Throwdown have had to eat a lot of crap in recent years because their vocalist, Dave Peters, is doing such a blatant, idolatrous imitation of Pantera/Down vocalist Phil Anselmo. It doesn't help that with 2005's Vendetta they shifted from the thick-necked, straight-edge hardcore of their early catalog to a version of the "groove metal" practiced by Pantera, Trivium, and other modern metal bands. On this latest album, though, Peters occasionally shifts from imitating Anselmo to imitating Anselmo-imitating- Mudvayne's Chad Gray. The music, too, has a lot of Mudvayne's combination of groove and progressive epic-ness, coupled with Pantera's ultra-punishing, almost industrial riffs. So it seems like Throwdown are attempting to make some sort of crossover to mainstream metal success, and maybe even get a track on rock radio with the album opener "The Scythe," which features a clean chorus, or "The Blinding Light," which finds these Orange County boys attempting a Southern rock swagger -- Peters has moved from the Pantera phase to the Down phase of his Anselmo impersonation. "Widowed" is basically a power ballad, verging on Alice in Chains' territory. Deathless proves that Throwdown have more sides to them than previous albums may have indicated. However, everything they do has been done before, and better, by others.
by Phil Freeman