Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
In this contemporary age of 2018, the Los Angeles grindcore / death metal band TERRORIZER are revered as extreme metal legends, and rightly so.
The origins of TERRORIZER date back to 1986 when the band was formed from the ashes of Majesty. By 1987, the quartet – vocalist / guitarist Oscar Garcia, drummer Pete Sandoval, guitarist Jesse Pintado (R.I.P.), and bassist Alfred “Garvey” Estrada – had issued a pair of demos: ‘Nightmares’ and ‘Demo ’87’. By 1988, TERRORIZER had disbanded, but not before a Split with Garcia’s Nausea was independently released.
In 1989, Sandoval had landed in Morbid Angel and Pintado had joined Napalm Death, with Garcia resuming work in his own project, Nausea. The story goes that Jesse’s fellow Napalm Death bandmate Shane Embury was so smitten with those early demos that he convinced Earache Records to bankroll a proper recording from the then-defunct band.
Jesse reconnected with Oscar Garcia, the pair then learned that Sandoval was ensconced within the now-famous Morrissound Studio in Tampa, Florida working on Morbid Angel’s début, ‘Altars Of Madness’. The guys regrouped at that location to begin work on their own début record but soon learned “Garvey” Estrada was in jail and unable to participate. Enter Morbid Angel’s David Vincent who would provide bass for the recording, one recorded with a single guitar due to Garcia’s having forgotten his guitar parts of the songs by that time.
What resulted from this collective has become one of extreme metal’s landmark album releases, the masterpiece opus that is ‘World Downfall‘. Considered a pinnacle for death metal and grindcore, one featuring impossibly fast blast-beats and double-bass drumming, along with a blitzkrieg attack by late guitarist Jesse Pintado, the record is a blueprint for metallic savagery. Even more astounding is the fact the album was recorded and mixed in eight hours!
TERRORIZER was one of the first bands that producer Scott Burns got to work with, where the sound on this début album would later be known as the ultimate in “death metal production”. Because of his work, he later went on to become one of the most well-known death metal producers in history.
Perhaps the irony here is that TERRORIZER would once again go inactive around this time, remaining such for over a decade and a half. 2005 would see the reformation of the band by Jesse Pintado and Pete Sandoval with new members, Anthony Rezhawk (vocals) and Tony Norman (bass). This lineup yielded the band’s 2006 sophomore album for Century Media Records, ‘Darker Days Ahead‘.
Despite this glorious high point for TERRORIZER, that year would also bring one of its lowest when Jesse Pintado died, due to complications arising from liver failure.
This would not spell the end of TERRORIZER though, as Sandoval and Rezhawk returned in 2011 with Resistant Culture guitarist Katina Culture in tow. The trio signed with Season Of Mist and the following year saw the release of ‘Hordes Of Zombies‘.
In 2013, Pete Sandoval joined forces with multi-instrumentalist Lee Harrison (Malevolent Creation, Monstrosity, Obituary) and Harrison’s Monstrosity bandmate, bassist Sam Molina. A year later, the trio began working on songs that would eventually become the components of a new TERRORIZER album.
That album has now been announced as the apocalyptic recording for The End Records, ‘Caustic Attack‘, and will arrive this Fall. Veteran producer Jason Suecof (Death Angel, Charred Walls Of The Damned) helmed the effort and further details are forthcoming. Check out its artwork below.
Early revelations about ‘Caustic Attack‘ say it is classic TERRORIZER in every way, from Sandoval’s insanely inhuman drumming, right down to the absence of guitar solos. Sandoval left Morbid Angel in 2013, placing all of his focus upon TERRORIZER, and is planning to extensively tour for the upcoming release.