Release Date: June 28, 2005
Reviewed by Scott Olivenbaum

Throwdown’s Haymaker moshed its way into hardcore and metal fans’ collections everywhere with its powerful, unrelenting songs of self-empowerment.

A straight-edge version of Hatebreed, Throwdown has the same philosophy when it comes to making music – if it isn’t broken, don’t mess with it. With their new release, Vendetta, the California crew has released another album of testosterone-driven anthems.

This time around Throwdown has openly declared war. This is no mafia, wake up with a horse’s head declaration of vengeance; this is screaming ‘I’m coming down there with my boys and some bats’-type retribution. The drums pound like lead pipes on flesh while the guitars fly like fists. The guitars charge with more metal riffs than they did on Haymaker, but the adrenaline rush they produce is still the same.

Yet again Throwdown has produced an album with one idea in mind, with one target audience … the mosh pit. Crushing breakdowns hit like hammers to anvils, and punches to faces. Encouraged by the raw, yelling vocals, those brave enough to be in and around the pit will see red and go absolutely insane. And that is a good thing; this music helps drive pure aggression and violent release.

The bad thing is that the band’s metal influences come through in this album and will inevitably lead to cries of sell-out by the straightedge, tunnel-visioned hardcore kids. But overwhelmingly this music is still balls-to-the-walls hardcore. The song structures and lyrics remain simple and direct … aimed right at the pissed off, disillusioned outcasts that need to let loose.

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