TERMINUS: extreme metal podcast
Terminus Episode 92 - Tenhornedbeast, Corpsessed

Terminus Episode 92 - Tenhornedbeast, Corpsessed

May 9, 2022

We're a little late on this one- had to go to some crucial chakra alignment workshops- but we're back with a lean and mean episode featuring two records from completely opposite sides of our musical map. The split here is about as TBMG and TDMG as you can get- choose your side wisely, mortals.

First up is the triumphant return of Tenhornedbeast, a personal favorite of TBMG whose dark ambient/drone/post-industrial-what-have-you merges murky, distorted synth tones with negative space and distant, crushing percussion. Hey now, this isn't a metal record at all! There's plenty to discuss, though- what's the difference between good and bad music made in this style, minimalism vs. maximalism in ambient composition, and the difference between meditative and deliberately challenging tones. Listen to this one on headphones in the dark.

TDMG's side brings us back into the comfort of extreme metal with the new Corpsessed record. At this point long-running purveyors of traditional, punishing Finnish death metal, Corpsessed make remarkably well-rounded and deceptively clever music with a surprising amount of restraint and elegance. Refusing to perceive any difference between high-minded noodling and caveman mosh music, this is a record which truly encompasses what made old school death metal great and which indicates the flame is still alive.

0:00:00 - Intro/Tenhornedbeast - The Lamp of No Light (Cold Springs)

0:47:08 - Interlude - Endvra - “The Battle Song of Endvra” fr. Great God Pan (Elfenblut, 1997) (Seems out of print but easily available on the used market)

0:49:09 - Corpsessed - Succumb to Rot (Dark Descent)

1:30:38 - Outro - Rippikoulu - “Kadonneet jumalat” fr. Musta seremonia (Independent, 1993) (Re-released several times over the years, remastered version available on Bandcamp)

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Terminus Episode 91 - Grand Belial’s Key, Algaion, Thos Ælla

Terminus Episode 91 - Grand Belial’s Key, Algaion, Thos Ælla

April 30, 2022

IT'S HAPPENING! OH MY GOD IT'S FINALLY HAPPENING! Yeah, yeah, of course we were gonna cover it. But beyond the most obvious part of this show is a pair of excellent, highly melodic records which are equally worthy of your time. Case in point: the sophomore record of Thos Ælla, whose debut we covered on the show last year. The new record shows a supercharged version of the project, merging traditional melodic black/death with explosive power metal flourishes and guitar pyrotechnics. Talk about expansion on the ideal- this puts the project firmly on the map for all our listeners.

AND HERE IT IS. 17 years in the making, Kohanic Charmers has arrived to announce the return of hooligan black metal legends Grand Belial's Key. For those feeling trepidation over the job history gap, fear not: this is a powerful entry in the band's discography. Leaning toward the direct and compact disdain of Judeobeast Assassination, the new record combines a surprisingly understated delivery with mature, inventive songwriting. The quiet period of the last decade and a half has only sharpened their legendary musicality and scorn. Absolutely mandatory.

Finally, a powerful taboo is broken: we're covering a reissue! This time it's from Algaion, a fairly obscure Swedish project from the latter years of the second wave who make minimal yet elaborately melodic black metal that sounds like it could be released TODAY. This is part review and part history lesson as your hosts try to wrap their brains around the idea that this was recorded in the waning days of '94. All that being said, this is brilliant and provides an entirely new perspective on where the modern sounds today may have began.

0:00:00 - Intro/Thos Ælla - Sempiternal Mobocracies (I, Voidhanger Records)

0:19:22 - Grand Belial’s Key - Kohanic Charmers (Weltenfeind)

1:04:56 - Interlude - Toil - “Obscure Chasms” fr. Obscure Chasms (Grievantee Productions, 2007) (Long out of print but seemingly still available from underground shops)

1:08:00 - Algaion - Oimai Algeiou (reissue on Regain Records)

1:47:18 - Outro - Octinomos - “The Ground Shall Sorrow Be” fr. Octinomos (Infortunium Records, 1995) (Seems to be out of print- also search for On the Demiurge, essentially the same record.)

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Terminus Episode 90 - Ärid, Pharmacist, Ahulabrum

Terminus Episode 90 - Ärid, Pharmacist, Ahulabrum

April 23, 2022

Are you tired of Terminus selling out? Reviewing records people have actually heard of, praising songs with melodies and good production? We're back to take it to the demo days with three forceful squirts of deliberately maddening and inscrutable noise. Well, maybe just 2- in a bizarre role reversal, it's The Death Metal Guy who has provided the record closest to actual music today, and it comes from a goregrind band! Before we get there, though, there's the matter of Ahulabrum, 00s Blogspot legends returning with a blast of blackened noise centering on Bigfoot (as you do). Your hosts have a Squatching good time with this one, reminiscing on the good old days of CDr rawblack and wild experimentation.

