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Formed only a few years into the careers of their 'main' bands, Terror 2000 seemed like a dream collaboration around the turn of the century, as it combined the wild antics and intense vocals of Soilwork frontman Bjorn "Speed" Strid with the high speed chase, intricate riffing of Darkane's Klas Ideberg. Filing in the blanks on this debut were guitarist Nick Sword and drummer Henry Ranta, also of Soilwork. The objective here was to create some bone crunching thrash, ranging from a mid-paced thrust to a staggering velocity, and with riffs busy enough to recall bands like Kreator or Artillery in their prime. This is more or less what the band have produced, though it's also highly reminiscent of At the Gates' breakthrough album Slaughter of the Soul, and thus the first two Soilwork records, with the difference being the complexity of Ideberg and Sword's guitars.
From a technical standpoint, this has most of what you'd want out of a modern thrash effort. Terror 2000 did not seem like the sort of band that would brake for anyone, and thus most of the tracks here are performed with neck breaking speed while the endless riffs careen and collide against the peppy back beat. Strid sounds a lot like his work on the earlier Soilwork albums, and the album is void of his cleaner singing, or the over-zealous Phil Anselmo barks and yeah yeah grunts he would later develop towards. Here he is the Tomas Lindberg stepchild he had originally set out to be, but it helps that Slaughterhouse Supremacy does not seem the sort of thrash throwback record which spends all of its presence fooling around. This album is not as self-referential as the following efforts, with the exception of the namesake "Terror 2000", and feels like an honest attempt to light a firecracker under the listener's arse.
So, is it any good? Well, for the 32 minutes it exists, the material is passable if you just want a raucous headbanging and if you can get absorbed in the guitars, because they really make up the core of this bands capabilities. Think Steelbath Suicide or Rusted Angel, and subtract the more atmospheric elements that made those records memorable, then add kerosene. For an album in which considerable effort was invested to the composition of the riffs, most seem to blow buy without provoking much of a lasting impact. The intro to "Firebolt" reminds me a little of Pantera's "Shattered", but the rest of the track is pretty wild, like an 18-wheeler death race pileup on a narrow mountain road. "Elimination Complete" is a pretty good mix of tech thrash and melodeath/metalcore, with a decent atmosphere to the chorus. "Crypt of Decay", "Terror 2000" and "Son of a Gun, Daughter of a Slaughter" are fast and fun, with some head spinning guitar work but I wouldn't award them any staying value.
Slaughterhouse Supremacy is like a 13 year old getting his rocks off, whether in the palm of his hand or some unfortunate who's in just as much of a hurry to grow up as he is. It's exciting and it gets the blood pumping faster to the heart. However, like the cold, dry reality of city concrete or the pavement at the local speedway, it really lacks in a soul, and as a result it's not as impressive as the amount of energy the band obviously placed in its creation.
This band, as you know, is a side project of members from Darkane and Soilwork. Probably, they decided to start this band being a bit under pressure by the labels of their original bands that wanted they to change the style ‘till becoming the crappy sound that is nowadays. With this project, like said in a interview, they wanted to have fun and play some fucking brutal, old stuff.
Surely they achieved the goal of having fun, but on the other hand they recorded a true fuckin’ brutal album!! Try to mix together influences from old brutal thrash, the Swedish death metal with a touch of progression and you can have an idea of what you can expect from this album.
It's useless to say how is fast their music…the up tempo parts seem neverending, mixed with some more modern, short sections in mid-tempo style. When I say “modern” I mean the sound of early Darkane or Soilwork, just to have an idea! No crappy mallcore here! The violence is devastating.
The guitars destroy everything with their riffs, so influenced by thrash (“Burn Bitch Burn” or “Agents Of Decadence”). And exactly the number of them on this album is simply incredible…they create a wall of pure violence, they are restless. Some melodic lines can be found too, but they’re just for few seconds and in a sea of blood like this, they are even hard to listen.
Speed Strid’s screams are incredible. They seem to have reconquered the original brutality they had lost on other albums. Some parts are so fast that I cannot imagine the strength of his throat during the recording session. Talking about the production, well, is simply great. Powerful and clean enough but not exaggerated, always keeping an eye to the past, to the groups-influence for these guys.
This album is pure brutality and works like this one are not so common…32 minutes of blasting furies for your poor ears and at the end you’re gonna beg for mercy. This is essential for every fan of death/thrash metal played with technique, passion and violence.
I can't help but feel that this album has been treated with injustice, both by the modern melodic death fans who heard this was boring thrash and passed it by, and by the old-school thrash fans who more or less dismiss any attempt at thrash in the modern day, unless by a classic band with a classic album or two already under the belt.
Why? I'm inclined to think most who have tried to listen to this didn't have ears, and those who did have ears had them burnt-off by the sheer firestorm of this album and went on to rate it badly out of spite.
Slaugherhouse Supremacy is not on the same (lowly) plateau as The Haunted; The Haunted couldn't write a single thrash riff as good as the worst riff on this album if they were tied to chairs and subjected to Darkness Descends, The Ultra-Violence and Pleasure To Kill for a year (even though The Haunted's style should, if it was any good, be directly informed by the latter.) Nor is Slaughterhouse a Gothenburg album diluted with accessibility-pandering melody, and although there is no lack of melodic touches as written by the previous reviewers, since when did even classic thrash completely omit a bit of melody and actual atmosphere? Well, what we do get with this first Terror 2000 offering is the purest thrash sound of any of the new school of 'modern' thrash and death/thrash bands, at least in terms of individual riff composition and quality. There is a balanced mix of slower riffs flirting with undeveloped melody which usually construct the pre-choruses and choruses, and intense, rhythmically dense riffage forming the backbone of the sound; blisteringly fast-picked riffs that would have nestled comfortably amongst the songs of the aforementioned classics; riffs picked so fast they almost don't even sound possible at points. In a modern scene filled with so much half-assed-half-thrash, it's refreshing to see a band formed from arguably dubious other bands that was determined enough to play real thrash riffs with conviction and speed, and i'm surprised their efforts are viewed with such scorn.
