Throwdown
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Dave Peters
Matt Mentley
Dom Macaluso
Ben Dussault
"This is war. This is pure hostility. This is vengeance. This is all that's driving me." -- Throwdown, "Vendetta." Orange County is more than sunny beaches, palm trees and buxom babes. Underneath the surface lies a slow-boiling tension between the haves and the have-nots. There's a hostility simmering within those who struggle to transcend, to become more, and to fight back against a social value system that has sold them short and offered them little in the way of true comfort, loyalty, or respect. It's a dissatisfaction that can't be pacified with life's material luxuries and one that refuses to remain unheard. And now that desire to fight back - an urgency that unites the dispossessed across racial, gender and geographical borders - has found a new soundtrack in "Vendetta," the blisteringly heavy new album from Throwdown. Crafted over several grueling but excitingly introspective months in a cramped Huntington Beach rehearsal room and with renowned metal producer Zeuss (Hatebreed, Shadows Fall) at his Planet Z Studios in Massachusetts, "Vendetta" is the sound of a band with a new lease on life itching to take a few steps forward while remaining loyal to their roots. "Shut You Down," "Speak The Truth" and "Burn" are sure to become part of the band's well-established pit-invoking anthemic cannon the moment fans of 2003's breakthrough album "Haymaker" hear them spinning out of their CD players. Meanwhile "Discipline" and "To Live Is To Sacrifice" are delivered with equal might but layered with a metallic force that explains why Throwdown covered Sepultura's "Roots" during their stint on the 2004 Ozzfest. The more metallic-leaning tracks on "Vendetta" also shed some light as to why Revolver anointed them part of "The Future Of Metal" in a recent cover story and many fans have declared Throwdown the next Pantera. And then there's the album's title track, a pissed-off venom fueled diatribe that would make Black Flag proud, dipping deep inside hardcore history to find it's future. Throwdown created a rumble in the underground with a handful seminal releases in the late 90s issued through California's Indecision label that cemented the band as an integral part of the hardcore scene and endeared them to an audience hungry for the next Earth Crisis. The lyrics connected, the live show devastated, and the four years of blood, sweat and tears the guys had put into their band paid off in 2002 when several powerhouse indie record labels came knocking, eager to expose Throwdown to a wider group of people. Throwdown truly found their voice, both literally and figuratively, with "Haymaker." The songs on the band's Trustkill Records debut, most notably the MTV2 "Headbanger's Ball" staple "Forever," were the next logical step forward for the band, who rightly elected to elevate their status beyond "project" into a full-time touring machine. Matt Mentley graduated from fill-in live guitarist to full-time member after the album's release and he fit in smoothly with Peters and founding member Dom Macaluso, whose focus and work ethic have driven Throwdown's career every bit as much as his bass-lines have powered their songs. Transplanted Montreal native Ben Dussault came into the band's long-dormant full-time drummer position shortly before Ozzfest, adding a pummeling drive, a hard-hitting explosiveness, and a little bit of Canucklehead humor to boot. That the time Throwdown spent on the road with Lamb Of God, As I Lay Dying and Norma Jean had gelled the lineup into a bludgeoning force firing on all cylinders was evident when they hit the studio. And Zeuss had a creative vision one hundred percent in tune with the band's as the five of them set out to create what will undoubtedly go down as one of the heaviest records of 2005, if not ever. What allows the band to persist and endure, and has made "Vendetta" the fullest realization of their vision, is the urgency inherent in their music and their fiercely loyal dedication to their friends, families, fans, and each other. The new album, like all great records, speaks to the frustrations of the outsider, uniting the masses through their shared struggles, and calling out the common enemies amongst the backstabbers and liars. "This is all that's driving me. This is a... Vendetta."