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Back to the Cold War! - 80%

Lane, September 14th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2021, CD, Selfmadegod Records

If you like to bang your head to extreme crossover thrash metal, then Smogtown is the place to be! The party is vicious, and you won't get out healthy, that's promised. This rowdy bunch of Polish roadmutants served their 3rd full-lengther in a decade in February this year, 6 years after the previous one. Often such a long time between releases means that the music style has changed, or maybe the fire has quenched, at least to some extenct. But it is the other way here, because these masters of ceremony are in top form.

Listening to the band's three albums in a row, I have to say that this is their most vicious one to date. And that is a bit of an accomplishment after 6 years, really. Basically, I witnessed Terrordome going from more hardcore punk delivery to more extreme thrash metal stuff. This makes many established extreme metal bands sound rather easy-going. This is a thrash metal equivalent to The Crown's 'Deathrace King' (2000), energy- and speedwise. Really, this platter packs some megatons of energy. This is mostly fast, or faster! However, it does carry some groovier bits, not unlike what Max Cavalera has done after his split from Sepultura, and slower ominous parts. At times, in a good hardcore punk way, a song consists of two pretty different "sides"; this is never complicated in songwriting, for sure.

Rapidly fired or more heavy-handed palm-muted riffs hit hard and open-string playing brings in more hardcore vibes. Add some tasty, sometimes melodic, guitar solos in, and it is well done on the guitar department. The bass guitar is pounding in juggernaut-mode, leaving its victims flat. The drumming by Friggi Mad Beats, known from Chaos Synopsis, does his best job in, like, ever. He's a machine, and damn how he throws cool small tricks here and there, never staying in a single beat for a very long time. The vocals are able shouting, that go from clean to raspy, throat-lacerating, insane voice. Social commentary about every day shit is abound here, be it pollution, money, religion or political evil forces.

The production is packed with punch, and every element is clean in the mix, which is unbelievable in itself, because of how fast and full the music is. And it is clad with magnificent cover art; surely owing something to the master Repka, even though it certainly doesn't have typical trademark faces of his on it... It simply oozes atmosphere and feels alive! Like the whole album does.

In short: If you enjoy listening to crossover thrash, or just want your thrash metal extreme, you cannot pass this fucker by!

(Originally written for ArchaicMetallurgy.com)