But maybe that thread isn't left there- Ärid's remarkably savage new record continues the theme with music more coherent but no less vicious for it. Pulling on strains of second wave primitivism, rotting old USBM, and even some brushes with war metal, this is a record that manages to fully absorb the listener despite its rough grit sandpaper presentation. Keep an eye on this one- it's a record that might end up on more than one year end list come December.

But before we disappear forever into some bloodcaked tomb under the desert floor, TDMG brings us back to (relative) sanity with the new Pharmacist record which pushes the band toward the mid-era work of Carcass. Goresplattered surgical riffs meet a powerful sense of groove and masterfully executed technical work for a record that could be an ideal paradigm of how "mainstream extreme metal" could sound. You gotta grow your hair LONG for this one.

0:00:00 - Intro/Ahulabrum - Strange Lights Portend Their Presence (Nebular Carcoma)

0:23:00 - Ärid (US) - From Anthropophagic Waste Breeds a Writhing Mutagenesis (Death Hymns)

1:10:39 - Interlude - Deathchurch - “Vomit Upon the Burning Heaven” and “Black Cum Suffocation” fr. Unsilent Hate Anthem (Klaxon Records/Nuclear War Now, 2007)

1:15:58 - Pharmacist - Flourishing Extremities on Unspoiled Mental Grounds (Bizarre Leprous Productions)

1:57:32 - Outro - Haemorrhage - “Obnoxious (Surgeon of the Dead)” fr. Morgue Sweet Home (Morbid Records, 2002)

 

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Terminus Episode 89 - Concilivm, Evocator, Luminous Veil

Terminus Episode 89 - Concilivm, Evocator, Luminous Veil

April 15, 2022

Spring has sprung! Flowers are chirping and birds are blooming and your intrepid hosts are back from the Spring Fling in full force. What better way to celebrate the rebirth of nature than with tales of cryptic occultism and destructive bronze age warfare? But before we get to that, let's revisit something almost nice and appropriate for the season. Luminous Veil's record from last year was the source of some debate on the show, and we're checking in with the cheeseheads on their newest EP, which shows a rawer, more explosive side to the band. A surprise, but not an unwelcome one.

Following is the debut of Chilean death/war metallers Concilivm, who play a strikingly traditional strain of somewhat melodic death metal within a more modern black/death aesthetic wrapper. Lots of structural talk here: how should death metal songs be shaped? What's the ideal balance of chromaticism to melody in music like this? Is there such a thing as Too Much Bolt Thrower? After much debate our impressions are positive, but this is a great segment for the true musical autists among us (so every listener I guess.)

Wrapping things up is a record from a friend, namely Nick of Hessian Firm who supplies a striking vocal performance to the debut record of epic doomdeath juggernauts Evocator. That genre tag might be a bit misleading, though- there's elements of atmospheric black metal, brushes of prog, and an intense funeral doom atmosphere that creates a style distinct and unmistakeable. This is challenging music, more based on movement than riff, but those who take on the task of unraveling the dense neoclassical structures will find themselves greatly rewarded

0:00:00 - Intro/Luminous Veil - Halcyon Tyrannous (Wilt-Shine)

0:21:05 - Concilivm - A Monument in Darkness (Iron Bonehead)

1:01:47 - Dismember - “Misanthropic” fr. Death Metal (Nuclear Blast, 1997) (Dismember is seemingly embroiled in some sort of rights dispute right now, but used copies of this can be found everywhere)

1:04:46 - Evocator - Ancient Cataclysm (Independent)

1:51:39 - Outro - Colosseum - “Weathered” fr. Chapter 1: Delirium (Firedoom Music, 2007) (Out of print and quite expensive now, but available on streaming services)

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Terminus Episode 88 - Father Befouled, Lifvsleda, Gates of Dawn

Terminus Episode 88 - Father Befouled, Lifvsleda, Gates of Dawn

April 1, 2022

Today's Terminus is recorded remoter-than-usual with TBMG broadcasting from Parts Unknown. What mysteries could this new setting reveal? Well, mostly traffic and pet sounds (but not the cool Beach boys kind.) Still, it's a fun episode with three records that encompass a wide swath of sounds and styles.

