First of all, who decided to tug on my heart strings by releasing a “new” Immortal Terror album in 2020?! In all seriousness though, you can’t beat this tracklist. Right off the bat, I must admit that this will be more of a nostalgia piece than an album review.
Since I didn’t enter the metal scene until 2000(ish), I completely missed The Skyroom. I’ve heard many stories, but none of them really did the place justice. I didn’t feel like I ever truly learned the vibe of the place until I heard this latest Immortal Terror release.
Immortal Terror were, for all intents and purposes, Buffalo’s first grind band. And as such, this collection of IT’s “big hits” comes jam packed with both live and studio material. More importantly, it’s also an homage to guitarist Jeff Budziszewski, who recently passed away.
Roughly the first 12 tracks on this album were recorded live at Skyroom on September 16th, 1990. I was just entering kindergarten at the time, so I couldn’t be there. I’m really sorry, guys. I tried my best, but my teacher was too busy locking us in a room and preaching country music.
Getting back to THIS music, I love these live tracks, mostly because the “in-between song banters” weren’t edited out or cut down at all. At least, they don’t appear to be. You can hear the awkward frontman segues and the even more awkward communiques between the band and the sound guy about levels. You can also hear the crowd and even pick out the voices of people who clearly know the band members personally. Getting in the zone during this listen, I could smell the piss and beer on the concrete floor. I could feel the stickiness of the floor under my sneakers, due to spilled beverages. I could even smell the Marb Reds sparking all around, since people were smoking in NYS bars back then.
And another thing that really takes me back is the “old school demo sound” when getting into the studio tracks. After talking with Jim Santillo (drums), he informed me that both the demo and live tracks that appear on this album were recorded at Skyroom. And I must say, for a grindcore band, the demo quality present on these recordings is perfect. All in all, this is a FILTHY sounding album. This latest Immortal Terror release is 25 tracks of pure, fast, grimy grindcore.
Though, not all the credit can be given to Immortal Terror in their original form. This album also includes an unreleased 1991 demo from Casket, a 2018 track from Casket and a 2019 track from Anthropic – Jim’s current band.
Casket, was a project of Jeff and Jim’s that never got off the ground …UNTIL NOW!
It’s also worth mentioning that A LOT went into putting out this CD. This stuff isn’t available online and due to the pandemic, Jim had to mail me my copy. However, I can’t complain about any of this, because it just added to the throwback experience of it all.
In putting out this album, Jim had the live and demo recordings remixed by Doug White at Watchmen Studios. Doug has been cranking out recordings for local bands since 1995 and he’s a pillar of the scene to be sure. The Casket material was remixed by Glenn Szymanski (Tines), Brian Pattison (Anthropic, Glorious Times) and Doug White (Watchmen). Furthermore, Bob Bieber (Lucky DeVille Tattoo) designed the album cover. The cover logo was designed by Lamont Bell and the photo on the back is from the earlier referenced 1990 Skyroom show.
Fans of all grindcore and (most) death metal, and ESPECIALLY WNY metal scene natives NEED this collection of great tunes and nostalgic moments in their album collections!
Again, I tried to make this an album review, but in the end, I couldn’t. I have far too much bias in me at the moment. If you are part of this scene now, or have ever been before, and any of this means anything to you on an emotional level, contact Jim through Anthropic and get your hands on this disc!