Overall Score: 8/10 Cover Artwork: 9/10 Genre-incorporation: 8/10 Face melting factor: 8/10 Pros: A real melting pot of ideas and sounds. Cons: Terminalist possibly lose a bit of identity from covering so many bases…
Copenhagen based Terminalist are about to launch their debut album upon the world. The four-piece have managed to combine a real old-school heavy metal vibe with some forward thinking approaches on The Great Acceleration, and it sounds pretty damn good to us.
The first thing to get excited about with The Great Acceleration is the outstanding artwork by the incredibly talented Ryan T. Hancock. The visuals align closely with the themes of the album, as the band take on the traditional sci-fi theory of humans having to relocate to elsewhere in the universe as we rapidly destroy our own planet. The cover art depicts spacecraft about to enter some sort of space vortex and Terminalist may just be on the event horizon of something very special here too.
Once you have finished admiring the cover art and cracked the music open, there are a lot more layers to Terminalist to be discovered.
From the band logo, the band image and indeed the aforementioned artwork; Terminalist scream ‘Thrash!’. While that may be on the money, once you delve deep into The Great Acceleration, it becomes very hard to pigeonhole the band into just one genre.
An obvious parallel to draw with Terminalist is with legendary Canadian sci-fi thrashers, Voivod. The band tread a similar path with space themes and the slightly proggy take on thrash metal. If anything, Terminalist take the progressive element even further. There’s a hell of a lot more to Terminalist than Voivod worship however. Lead singer (and guitarist) Emil Hansen delivers his vocals in a deep and gravelly death growl, which is reminiscent of how brilliantly Enforced have already mixed up death and thrash to great effect this year.
In addition to the proggy-death-thrash, the band also incorporate some black metal atmospherics and blast beats into their sound which really means that you can’t place this band into one neat and tidy genre.
The band have coined their sound as HYPERTHRASH! That’s a lot catchier than blackened-prog-death-thrash, so we’ll go with that.
The album bursts into action with Relentless Alteration which combines galloping thrash and blackened death roars to kickstart proceedings with a short sharp shock. It’s an instant and catchy introduction to the album that gets things detonating from the very start. Terminal Dispatch follows in a similar vein, but as this album only weighs in at 5 tracks, so things soon start to lean towards the more epic side of things.
The Invention of the Shipwreck has a pulsating black metal intro which then greedily transforms into a two-part intro with the addition of some slow-burning thrash, just to build up that epic feeling to the maximum. The two eventually melt into one another and erupt into an 11-minute prog-laden chunk of a track.
Estranged Reflection is perhaps the standout track on an LP full to the brim of quality tunes. Everything seems to come together perfectly on track number 4 as it is not quite as busy as the previous tracks, but still mixes in all those key Terminalist elements. There’s a proper face-ripping guitar solo in there too, which is the icing on the cake.
Dromocracy is another wholesome longer track, which ensures we get out money’s worth before the album disappears into the vanishing point.
The Great Acceleration is refreshingly traditional but without being a dusty old one-dimensional tribute act to what has gone before. Terminalist manage to shoehorn lots of different elements into their sound which certainly keeps things very interesting from the listeners point of view and may broaden their appeal to heavy music fans. Whether they spread themselves a little too thinly remains to be seen. Maybe some thrash purists may find the sound a little too dynamic, but to us… it sounds flippin’ awesome!
The Great Acceleration is out on the 7th May ’21 via Indisciplinarian Records.