First up is the return of Father Befouled, a TDMG favorite whose style of Incantation and Profanatica-inspired brackish OSB/DM takes a turn for the somber and doomy on their newest full length. Father Befouled is well known as one of the initial volley of the wave of Incantation-inspired death metal bands that breed like rabbits these days, but in lieu of merely repeating themselves, this record explores the most sprawling doomdeath aspects of the band's sound.

TBMG's loins turn mottled and turgid at the reappearance of Nattfursth from Sorhin via his new(ish) project Lifvsleda, which defies expectations by taking a route much more melancholy and melodic than Sorhin itself. A deeply cross-pollinated blend of DSBM, black'n'roll, and oldschool Scandinavian second wave, this is a record for the most devout trenchcoat-wearing misanthropes among us- but don't be fooled, there's huge riffs too. Who else, though, is in this band? No public statement has been made, but we have a theory...

Finally, we have a Patron pick in the form of the self-titled Gates of Dawn debut which inspires wild comparisons and debate from your hosts. With one foot in the Instagram tapeblack scene and the other in noble, traditional Slavic symphblack, this is a project with no dearth of talent, but one which also finds itself at a crossroads: which way, black metal man? In the warrens of limited-run tape drops or in the glorious orcslaying fields of Black Metal Proper? We hope he picks the path less travelled- there's certainly enough reason to.

0:00:00 - Intro/Father Befouled - Crowned in Veneficum (Everlasting Spew Records)

0:39:40 - Interlude - Imprecation - “The Throne is Lost” fr. Promo 94 (Independent, 1994)

0:44:04 - Lifvsleda - Sepulkral Dedikation (NoEvDia)

1:29:36 - Interlude - Sorhin - “Tills döden er alla tar” fr. I det glimrande mörkrets djup (Near Dark Productions, 1997) (A digital version was at one point available but no more. Perhaps a rights issue? Still widely available on the used market.)

1:34:21 - Gates of Dawn - Gates of Dawn (Death Hymns)

2:22:46 - Outro - Coil - “The First Five Minutes After Death” fr. Horse Rotorvator (Force & Form, 1986)

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Terminus Episode 87 - Astral Tomb, Ostots

Terminus Episode 87 - Astral Tomb, Ostots

March 25, 2022

Tonight's episode of Terminus is another lean, cold, efficient one, but for good reason- this is the first half of a double-header recording session, the second being a long-awaited new episode of Terminus Prime! On the new bonus show, we cover Absu's Tara and Bilskirnir's Wotansvolk, but you can't hear it unless you send me the 16 digits on the front of your credit card, the expiration date, and the 3 digit security code on the back. And maybe your billing address too. Send that just in case.

The first half of our show is dedicated to the eagerly awaited debut full length by Astral Tomb, the young death metal upstarts from Denver whose previous EP we covered last season. Astral Tomb plays truly bizarre, experimental death metal that's equal parts Gorguts and Frank Zappa, but the primary DNA might surprise you- slam death and bludgeoning beatdown hardcore. Does this head-on collision of high and low culture result in brilliance or confusion? Without question, the former- this immediately jumped onto our preemptive album of the year lists and we guess it will for you too.

On the flipside is the new record by Ostots, long running Basque black metal band who make a lateral move into slightly symphonic but by no means "nicer" territory. Drawn from the well of mid-00s trenchcoat obscurity, Ostots makes harmonically challenging and deceptively complex music from simple building blocks. This is a band which etches out rich yet rigid forms not unlike a 19th century charcoal sketch- highly detailed but crafted with sharp, dangerous angles. In some sense quite challenging, but undoubtedly highly worthwhile.

0:00:00 - Intro

0:04:06 - Astral Tomb - Soulgazer (Blood Harvest)

0:48:32 - Interlude - The Stooges - “Fun House,” fr. Fun House (Elektra, 1970)

0:56:16 - Ostots - Madarikazioa (Altare Productions)

1:40:01 - Outro - Azrael - “Untitled 5” fr. Into Shadows Act II: Through Horned Shadows Glimpse (Moribund Records, 2004) (Out of print and not available digitally, but easily found on the used market)

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Terminus Episode 86 - Embryonic Devourment, Sternatis, Mitternacht

Terminus Episode 86 - Embryonic Devourment, Sternatis, Mitternacht

March 19, 2022

In the wake of last week's giant, sprawling episode, we come back with something a little more concise but no less varied. Today's mini-review comes courtesy of Mitternacht, whose debut demo channels the originary essence of Darkthrone with a spike of primitive, ripping thrash- but blackthrash this is not! It's a brief record, but one with a lot of promise for a future where where thrash bands are not judged by their leather jackets but rather by the content of their riffs.

