Throwdown – Intolerance (eOne)

Friday, 17th January 2014
Rating: 7/10

Their time as Pantera apologists apparently over, Orange County, CA metallic hardcore throng Throwdown have made a smart retreat to their no-frills, tough, but not super-bonheaded days of yore with their seventh album, Intolerance. The “yore” connotation should be used loosely, though, for even across the total misses that were Venom & Tears and Deathless, the closed-fist, tough guy front existed, but that was tempered with faux Southern metal grooves. Since those elements have been eliminated, Intolerance cuts through at a lean, no extra crap, 28 minutes.

A survey across the album’s 11 cuts reveals little in terms of predictable beatdowns and/or telegraphed mosh parts. Instead, the band (specifically singer Dave Peters, who generally handles all instrumentation on the band’s albums) has steered themselves back into moshable realms where meaty, but uncomplicated riffs rule the roost. Dumbed-down ideas these are not, so the glancing groove of “Avow” or “Suffer, Conquer” tend to stick out, made more impactful because Peters’ seasoned aggro-growl, and straight-edge themes, topics that don’t come up in metal very often.

There’s not a wide spread on Intolerance (there never has been for any Throwdown album. Ever.), yet their well-executed brand of mondo-heavy hardcore manages to shed light on the difference between a metal-inclined band like this, and the plumes of punk/street-minded bands who are far more dull than Throwdown. With the Pantera leanings out of the way, Throwdown should be back in the hardcore envoy’s favor.

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