We all have bands that never made it big but we really liked. If you are really honest about it, those bands generally have a very distinct reason they didn’t make it big. In short, some bands just don’t have that “it” factor. For me, Halloween are one of those bands. I always loved their tunes and thought they were great. Yet, I think I always fully understood why they didn’t make it. When you listen to the bands of their ilk that did break big and compare them to the bands that had pretty much the same impact, it’s very clear. Halloween was much more “Helstar” than they were “King Diamond”. For me, the lesser known certainly had more impact to me.
All this said, Halloween is one of those bands that didn’t make it, and really might want to start thinking about winding down making new music and simply play their annual Halloween gigs for fun. As much as I have liked everything they’ve done to this point, I can’t get past how dull TERRORTORY is. In short, this album is a snore. It’s not bad really, but it’s about as dynamic as a rice cake birthday dinner for a co-worker that you’ve never spoken to. It’s dull, plain and simple.
There are two big issues with TERRORTORY - the production and the vocals. First, the production. While it’s clean sounding, it has a real air of cheapness to it. This is most notable on the drums. I don’t know if it’s on purpose or just a bad mix, but whatever the reason, the drums just don’t sound like a professional kit at all. They are clangy to the point of annoying on “Images Quite Horrible”. This is not to say that the performance from Don Gurner is bad or anything, but the drum sound itself is distractinglly bad.
Vocalist Brian Thomas, however, doesn’t escape so easily. His vocals are very dull; so much so that it reminds me more off a King Diamond soundcheck than an actual performance. Listening to songs like “Her Ghost Comes Out To Play”, Thomas’ delivery is very flat and subdued. He’s also very, very raw throughout the record, which is strange. It’s not that the band doesn’t have the ability to use a bit of reverb or echo to enhance his sound any, as this same song has an almost tubular echo on the guitars (again, not a very good thing).
PITRIFF RATING - 41/100 - Disappointing release. As a fan of this band, I hoped and expected something a lot stronger than TERRORTORY. Kind of plain and with local band production, TERRORTORY fails to impact much.