Next up, TDMG inspires groans in the Terminator population with the long-awaited fourth full length by Embryonic Devourment, a tech death band near and dear to his heart but often forgotten by the masses. ED plays tech death based around midpaced sprawl more than high-speed shredding, investing themselves deeply in uncovering the weirdest, most needling intervals a guitar can produce. This is tech death on hard mode, and this is what we used to listen to back in the 00's before everyone became deathcore. Listen to this section or be considered an ally of the reptilian agenda.

Wrapping things up with what will certainly be one of the most surprising releases of the year is the debut record by Sternatis, an outer-circle Blazebirth Hall affiliate who returns with a record titled the same. Brazenly waving the flag of BBH is a bold, almost dangerous move, but Sternatis justifies it through black metal which captures the essence of the movement without merely copying any of its legendary techniques. This is definitely not music for the uninitiated, but its powerful sense of melody and ferocious, primitive impulse makes it a mandatory listen for all fans of this show.

 

0:00:00 - Intro/Mitternacht - Blasphemous Warfare (Independent/Unchained Tapes)

0:15:56 - Embryonic Devourment - Heresy of the Highest Order (Unique Leader)

0:56:04 - Interlude - Gigan - “Plume of Ink Within a Vacuum” fr. Undulating Waves of Rainbiotic Iridescence (Willowtip Records, 2017)

1:01:15 - Sternatis - Blazebirth Hall (Drakkar Productions)

2:03:49 - Outro - Raven Dark - “For Glory Hat,” fr. Berustet av Kriegsdronnet (Independent, 1997 / Stellar Winter 2000) (Not gonna lie- your only chance to find this is on the used market for insane prices.)

 

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Terminus Episode 85 - Rotting Kingdom, Encoffination, Downcross, Perceptions of Torment, Paimon Gate

Terminus Episode 85 - Rotting Kingdom, Encoffination, Downcross, Perceptions of Torment, Paimon Gate

March 13, 2022

As Terminus trundles its massive bulk toward something resembling a conventional schedule again, we present an oldschool episode with a bunch of records, a bunch of different sounds, and a lot of confused late-night cackling regarding goats and the docking thereof. The opening ceremonies today are conducted by one Paimon Gate, a brand new project who blow the hinges off the barn door with their debut demo of primitive yet ornate black/death in the vein of Profanatica. Keep your eyes on this one- a full length will almost undoubtedly be an album of the year contender when it arrives.

Following this is the new split by Rotting Kingdom and Encoffination, personal favorites of TBMG and TDMG respectively. A well-arranged split always functions as a complete piece unto itself, and such is the case here, presenting two distinct sides of the doom/death coin: RK explore a nuanced take on the more melodic Peaceville sound while Encoffination suffocates the listener with nihilistic minimalism. Party music it's not, but it's a great disc for the seasoned listener.

Next up to bat is Downcross, a Belarusian duo who explore various fringes of black metal styles wrapped around an 00s trenchcoat black'n'roll core. Don't let that descriptor scare you away- this is subtle and rich music which employs its rock techniques in service of fascinating, eccentric tracks. Every track on Hexapoda Triumph could be the seed of a new band unto itself, and to hear all of these ideas bundled together and presented as a distinct unit is something of a revelation.

Concluding is, of course, more brutal death, this time courtesy of deep south butcherers Perceptions of Torment. Longtime friends of TDMG, PoT finally present a concise, punchy debut record of Texas-style brutal death. Ripping technical tremolo riffs whip across a surface of mechanical blast beats which periodically dissolve into crushing NYDM breakdowns suitable for mosh pit homicide- in short, it's everything a growing Terminator needs.

0:00:00 - Intro/Paimon Gate - Seven Legions (Nuclear War Now)

0:23:01 - Rotting Kingdom / Encoffination - Wretched Enigma of Salvation (Selfmadegod Records)

1:01:00 - Interlude - Rigor Sardonicous - “The Dead” fr. Principia Sardonica (Paragon Records, 2004)

1:08:05 - Downcross - Hexapoda Triumph (Cavum Atrum Rex)

1:49:01 - Interlude - Ashes - “Beloved Dust” fr. Ashes (Malignant Voices, 2019)

1:56:54 - Perceptions of Torment - Elegance in Postmortem (Sevared Records)

2:40:03 - Outro - Big K.R.I.T. - “Hometown Hero” ft. K.R.I.T. Wuz Here (Nature Sounds, 2010)

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Terminus Episode 84 - Véhémence, Meslamtaea, Galicia

Terminus Episode 84 - Véhémence, Meslamtaea, Galicia

March 8, 2022

It's been a bit longer than usual since the last episode with both hosts heading out of town for various IRL commitments, but what better way to celebrate the return than with an episode full of friends of the show? We open with last year's EP by Galicia, submitted by a patron of the show* who just so happens to like all the same things we like: Axis of Advance, arrogant thrash metal, winding, elaborate melodies, and maybe even torture doom? Galicia is a project which plays in styles near and dear to Terminator hearts around the world, which promises a resurrection of sounds which only in the past few years have made a resurgence.

