Always the Hard Way

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After putting in years of hard graft with highly respected Buffalo, NY hardcore acts such as Despair and Buried Alive, vocalist Scott Vogel made the cross-country move to L.A. in 2002 in order to start a mascara-smeared glam rock band on the Sunset Strip. Just kidding. In fact, the preternaturally pissed singer sought out like-minded cohorts with whom to launch his next, aptly named hardcore venture, Terror, quickly invading the local club scene, heading out on van-driven national tours, and signing with Trustkill Records for the release of their 2004 debut album, One with the Underdogs. Two years, and countless roads traveled later, the quintet entered Massachusetts' Planet Z Studios to work on their sophomore effort Always the Hard Way, recording with renowned producer Zeuss (Hatebreed, Shadows Fall, etc.), who helped lend the album's hardcore roots that contemporary, metallic edge so popular in the mid-2000s. Powered by precision-tool riffing and machine-gun percussion, shout-out anthems like "Last of the Diehards," "You Can't Break Me," and the title track are as clich├ęd as they are irresistibly infectious; perfectly framing Vogel's formidable presence at the mic and making the disc's breakneck-paced 29 minutes fly by in what seems like a New York minute. As such, Always the Hard Way proves ideal audio punishment for grizzled hardcore purists and mid-2000s metalcore kids alike; just as long as fans don't expect any innovations from the genre, and don't mind the surprising hip-hop interlude "Dibbs and Murs Check In" that interrupts the album's intense pacing.

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