Throwdown - _Deathless_
(Nuclear Blast, 2009)
by: Jackie Smit (
Having kick-started the process of shedding their hardcore shell on 2007's _Venom & Tears_, it's hardly surprising to find Throwdown's sixth full-length treading distinctly different waters to those fans have grown accustomed to over the course of a career that to date has spanned more than a decade. From the outset, there's a palatable sense that the Orange County natives have spent more time than is healthy studying the minute details on _Vulgar Display of Power_ and _Ashes of the Wake_; the trouble in this instance being that _Deathless_ has neither the menacing edge of the latter nor the sprawling emotional impact of Pantera's seminal effort. Instead Throwdown have, we'd hope unwittingly, allowed themselves to evolve into a pre-fab product, akin to fellow Nuclear Blast signees Sonic Syndicate. They exhibit all the hallmarks of a top-of-the-food-chain modern metal collective, from the glossy production through to the sweeping chorus-lines. But down to its dying minutes, _Deathless_ never once reveals anything of the soul that spawned Throwdown's earlier, if significantly more austere efforts.
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