Darker Days Ahead

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Released mere days before the shocking and untimely passing of guitarist Jesse Pintado, Terrorizer's long-awaited second album, Darker Days Ahead, should have been a cause for celebration, instead of a tragically prophetic farewell note. Recorded 17 years after the influential pre-grindcore Los Angeles outfit's already posthumous, classic 1989 debut, World Downfall, Darker Days Ahead saw founding members Pintado and drummer Pete Sandoval teaming up with Resistant Culture vocalist Anthony Rezhawk and ex-Monstrosity bassist/guitarist Tony Norman to add another chapter to a legacy long ago cut short. As it turned out, the second time around proved as ill-fated as the first on a personal level; arguably as rewarding, too, from a musical perspective -- given the retooled band's authentic reproduction of their proto-grindcore death metal on ten of these 12 tracks (excepting the introductory snippet, "Inevitable," and the closing experimental detour, "Ghost Train"). With those intentionally retro-minded parameters in mind, fans of Terrorizer's original work will not be disappointed by the brutish, old-fashioned charm informing memorable new concoctions like "Crematorium," "Mayhem," and "Legacy of Brutality" (not to mention the 2006 remake of old chestnut "Dead Shall Rise"); while younger listeners, oblivious to all of this reminiscent nonsense, will come away with something approaching a grindcore history lesson, if nothing else. Which is to say that Darker Days Ahead would have probably succeeded mostly as an exercise in nostalgia, were it not for the significance gained from becoming an unexpected swan song for a life cut short. Rest in peace, Jesse.

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