Released: 2014, eOne Music
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
California's Throwdown have been straddling the fence between hardcore and metal, for better or for worse, since crossing over with their fourth album Vendetta in 2005. At times, they'll lean toward Pantera-esque crunch, as on 2007's Venom & Tears, at others their tough guy 'core side will be more pronounced.
This is the case with their seventh and latest album, Intolerance. Sure it's chock full of brash, hard-hitting hooks and menacing groove. The anthemic “Suffer, Conquer” is a fist-pumper/horn-thrower if there ever was one and the title track is as concussive as they come. And “Without Weakness” and “Fight or Die” deliver a speed metally kick that echoes Arise-era Sepultura.
So there's plenty here for metalheads to wrap their mitts around, even if the slow and sludgy “Born And Buried Alive” is a bit dreary. But they'll also have to get past tracks like “Avow” or “Cut Away” where the band, or at least mainman Dave Peters, make their straight-edge leanings obvious, if a bit overbearing.
“Straight edge, harder than iron my will,” Peters bellows, or words to that effect, over and over on “Cut Away.” On “Defend With Violence,” he's a bit more threatening. “I will defend with violence our honor, our way of life,” he barks, recalling the Phil Anselmo of old - though obviously sans the narcotic inclinations.
Yet when Intolerance is taken as a whole, this is a passing, though somewhat persistent, annoyance. Since Throwdown keep the normally ubiquitous breakdowns to a minimum, it's more, well, tolerable. And the album's bruising riffs and steady, propulsive groove are far more likely to command your attention as it is.