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Terror Squad
The Wild Stream of Eternal Sin
August 2002
Released: 2000, World Chaos
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

There is an incredibly rich, diverse and complex metal world in Japan that is so much more than worship of Malmsteen, Dokken, Harem Scarem and Mr. Big! There are hundreds of quality heavy bands active in the underground in Japan and we are going to have a quick look at one of the bigger, but still independent, Japanese metal labels.

World Chaos is a record label that is starting to make waves in the global underground metal community. Formed in late 1999 (I believe) this small Japanese label has producing high caliber Japanese true metal and thrash for a couple of years. Now in North America and Europe some smaller labels like Spinefarm (Fin) and Brazen (US) are starting to discover some of the great artists on this label and ask to license and release this material. We felt it was time to give an overview of the first five releases that World Chaos released. These bands are Terror Squad, (KDM 001) Manipulated Slaves, (KDM 002) Grim Force (KDM 003) Fatima Hill (KDM 004) and Narcotic Greed (KDM 005). Please note: Some of these releases have been licensed from even smaller Japanese labels! I will make a note of it where possible.

For other World Chaos bands reviews you can read Luxi’’s June 2002 review of the King’’s Evil CD, DELETION OF HUMANOISE or Cid’’s June 2002 review of the second Fatima Hill CD, AION.

As with many regional metal labels and bands originating from nations where English is not the dominant language, there are a few elements in each of these bands that may not be as attractive to a metal fan in the Western hemisphere. The prime example is lyrics and translation. I would strongly encourage fans of quality thrash and metal NOT to let your decisions to check out these bands be influenced by cultural differences in terminology and/or general language barriers. Be open-minded and you will be able to discover a whole new world of killer heavy metal!

The first signing of a new label! The hope and promise of the future of music unblemished by money and politics. My theory is the first release of any new underground label will not only set the tone and style of the label but also is the closet you will get to the purity of vision of the label. One would hope that the creators, founders, management and investors truly believe in the band they first choose to sign.

Well, using my theory we can safely assume World Chaos is going to be a complete success! Their first signing is very good! Believe me Terror Squad do not sound a thing like Artillery! (as in Terror Squad was the name of the second Artillery album). World Chaos obviously put a lot of effort into the design and production of their flagship release. Many indie bands and labels start with a small package due to budget constraint. Not these guys! A 16 page booklet, full lyrics, credits and lots of cool oriental style artwork. I’m not talking Pokemon, I’m talking, naked chicks with guns, swords, beasts, warriors all very well rendering in a kinetic black and white ink style. It is quite unique in that it is made (on purpose) to look like a bootleg. Odd. Even the disc itself has a bizarre design I have never seen before, again making it look like a bootleg or CD-R or something.

Terror Squad are a three piece consisting of Lord of Nightmare, SonicRiot and Frankensteiner. Some people might think pseudonyms are lame but I like them. It adds a tiny bit of mystique to the proceedings, even if the translation is not 100% fluid to our western ears. I’m going to spend a bit longer than I might normally in a review to describe the band. Lord of Nightmare is the guitarist. His is described as playing “Posermassacre axe and chainsaw.” SonicRiot is the vocalist also known as “Discokiller Pyscho Throat”. The drummer, Frankensteiner, is listed as playing “Unholy Beat from Highway 666”. They also refer to themselves as “Poser Patrol. ”I only point this out to inform that the band is very serious. Often in western metal when you have outrageous stage names (as in bands like Cranium, Guillotine, Piledriver, Bewitched etc) the bands are often dabbling in cartoon parody for fun and image. However, Terror Squad is a very serious band, I feel it is just a matter of translation and language differences. Some people may view them as parody but I honestly don’t believe they are trying to create humour with the lyrics, names and so on. They do not seem to be doing the 80’s retro-thrash thing even though it may come across as such.

The band presents a seven song, 29 minute disc of pure thrash, bordering on death. Two of the songs “Disco Bloody Disco” and “Blood Fire Metal” seem out of place in that they are lyrically very different. The latter is a standard ode to metal and the former is a song about attacking a disco, killing posers, storming the DJ booth and playing a huge long list of bands that obviously include all their influences and favorites, 28 bands by my count! In the liner notes they thank Bestial Warlust, which warmed my evil heart. The rest of the songs such as “Order of The Lone Wolf” and “Nightmare Rider” are based more on fantasy and adventure

Musically they were their influences on their sleeves and in their hearts. They have a wild, loose and sloppy thrash sound with a high, thin production. Not much bottom end or power. Of course all the songs are at full speed, and in fact that is a small drawback as the songs blur into each other almost too seamlessly. The fact that SonicRiot has only two vocal techniques, scream and attack doesn’t help distinguish the songs apart. It is a good thing it is only half an hour long. The songs lack dynamics but do provide pure unadulterated thrash frenzy. The solos are really, really good, they could have fit on any Loudness CD and in some places. The 80’s style clean soloing, which is so technical and precise, might sound a little out of place to some. For me that is not a negative because I enjoy the Japanese signature sound on my solos. An interesting point, they have the very cool habit of naming their solos, which I have only seen once before. Guitar solo titles include, “Angelarms”, “Waltz for Nemesis”, “Black Howling” , “Soulcrash”, “Murder Machine” and more! Way cool. Everyone should name their solos.

A fine entry into the thrash field and Thrash enthusiasts rejoice.! I’m looking forward to hearing the full length, which hopefully may have a little more dynamics and power. Overall an excellent debut by both band and label.
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