Italian groovesters Terrorway have returned with The Second, their aptly titled sophomore effort. Their first album in three years, they’re looking to get off to a flyer with a new singer in tow.
The band play a methodical form of groove metal, with a primary focus on mid paced, single note riffs, with many moments sure to draw comparisons with the likes of Gojira or Meshuggah. Guitarist Ivan Fois utilises an eight string guitar, giving extra weight to his winding riffs. His playing is very impressive and clean, aided by the polished production job. He is very accomplished on his instrument, with his intermittent leads being played with great composure, the occasional dissonant harmony giving some songs an unnerving feel. Cosma Secchi is equally as composed on drums, peppering the songs with inventive fills and double bass flourishes. Vocalist Andrea Orrù favours the tried and true formula of mixing clean and harsh tones. There’s nothing particularly spectacular about either, although there are moments when you can hear the venom in his delivery. Likewise, there are times when he becomes a bit too passive, taking the edge off. Giovanni Serra takes a back seat on bass, although displays some neat little touches when the opportunity arises.
The music itself is enjoyable enough, although the album is a bit front loaded. The first four-five tracks are tight, well written compositions that flow very well. “Eye of the Sun” and “Torment” both possess energetic spirit, whilst “On the Edge”, an atmospheric number with a desolate opening that wouldn’t be out of place on a death/doom record, is the album highlight. Things start to unravel a bit after that, with songs feeling a bit under developed and one paced. The band seems a bit eager to play it safe at times, falling back into ideas that served the earlier tracks well. As such, things start to feel slightly repetitive as the album chugs along. It does end on a high note however, with closer “Threshold of Pain” carrying unrelenting fury, some nifty riffing and a great melodic break.
I’ve mixed feelings on this one. The first half of the album is pretty good, with a number of decent ideas scattered throughout the second half. The biggest issue is it’s not particularly memorable. After several playthroughs, I still struggle to recall even the best moments here. I can’t deny that there are signs of brilliance though, so anyone with an affection for groove should at least give the first few songs a cursory listen.
Highlights: “Eye of the Sun”, “Torment”, “On the Edge”