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Orange County, CA hardcore unit Throwdown morph into full Pantera mode on VENOM & TEARS, the quartet's most metallic offering to date. Tracks like the bass-driven "No Love" and the explosive "Holy Roller" sound like FAR BEYOND DRIVEN outtakes, while "Cancer" channels the beloved Texans at their most somber. In their own right, Throwdown lay down a hostile 12-track album that clobbers you with lead-fisted riffs and volatile rhythms custom made for violence in spades here; only problem is that their sound is all too similar to the Cowboys from Hell, right down to the vocal phrasings heard on "Hellbent" to be able to fully appreciate the sheer magnitude VENOM & TEARS demonstrates.
- Mike SOS