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Mysterious gloom with a rocking tone - 70%

kluseba, July 18th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2004, CD, Tokuma Japan Communications

Loudness has always been one of the most productive bands in the world. Since the reunion of the original line-up three years earlier, this is already the band's fourth studio effort. Add two brand new live albums, three compilations and the release of some old concert footage in only three years. As if that wasn't enough, the band released two other studio albums plus a live record in the same year ''Terror'' came out. While I admire and support the band's creativity and productivity compared to the lazy and redundant attitude of many Western veteran heavy metal bands, it should be obvious that these records don't only contain high-quality cuts and this applies to this release as well.

The record kicks off very well with the atmospheric doom metal track ''Pharaoh'' that convinces with mysterious background chants, a most diversified guitar play between slightly distorted sounds, emotional melody lines, an experimental solo passage and thundering slow-motion riffs supported by a rhythm section that is at times dragging and at times versatile in this fascinating opener. The vocals find a unique balance between a grounded, raw and throaty base and some dramatic, emotional and higher notes that are recorded both in a natural way and in a distorted manner. This track is easily the best on the entire record and a forgotten gem in Loudness' impressive career.

The problem with this record is that the other tunes try to use the same diversified formula as the opening tune but fail to reach its standard. This is mostly due to the fact that the other tracks are mostly faster since they have a rocking mid-tempo pace with a dark undertone reminding a mixture of doom metal with some grunge spirit and a few groove metal influences here and there. While the opener had a distinctive slow pace that developed a profound atmosphere, the other songs are lacking this depth. This formula also gets redundant after a while. This record is homogeneous which is usually a positive attribute but the eleven similarly sounding tracks drag on for far too long and this record could have needed one or two different tunes like an instrumental track or a calmer ballad. All these songs here aren't bad by any means but end up sounding somewhat repetitive. Among the more recommendable cuts, I would mention the faster and almost punk influenced ''Detonator (Fire and Thunder)'' which is also the record's shortest cut, the rhythmic ''About to Kill'' which is probably the heaviest tune on the album and the closing title track ''Terror'' that has a more vivid and enthusiastic vibe than the rest.

In the end, ''Terror'' is a good average album in Loudness' extensive career. It has a shining highlight with the fascinating opener ''Pharaoh'' and while there isn't a stinker on this homogeneous effort, the other tunes don't quite reach that level again. My verdict is that one should absolutely be familiar with the opening track while the album as a whole is only recommended for faithful fans of the band.