Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Terminate - "Ascending to Red Heavens" (2013)

Full – length (Selfmadegod Records, 18th February 2013)

Line – up (2010):    John Porada – vocals/guitars;
                                Tom Cardella – guitars;
                                Alfred Mulle – bass;
                                Jim Smith – drums.

Location:                Morton Grove, Illinois.

Better song of the album:

“Iron Supremacy”.

Better feature of the production:

the guitarwork.
                                                Cover artwork: Raul Gonzalez Serrano.

Now that the old - school has returned to lay down the law, there are two countries that dominate the International death metal scene: Sweden and U.S.A., that are the same ones of 20 years ago. The beautiful thing is that the music quality is often high, I would even go so far to say that some new bands are able to create real classics, like “Oath of the Abyss” of Ritual Necromancy and few others. All this means two basilar things: 1) the scene of these countries is creative more than never, developing a new sound, also if it is devoted paradoxically to the old – school; 2) there is a real and excellent generational replacement. Hence, here you are an interesting band called Terminate, that releasead this debut album after one demo and one EP.

I used the word “interesting” not only because “Ascending to Red Heavens” is a good (but still unripe) album but also because it spew forth a rare combination of styles. In fact, Terminate combines the purest Swedish death metal with a bunch of melodies, playing in a free and easy way. The assault is preferably fast but the blast – beats are rare, the thrashin' drumming reminds me Fred Estby of Dismember, while L.G. Petrov shadow resounds in the vocals, considering the sung in glower with some screams of John Porada.

The songs’ structure is simple but sometimes the band propose odd intuitions (like in the titletrack, that I will analyse later), surprising very much the listeners. Anyway, the solos have a fundamental role in the music, since some tracks have even 2 or more of them, ranging from noisy to atmospheric or melodic, hence the work is various enough.

Now, I want to talk about “Ascending to Red Heavens”, that is undoubtedly the longer (5:23) and more particular song of the album. It starts as a traditional death metal assault, except the introduction that contains an interesting one – two mid – tempo, while the drummer is more participative than the usual proposing some effective accents that emphasize the music. Then, there is a pause and a solitary bass line, so starts the second part of the song. The music changes in an incredible way becoming epic and very melodic, the solos dominates the rest of time on a mid – tempo ride (wow, I love English, it’s easy to make the rhymes!). But… but there is a “little” problem concerning this strange half, since it runs prolix and lack of ideas, sticking to the same musical solutions for all the time. At this point, it would been better either to finish the song with the first part or to stake one’s all during the second one.

It’s curious also this: the work of singer is a bit repetitive and foreseeable, considering that he sings always into the main two riffs but almost never in another songs’ moments. In this way, the essential death metal of Terminate isn’t always potent, at least in the second half of the album, where the band, trying to be more melodic, is less inventive and little attentive to the development track. Nevertheless, “Iron Supremacy” is miraculously the better song of this experience, nay, it’s an incredible masterpiece full of pure aggression, inventiveness and great participation from all the musicians, vocals included!
Here we are in the conclusions, what more I can say? Well, I advise to the band both to follow the brutal directives of “Iron Supremacy” and to break off the melodies, at least the ones that aren’t typical of the genre. For the rest, some groovy mid – tempos are great (my favourite is into “Answered in Lead”), the production of the album is clean and with every instrument in its place. But the very important thing is the following: there are good preliminary remarks to destroy completely the ass for the next time, so LET’S GO AND DEATH UP THE METALHEADS!

Rating: 70

Flavio “Claustrofobia” Adducci


1 – Answered in Lead/ 2 – Demonic Instinct/ 3 – Numb/ 4 – Rotten Dead Mass/ 5 – The Savage Silence/ 6 – Chainsaw Omega/ 7 – Ascending to Red Heavens/ 8 – Blind Leading the Blind/ 10 – Iron Supremacy