jones.
This has yielded 10 tracks meted out in 18 minutes, with more nous about how an album should flow than you might expect. On one hand, it is no surprise that middle-aged hardcore kids such as Terror, reared on classic old-school releases whose songs thrived as short bursts of fantastic energy, should know how to neatly layer together earnest proclamations, hulking percussion and riffs with jagged edges. One the other, at a time when long-established formats are being broken apart by bite-size consumption online, it would’ve been easy for Terror to dilute and devolve into a series of one- and two-song releases.
Scott’s favourite two songs on the album, On The Verge Of Violence and Prepare For The Worst, are two of its finest, with the latter the album’s relatively epic (almost three minutes’ long) closing track. Like most of Pain Into Power, it makes its point succinctly and repeatedly, offering both a wary look ahead at the world we’ve created, but also some comfort that Terror are still around to bellow about it."