After that, well, we GOTTA talk about the new Véhémence, right? Legends of chivalric French black metal and cornerstone of Antiq Records, the band has returned with, unsurprisingly, another great entry in their discography. Further delving into the strange modern confluence of black, folk, and power metal styles, Véhémence manages to once again capture their unique essence while further refining and expanding on their sonic possibilities. Equal parts thoughtful and Wacken-ready, this is a crucial listen for all self-respecting Terminators across the globe.

Wrapping things up is the newest by Meslamtaea, a project whose previous record we covered all the way back in Terminus' inaugural season. Modern legend of the Dutch black metal scene Floris continues to expand on the possibility space of Meslamtaea with a deeper infusion of jazz and also a more reverent recreation of 2nd wave black metal than before. This is an interesting, meandering review- how much is too much when it comes to prog? Must black metal be necessarily physical and immediate? What's the difference between jazz proper and porno soundtrack? Gaze into the orb for your answers.

 

0:00:00 - Intro/Galicia - Serpentine Descension (Independent)

0:27:25 - Interlude - Witches Hammer - “Frozen God / Witches Hammer” fr. the Canadian Speed Metal comp (Nuclear War Now, 2003)

0:32:35 - Véhémence - Ordalies (Antiq Records)

Interlude - 1:14:55 - Cirith Gorgor - “Winter Embraces Lands Beyond” fr. Onwards to the Spectral Defile (Osmose Productions, 1999)

1:20:29 - Meslamtaea - Weemoedsklanken (Babylon Doom Cult)

2:05:54 - Creation is Crucifixion - “Modeling the Fossile Evidence (There is Glory in Subversion)” fr. Automata (Cyberdine 243, 1999)

 

*CORRECTION: TBMG mistakenly identifies our patron as the vocalist of Galicia. He is in fact the drummer, but does some vocals too.

 

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Terminus Episode 83 - Author & Punisher, Kampfeswut, RazorRape, Serpent Dweller

Terminus Episode 83 - Author & Punisher, Kampfeswut, RazorRape, Serpent Dweller

February 24, 2022

As life on Earth once again reaffirms that we are in the Kali Yuga, Terminus lingers on to observe and record the trajectory of the downfall.

Our intro segment tonight is a double-header of great records that couldn't be further apart. TBMG brings on the new demo by Serpent Dweller, which shows the young band consolidating and improving their sound from the first demo dramatically with a bit of outlaw rock flair and more involved lead guitar concepts. TDMG brings the latest record by RazorRape, whose chunky yet nimble bloodsoaked deathgrind will likely be a favorite of any who appreciated the 200 Stab Wounds record we enjoyed so much last year.

Onto the main show: first is the new record by Author & Punisher, which shows the project exploring new layers of melody and dynamics across its expanse of sandblasted, sub-bass-heavy distortion. TBMG's background in industrial and punk is an asset here, helping to untangle the web of influences behind this work which may be unfamiliar to most metalheads, while TDMG wears cool sunglasses and stares across the desert wastes in a single-armed leather jacket.

Concluding the episode is the debut record of Kampfeswut, a band which merges the stomping, oi-infused black metal of Absurd with a dizzying array of folk instruments and melodies. The effect is something with depth but immediate satisfaction- Teutonic tradition crosses paths with pyrotechnic melodeath-infused riffing in a new interpretation of what "fun" black metal can really be. Stick around for this one- Terminators of all stripes will appreciate it.

 

0:00:00 - Intro

0:07:51 - Serpent Dweller - Demo II (Independent)

0:27:59 - RazorRape - Fucked Beyond Recognition (Morbid Generation Records)

0:47:29 - Author & Punisher - Krüller (Relapse Records)

1:37:14 - Interlude - Youth Code - “For I Am Cursed” fr. A Place to Stand (Dais Records, 2014)

1:42:11 - Kampfeswut - Des barden Schwarzer Gesang (Old Mill)

2:23:01 - Outro - Eisregen - “Mein Eichensarg” fr. Wundwasser (Massacre Records, 2004)

 

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