In amusing myself, I have sometimes imagined how history might have progressed were Slaughterhouse Supremacy released around '87 or '86... I can see it being regarded not as classic, but possibly important, and often paired off and contrasted against an album like Darkness Descends, where the former is cited as lacking quantity (of riffs) but making up for it with sheer quality, and the latter of course contrasted with an expression that might run something like 'I think Dark Angel must have only ever heard the "quantity" part of the saying.'
But it wasn't released then, and its few faults are those that identify it in the modern era. As mentioned, quality over quantity (or maybe just a lack of both in the case of most modern half-thrash) is the replacement for vintage thrash' notorious obsession with the latter. The song structures follow a little varied verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus format, quite unlike their forebears which forced linearity through constant injection of fresh riffage, and finally, there is more use of melody than most classic thrash. Not neccessarily over the album's songs as a whole, but rather in concentrated form, highlighted within 'Burn Bitch Burn!' which is as effective at hooking your ear as it is at sanding your face off. The flaws on paper are glaring, especially if you're particularly astringent and choose to go riff-counting as a quality indicator, but the intensity and speed of the riffs on offer go a long way to distracting one's attention from the more conventional aspects of Terror 2000's approach, even the typically 'fun' choruses that other reviewers have criticized. In answer to that, let me just suggest that thrash has never been one to refrain from a lyrically bawdy chorus, and Terror 2000 provide no exception with the frantic shoutings on this disc; Strid's harsh and rapid-fire utterances are every bit as aserbic in delivery as the music beneath and display light-heartedness and viciousness in equal measure.
It doesn't really matter what I say; The Haunted and The Crown fans will find this far too harsh to enjoy, and the UltraBorises of the world will never give it the time of day. It's a shame really, because Slaughterhouse Supremacy is a truly blistering and uncompromising thrash powerhouse; modernity absolutely notwithstanding.
From Sweden we get this kind of "split side project" since it is the result of the efforts from members of the two well established bands Soilwork and Darkane.
This album came out a few years ago when thrash metal was just raising its head again after nearly ten years of silence. It sounds thrashy particularly because of it's insane speed but, as you can imagine from the bands involved, it's swedish death metal that is the main reference.
The first bands that come to mind are The Haunted and At The Gates, particularly try to think of the latter's "Blinded by Fear" as a good reference.
Swedish death metal was rediscovering thrash before the great thrash bands (like Kreator) decided to go back to their roots. We have the speed and the intense riffing. The vocals are pretty much death, Björn "Speed" Strid sounds practically exactly the way he does on Soilworks "The Chainheart Machine". Don't expect any complexity, that aspect of thrash metal is long forgotten on this release, it's pretty much speed and aggression right in your face. You find quite a few solos though which are never despisable to an old thrasher.
So if you are into thrash metal and not completely lost in the "good old days" this is a nice way of reinventing a genre. It has probably lost a bit of the great appeal it had when it came out because of the great number of thrash releases we have nowadays but, even if it's in no way a masterpiece, it is absolutely solid craftmanship.
Another year, another side project of a band. In Terror 2000 two of the leading metal bands of Sweden, namely Soilwork and Darkane, combine their creative forces. The rhythm section is composed from Soilwork members and one of the guitarists is from Darkane. A combination of these two bands would make you think that the product is Gothenburg metal but surprisingly it isn't. Fortunately the music they've made is closer to the thrash of Darkane than the Gothenburg of Soilwork. 'Slaughterhouse Supremacy' is all out thrash combined with slight Gothenburg influences with the leads and vocals. Since the vocalist is Björn Strid from Soilwork they sound exactly like him. Fortunately he uses his growling voice here and not those poor clean ones like on 'A Predator's Portrait'.
Fast riff patterns are the whole basis of the album. They show up in every song hence the album is really fast and quite short. While the riffs range from poor to mediocre with some good ones here and there, they don't flow as well as say in Dark Angel's 'Darkness Descends'. The guitarsound also packs quite a punch and is crunchy but what is gained in the guitars is lost in the songwriting. The songs are mainly just catchy with even catchier choruses. The choruses are so catchy that they start to resemble each other quite much. Most of them are accompanied with fast but simple riffs and some catchy line like "We run, we kill, we fuck" of 'Agents of Decadence' or "Son of a gun, daughter of slaughter" of 'Son of a Gun, Daughter of Slaughter'. The choruses tend to flatten the song because after a verse with a really intense riff comes a poppish chorus with a lazy guitarline. Ranta's drumming is very precise but like on 'A Predator's Portrait' he doesn't offer anything amazing.
'Slaughterhouse Supremacy' isn't as melodic as one would think. The main focus is on the riffs so the leads and solos haven't been paid much attention. There are some small melodic parts in the riffs but actual leads are scarce. The chorus of 'Elimination Complete' is an exception that confirms the rule. It is also the only song with a good chorus mainly because of the lead. Terror 2000 has a lot of potential but most of it is wasted on catchiness, not quality. The catchiness tends to quickly wear out whatever affection or interest one might hold for the album. If you want some modern thrash get something better like Destruction's 'Antichrist'.
(Originally published in Tuonela webzine in 2001)