Friday, March 16, 2012

Terminate - Thirst for the Obscene [2012]

Terminate are another one of those lesser-known underground metal outfits that are currently playing neck breaking old-school death metal from the United States, and are unjustly little heard of. They are also one of the ones that are playing higher quality death metal, shooting bursts of energy and carrying lots of sheathed potential in their music. Having a style similar to that of Swedish death metal, unnecessary being the mention of the bands (think "usual suspects"), they are among the few bands today that show a very promising future, even though their style still has that unfortunate “it’s been done before” factor.  In spite of this, many will find “Thirst for the Obscene” to be a very fun and pleasing listen, and those who don’t get the chance to listen to it should stick around for a future full-length, as Terminate’s music outshines many other bands'.

Terminate bear a quite overt resemblance to Bolt Thrower and Entombed (and all of the other classic Swedeath bands) and their songwriting skills are surprisingly fresh. They tend to constantly switch things up in their songs, leading to a much better result and fun listen. The thick guitar tone is delivered by crunchy riffs, both tremolo and some thrashier conducts, and the guitars are at the top of the mix, leading the way for the rest of the instruments to follow. They waste no time in getting into the meat of the songs and voraciously producing relentless death/thrash metal with memorable riffs and interesting changes. Mosh grooves are heard quite often throughout, usually preceded by tremolo passages and followed as such too. “Numb” is responsible for some of the absolute craziest headbanging any listener is sure to perform, with its mid-paced tempo and catchy riffs, the guitar tone always staying true to the Swedeath trademark sound. The last original song, “Blind Leading the Blind,” contains similar qualities to the ones that come before it, but introduces a more double-bass driven gallop and tempo changes. I cannot help but feel that they could do better, though, as their songwriting abilities and creative minds certainly call for it; nevertheless, the songs on here are all of entertaining and jaw-clenching brutality, rarely having generic riffs.

The last two songs on the EP are both covers, and well-chosen ones at that; the first being Slaughter’s “Incinerator” and the second Celtic Frost’s “The Usurper,” both of which are well-performed covers of the original songs. The vocals are somewhat lower in the mix, breathless rasps that range from higher to lower growls. My only complaint for this EP is that there are too few original songs, but to their credit, they keep it short and sweet. Contrary to what many Swedeath-worshipping bands are doing today, Terminate don’t follow in that continuous d-beat style, having only one on the entire EP; rather, they have blended crusty/thrash mosh grooves with Swedeath tremolo riffs, and it works to their advantage. “Thirst for the Obscene” is their second release to date, the previous being a demo, and hopefully they won’t run out of creative material for future records. I eagerly wait for a new full-length.



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