Throwdown - Venom & Tears (Cover Artwork)


Throwdown: Venom & TearsVenom & Tears (2007)
Trustkill Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5

Contributed by: GlassPipeMurderGlassPipeMurder
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Venom & Tears is without a doubt Throwdown's most accomplished record, both musically and lyrically. However, the abrupt metallic shift in the evolution of the band's sound that occurs on the album has created a paradox on multiple levels. For one, there is still a huge divide between the veteran.

Venom & Tears is without a doubt Throwdown's most accomplished record, both musically and lyrically. However, the abrupt metallic shift in the evolution of the band's sound that occurs on the album has created a paradox on multiple levels.

For one, there is still a huge divide between the veteran hardcore followers of the band and the metalheads. Although vocalist Dave Peters recently pleaded for unity between the two scenes, it's hard to imagine a metalhead wanting to hear about straight-edge, just as it's hard to imagine a hardcore aficionado interested in the slower, riff-oriented grooves on Venom & Tears. Even the buzzworthy (sarcasm included) profile change from "hardcore" to "metal" seems strange, though no one would question the two together as part of the metalcore sound of the band's previous releases.

Straying from their fairly strict hardcore adherence may be in part responsible for the band's deviation from the traditional simplicity of their Ten Yard Fight-styled lyrics about hardcore and straight-edge. Throwdown has always been involved in socially conscious projects -- like their contribution to the Asian Man Records Plea for Peace Foundation and their support for groups like Amnesty International, Second Harvest, DATA, and RAINN -- but rarely did their lyrical content indicate such an agenda. Venom & Tears is a breakthrough for the band in this regard, as they rail against issues like organized religion, insipid American society, and domineering foreign policy in surprisingly articulate fashion.

The hardcore speed-metal of "Holy Roller" pummels through first, which alternates between a savage galloping rhythm and metal guitar riffs with Bad Religion-themed lyrics: "Sermon of hate / Spoken between a smile and words of piety / Well I've got a use for you / It's time we stuck the pig / Teeth in my tongue for far too long / I've watched your lechery / So let this be your requiem / When there's no eulogy I'll speak." "Hellbent (On War)" offers a refreshingly pacifist message from the often self-antagonizing band: "Now we're well past words and threats and everything in between / No more restraint, just pure hostility / Confrontation, intimidation, vindication... / An eye for an eye / A tooth for a tooth / But a code of violence and vengeance is written in blood" with a chorus that shouts out fellow hardcore brethren Blood for Blood.

The best music on the album comes from the circle pit-impelling "S.C.U.M.," which includes the disheartening line "Fuck the gangs of middle class suburbia, the gutter punks, their Prozac-medicated parents too strung out to give a shit," though the sincerity might be debatable given that the band did give props to veteran punkers like Bad Religion and MxPx on the 2007 Warped Tour. Regardless, the line that follows entirely makes up for any misunderstandings: "If I see another pedophile priest released, a hipster glam-rock wannabe, a cop shooting an unarmed teen, I'll carve my eyes out with a stick." "I Suicide" feels like a heavier, updated version of DRI-crossover thrash, and is probably the next big thing when all the burnout college kids get bored of their iPods and iPhones.

The metal-oriented music on Venom & Tears is not without its downfalls though. The album was produced by Andrew "Mudrock" Murdock, who has also produced the likes of Godsmack, Avenged Sevenfold and Powerman 5000. The undesirable similarities of his clients (especially Godsmack) resonate far too much through the banal grooving of "Venom & Tears" and the ironically titled "Godspeed," while "Day of the Dog" gives off a cheesy Metallica vibe.

With the unveiling of Venom & Tears, many have likened the band's new style to nothing more than a Pantera ripoff. While there may be some truth in such sentiment, it's hard to argue against listening to a socially conscious straight-edge rendition of the sound in lieu of a gaggle of vaguely racist, misogynist confederates, especially when Pantera themselves have been accused of ripping off other bands' sounds. The most amusing aspect of the Pantera comparisons comes attached to "Americana," a song that thrashes and tears apart what the Texas metal band embraced: "All hail the god on TV / White noise medicating / Rape and murder, holy war / Nothing phases me / [...] / Eyes wide, fixed and dilated / A myriad of rich white trash / Nothing phases me."

