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Terminalist - The Crisis As Condition review

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Band: Terminalist
Album: The Crisis As Condition
Style: Progressive thrash metal
Release date: September 2023

01. Life Won't Last
02. The Crisis As Condition
03. A Future To Weave
04. Last Remains
05. Frenetic Standstill
06. Mutating Fractures
07. Move In Strife

The "hyperthrashers" are back with another fantastic album, solidifying their spot among the best of the modern thrash metal scene.

In case you missed one of the most overlooked gems of 2021, let me bring you up to speed (pun definitely intended). Terminalist are a Danish-American band that play a style of technical thrash metal most similar to Vektor, both in terms of their high-speed performance and their futuristic, dystopian lyrical themes. Terminalist's 2021 debut album The Great Acceleration dealt with the concept of dromocracy, i.e. a society governed by speed. The theme of humanity's accelerating downfall was so fittingly mirrored in their turbo musicianship that I felt obligated to write a glowing review. Sadly, Terminalist seem to have gone largely overlooked here on Metal Storm. Perhaps another great album could garner the attention Terminalist deserve.

Now, two years later, such a follow-up release has arrived in the form of The Crisis As Condition. Even though dromocracy is briefly referenced in the opening song, Terminalist's sophomore album primarily focuses on crises that plague us today, rather than speculating about future catastrophes to come. We're all affected by the war in Ukraine, growing inflation, the energy crisis, and countless other issues. The self-proclaimed "hyperthrashers" convey these heavy topics in an overwhelming yet immensely enjoyable musical manner. Their breakneck riffing exudes controlled chaos like a bullet train that's about to derail, while the pummeling percussion resembles a barrage of missiles.

Yet, while the sheer speed of their performance is impressive enough, Terminalist's appeal lies in their engaging songwriting. Taking inspiration from both progressive metal and black metal, the band showcase their ability to create catchy melodies and grand soundscapes. And, am I insane or do the opening lead guitar licks of "Last Remains" sound a lot like Devil Master's "Never Ending Night"? If so, then I guess Terminalist even resemble some melodic crust punk!

The weakest link on the album is perhaps the vocal performance. On the one hand, there's barely any variation in the delivery, sticking to a technique halfway between death metal growls and rasps. On the other hand, as I mentioned in The Great Acceleration's review, this vocal style might be more appealing to those who can't bear the "space eagle" shrieks of Vektor. It's a solid performance that gets the job done, but it is clearly overshadowed by the excellent instrumentation.

As true progressive thrashers, Terminalist know when and how to slow things down without seeming out-of-place at all. Their complex musicianship flows seamlessly, demonstrated perfectly, for example, on "Last Remains" and "Move In Strife". The concluding two-and-a-half minutes of "Last Remains" indulges in a lengthy yet amazingly captivating instrumental section, showing off mournful lead guitar-work supported by a rumbling bass in the background, before finishing off with an elegant guitar solo. The ten-minute-long closer "Move In Strife" is the ideal, epic experience to end another successful record. Drawing you in with building tension, the multi-layered guitar-work creates an irresistible, enthralling atmosphere. With thunderous, groovy riffs to match the harsh growls and with eargasmic guitar solos to boot, the music rises to a satisfying crescendo, leaving you with the desire to hear it all over again!

In conclusion, The Crisis As Condition is another impressive achievement that Terminalist can be very proud of. With fast, complex, yet extremely engaging songwriting and a stellar performance, this band have proven once again that they are one of the best new bands in the thrash metal scene. If they keep up this success rate, they have the undeniable potential to become a modern metal giant. So, turn on The Crisis As Condition and give Terminalist your undivided attention — they deserve nothing less.

Written on 09.09.2023 by The sign of good music is the ability to both convey and trigger emotion.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 41 users
13.09.2023 - 13:53

This is definitely a great album. Not quite on Vektor's level but still highly enjoyable. Awesome recommendation!
11.04.2024 - 04:28
Rating: 8

It's the raspy vocals that makes me enjoy this album so much. It goes so well with the thrash.
Leeches everywhere.
11.04.2024 - 04:57
Rating: 9
Nocturnal Bro
Written by tintinb on 11.04.2024 at 04:28

It's the raspy vocals that makes me enjoy this album so much. It goes so well with the thrash.

yeah it's a great style. Different from Vektor, but works just as well with technical thrash

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