Terminal – Blacken The Skies

Blacken The Skies Album Cover Art

Terminal – Blacken The Skies
Metropolis Records
Release Date: 05/02/2021
Running Time: 33:29
Review by Wallace Magri
9/10

The New German Hardness (Neue Deutsche Härte) is the perfect soundtrack for the neo medieval era that we live in today. The Dark Electro gloomy and cybernetic textures taken from sonorous samples are filled with a squall of sequencers laying a constant gothic ambience, creating the rhythmic backbone to sustain the Teutonic and distorted vocal lines, yet human, that delivers an ensemble of suffocating and scary scenarios, making a perfect match to our dystopic cruel world, right on February 2021.

Therefore, taking advantage of the global madness and the digital sorrow people are stuck in, it seems like Neue Deutsche Härte might take over the world of Metal and Electronic Oriented Music for good! It is all about fixing the beats per minute, controlling the rhythm of our bodies, while vocal frequencies slowly crawl over our brains, clarifying ourselves about the malaise of civilization.

The music heard on “Blacken The Skies” (the debut album from Terminal, a Canadian studio project idealized by Tomas Mark Anthony – who is a producer, singer and multi-instrumentalist) is hugely influenced by the already mentioned Neue Deutsche Härte. However, it is not common sense harsh industrial that is delivered over the 12 songs on the album, since the Dark Electro established ambience dialogues with 70’s Glam Rock right in the first song, ‘Terror Ride’. If Marc Bolan were sat, right here by my side, he would find quite the same catchy chorus that was heard on ‘Get It On’, but with a very distinct approach. And surely the T Rex leader would approve of it right away.

Yeah, no electric guitars, live bass and drums are required here to deliver heaviness on songs like ‘Riot Shields’. Tomas Mark Anthony is the only human being existent within Terminal, and he and his machines open an actual musical vortex to emulate everything that Mark has heard over his musical journey up to now, all of it homogenized combining good taste for electronic grey textures with the typical hypnotic 200 bpm of EBM’s electro sessions, fastening our heartbeats and warming our bodies. That kind of beat makes you wanna twist your body, doesn’t it? Don’t mind if you are shaking your hips a little bit right now, while listening to “Blacken The Skies”. That doesn’t mean that you dance because you are happy – that’s only your body responding to the music in a very primitive way.

Terminal also finds a place to slow the beat down to 120/133 bpm in order to celebrate the 80’s Synth/Dark Wave era on several songs, such as ‘Fault Line’ – that brings to my mind the proto-industrial Heavy/Rock performed by the likes of Front 242. On ‘Godfire’ Terminal pays tribute to its Canadian peers, Front Line Assembly, while underscoring Techno Music elements and also adding oriental elements in the mix.

The funny thing about all the enthusiasm while I write this review, talking about Electro Nightmare Music, is that back in the 80’s, when I was a young metalhead listening to Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Metallica and all those sorts of trivia Metal Bands, I just HATED electronic music, synth wave, post-punk, gothic rock, etc. In the 80’s, it was almost a duty for metalheads to reject that kind of song, because the music that I loved was supposed to be delivered through fast drums, guitar riffs, while the lead singer screamed and shouted over the mic. Electronic music meant bubble-gum songs to play on the damn radio stations, so there was no room for that kind of music in the 15 years old raging heart of mine…until 1992.

Thanks to Uncle Al Jourgensen my mind was blown away over songs like ‘New World Order’ and ‘Jesus Built My Hotrod’, by Ministry and in the early 90’s, I was converted to a Newborn Industrial Music Fan! Those songs were pure rage and mayhem, so I could connect to it! And, to shorten the story, around the 2000’s I finally revisited and made friends with New Order, The Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus etc in pure gothic joy! What I learnt during this process was…we are able to change our minds all the time.

By the way, “Blacken The Skies” is released under the Metropolis Records belt, what is relevant information. In case you don’t know, this record label has been responsible for spreading the Industrial Rock/Metal word around the US, since 1993, along with Wax Trax Records, reverberating the Harsh Industrial wave, that started its engines on German and Belgian ground at the beginning of the 90’s, with bands like KMFDM and Oomph! amongst others.

I can go back in Industrial Rock/Metal history on another review. So, if you are enjoying it, let the Ever Metal’s editors know, please. Anyway, if this review becomes my only one around here (It won’t be – Rick), I just want you to know that Terminal’s debut album has got it all and makes crystal clear, through its dark synthetic songs, that the time has come for thou metal heads to surrender to the new soundtrack for our apocalyptical world: accept the electronic harsh heaviness, just get yourself a glass of booze (or whatever) and enjoy the ride. Pretty soon you are going to forget about the relevance of the metal guitar riffs to make music sounds heavy enough for your ears, and then, you are going to realize that Neue Deutsche Härte is just fucking cool music to listen to and to dance with, a little bit. Just give yourself the chance.

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Course Of Empire
02. Terror Ride
03. Deadline
04. Fault Line
05. Crackdown
06. Extrajudicial
07. Dance Fall
08. Needle Park (Time To Die)
09. Riot Shields
10. Godfire
11. TRMNL
12. Collateral Damage

LINE-UP:
Tomas Mark Anthony & Machines

LINKS:

Terminal Promo Pic

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