The final paradox of Throwdown's "metalling" is ultimately the most important: Venom & Tears is more progressed musically and lyrically than their previous material, but is it any more enjoyable? For that matter, is anything more enjoyable than dancing around with your half-shelled buddies and singing classic Throwdown songs?

When Throwdown can capture the substance and impressive riffs of Venom & Tears with the fun of their preceding work, only then will they reach their full potential. Nevertheless, Venom & Tears shows progress on multiple levels and is sure to please most Throwdown fans (especially those with an itch for southern metal).


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
SemperVigilance (September 12, 2007)

CrazyToldeo you clearly have no idea what your talking about. Since thier first album they have continually gotten better, and altho this was a little diffrent style of play, it was refreshing from thier other stuff, and it was an excellent overall. They are really not that close to Pantera or Metallica, altho if any album was it was this one, rather they are more harcore and fast paced then either, and lyrically i beleive they are way diffrent. This was an Excellent album, probably thier best so far. I do hear a bit of Hatebreed in a few of thier songs, but i love hatebreed so is doesnt bother me.

Cos (August 22, 2007)

By The Grace of God > Throwdown

crazytoledo (August 21, 2007)

Yeah, but a bad 'current' Metallica / Godsmack version of hardcore still is horrible.

Albert_Belle (August 20, 2007)

Except that Metallica is awesome Crazytoledo, pre-black album of course.

crazytoledo (August 20, 2007)

Throwdown has continually gotten worse and worse.

They went from a generic hardcore band, to a hardcore band partially ripping off Pantera, to a hardcore band with more in common with Metallica and Godsmack then most bands of the genre.

This is soooooo bad.

Anonymous (August 20, 2007)


Anonymous (August 19, 2007)

i'm listening to spanakorzo.

wallofyouth (August 19, 2007)

oh man that turtles video is amazing

Anonymous (August 18, 2007)

steve jones loves avenged sevenfold. no joke.

Anonymous (August 18, 2007)

cast iron hike ftw bitches

stevejonestherealbones (August 18, 2007)

i'm too tough for this crap

i dont want people thinking i'm some kind of homo

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

Anonymous (August 18, 2007)

"what, no one is going to make fun of the cover. total cheese ball. this is not hardcore or metal, just lame."

Snakes are metal as fuck dude. Sorry.

Anonymous (August 18, 2007)


Anonymous (August 17, 2007)


Albert_Belle (August 17, 2007)


Holy_Balls (August 17, 2007)

Brodown - Semen and Rears

Anonymous (August 17, 2007)

if megadeth > pantera, then
propagandhi > megadeth > throwdown > pantera?

Anonymous (August 17, 2007)


Anonymous (August 17, 2007)

Your mom's just not tough enough for this music!!!

Anonymous (August 17, 2007)

i like pantera.

Anonymous (August 17, 2007)

breaking benjamin!

Dante3000 (August 17, 2007)

I would guess this may be because metal sells more than hardcore.
Of course it could just be a natural progression. Either way I think I'll pass. I'm just not tough enough for this music.

Anonymous (August 17, 2007)

what, no one is going to make fun of the cover. total cheese ball. this is not hardcore or metal, just lame.

Albert_Belle (August 17, 2007)

Dave Mustaine > Dimebag Darrel

Anonymous (August 17, 2007)

hardcore bros v/s metalheads.

Anonymous (August 17, 2007)

This band was better when they were a joke band that didnt take themselves seriously.I like the older Throwdown, its borderline braindead, but its alot of fun.
Abou the lyric, its not the first time the band has managed to put a progressive message into their music. For example, on You Dont Have To Be Blood To Be Family, they dealt with homophobia.

Anonymous (August 17, 2007)

This will be shit, too much testoterone and i already heard this record it was by Hatebreed Terror and Madball...

Anonymous (August 17, 2007)

I'd rather just listen to Vulgar Display Of Power. Yeah brother!

Archangel (August 17, 2007)

"Fuck the gangs of middle class suburbia,"

Yeah, I want to hear a straight-edge band with bro-on-bro violence in their music videos condemning middle class gangs.


Sally_Field (August 17, 2007)

"Fuck this shit, open this pit up!"


moneenerd (August 17, 2007)

UGGGH Awful band

mikeinflames (August 17, 2007)

this is actually a fairly solid album. nothing amazing but a good listen. and you can't be too shocked at the switch of their sound. it was fairly obvious they were heading that way with their last album.

Holy_Balls (August 17, 2007)


Anonymous (August 17, 2007)


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