It's kind of bizarre to review Darker Days Ahead knowing that Terrorizer recently died along with Jesse Pintado.
I've seen a lot of bashing and arguing back and forth whether it was a good idea to revive Terrorizer, and a lot speaks against it with David Vincent as well as Oscar Garcia missing in the line-up. It would be logic to speculate in what the motives were to bringing back a band that disbanded so long ago, but to me it sounds like Jesse and co did a wholehearted attempt. The band doesn't quite succeed in capturing the magic that was present on their on their first studio album World Downfall from 1989, but Darker Days Ahead is still a strong manifest of the skills Jesse had.
With David and Oscar not participating, Jesse and Pete Sandoval teamed up with Tony Norman and Anthony Rezhawk. I think they proved to be the right replacements. The music is far from being the revolutionary World Downfall, but in the 17 year gab between the two CD's, a lot of things have happened to extreme music. I think the band to a degree manages to revive some of the magic from World Downfall, even though their sound is far more generic nowadays. Pete's drumming is as always impressive, and Jesse and Tony's fretwork is evenly brutal. Anthony does a fine job vocally, and the difference between him and Oscar is not that big. The songs are intense and with a powerful expression, but some of the tracks tend to sound a bit too much alike. I could have done without the intro, "Inevitable", and Pete's experimenting on the outro "Ghost Train". Both seem unnecessary, but these don't spoil the overall experience.
I don't think it's entirely fair to hold Darker Days Ahead up against World Downfall as it's no way near as pioneering as that album, but I'm also quite sure that the band was aware that it would be almost impossible to hit the jackpot twice. Darker Days Ahead may be generic in many ways, but it sounds like Terrorizer, and musically it's not as bad as many critics say. Don't expect to find another World Downfall in Darker Days Ahead, because you'll most likely be disappointed.