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Down Factor - Murder The World - 2005 - Scourge Records

Track Listing
1. The Wake
2. Blood Of The Patriots I
3. Blood Of The Patriots II
4. Gods Of War
5. A Song About Insanity
6. Blinded
7. Eye Consume
8. Seethe
9. The Root Of All Evil
10. Murder The World
The Bay Area of Oakland dishes out a smokin' thrash affair from the underground called Down Factor. The band cuts the chains on their sophomore effort, "Murder The World", through Scourge Records. This is the follow-up to the band's "Pure" release from 2003. Aligning themselves with famed recording mastermind Juan Urteaga, known for his work with Exodus, Sadus, and Vile in years past, has helped the group put together a very strong outing that is forceful, straight ahead US thrash that is both modern sounding while still firmly grasping the old school vibe put down two decades ago by thrash pioneers.

It is really alarming that the band has yet to pick up a major recording deal, especially considering just how moving and vengeful this solid second effort really is. The group plunder through ten solid tracks of pulverizing might and power, each track invigorating with it's groove laden riffs and brutal "urban" lyrics that tackle everything from religion to politics. Vocalist George Anderson, who also plays guitar, is very much in the Rob Flynn mold (Machine Head), really using some hardcore vocals crossed up with a rough thrash delivery. His guitars, combined with lead axeman Brooks Rocco, really charge to the front, recalling the days of early Testament, mid-era Slayer, and Forbidden with fantastic solos and thunderous, mid-tempo groove stomps. Waylon Ford checks in with lower mixed bass lines (I'm looking for higher mix bass), and Ramon Ochoa runs through some Brazilian styled drum work, kicking in with some needed double-bass in the quick parts.

Opener "The Wake" is an atmospheric intro taken from Franz Schubert's "Opus 100". Following that is a short instrumental in "Blood Of The Patriots I" before the album EXPLODES with "Blood Of The Patriots II". It is this song that firmly implants that Machine Head vibe, almost sounding like this cut, along with the title track", could have been lifted from MH's "Burn My Eyes" album. That is held in high regards by most modern metal fans, including me, and in my opinion Down Factor is following that exact same soundscape here. Other cuts like "The Root Of All Evil" and "Gods Of War" are wall smashing thrash entries, all perfectly delivered in Anderson's rough demeanor. Current Nevermore axe-slinger (wish you well!) Steve Smyth stops in for a blazing solo on "Blinded".

Bottom Line - Check this band out, attend their shows, and let the metal labels know that Down Factor is on the verge of breaking through! Solid US thrash that is sure to please Slayer, Exodus, Forbidden, Testament, and modern Vicious Rumors fans.



--EC 7.15.06

About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



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Murder The WorldDown Factor
2005
Eric Compton7/21/2006


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