Monday, December 17, 2012

Reviews: Territory "Sic Semper Tyrannis"

By: Garviel Loken

This crusty hardcore group from Tucson brings the straight goods to your ears in the true spirit of that genre: No frills or fancy gimmicks, but a knockout right hook to the face. Featuring thought provoking front cover artwork and nine tracks of angry, barking attitude, Territory's "Sic Semper Tyrannis" record sits comfortably alongside the best purveyors of modern crust and hardcore.

While there is nothing in particular that makes Territory innovative, they execute their style very well and have more flashes of metal and doom within their songs than a lot of other similar bands. They also demonstrate that they can carry a groove and write songs that rely on more than just playing as fast as possible. While there are many short songs on "Sic Semper Tyrannis", the three longest ones turn out to be the best and most memorable at the end of the day.

These tracks (Triumph of My Will, Blood Feud and Throne,) deliver brutal and distorted riffs that are coupled with driving drums to produce a great cacophony over which the gruff vocals bellow. Furthermore, they go in different directions with tempo and style that catch the listener's attention much more than a lot of the material in the middle of the album. This is not to say that the other songs are not good (they are), but they lack the cohesive attack that make the aforementioned songs rise to the top of the list.

Territory is a good, solid band that has a lot to offer for anyone who enjoys crust and metallic hardcore. However, this listener thinks they could make an even stronger impact on more ears with that more tightly focused material. They have everything covered in the musicianship department and are sincere about their overall sound, so most of the elements are already in place.

Overall, "Sic Semper Tyrannis" is a worthy purchase and vinyl is the most highly recommended format. The sleeve and the vinyl itself look professionally printed and of high quality. The red and black colors of the cover artwork are nicely done and really catch the eye. The sound quality is also very good. It is nice to hear an album that was mastered correctly for vinyl versus one that is not. It has the warm tones you expect to hear and none of the anomalies found on a subpar mastering effort. If you are digitally inclined, Territory has this album, along with some older releases, available for download on their Bandcamp page.

Final Score: 8/10

Territory on Bandcamp

Territory on Facebook

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