TERMINUS: extreme metal podcast
Terminus Interview - Pneuma Hagion

Terminus Interview - Pneuma Hagion

December 1, 2020

On Terminus 29, we named Pneuma Hagion's Voidgazer one of the best death metal albums - maybe the best death metal album - of 2020. On this special episode of Terminus, The Death Metal Guy sits down with his old friend R., core member of Pneuma Hagion (and Intestinal Disgorge, and The Howling Void, ad infinitum), to try and trace the origins of this record's blastbeat beatdown onslaught. R. reveals much about his recording and riffing process, and shares a wealth of extreme metal reference points. But as the interview unfolds, the details gather inward round a center. There stands R., listening, contemplating "the sublime nature" of things that hover just beyond the gateways of perception.

 

00:00 - Introductions

01:45 - Evolution of Pneuma Hagion - what makes Voidgazer sound like an abyssal titan?

17:50 - The Voidgazer / hardcore connection - why does it sound so much like beatdown?

23:05 - Gateways to Annihilation - the influence of Morbid Angel and H.P. Lovecraft.

30:41 - "The well where I draw the riffs" - origins of P.H.

37:10 - Interlude - Pneuma Hagion - "Timeless Darkness," fr. Voidgazer (Nuclear War Now!)

41:00 - Subsumption of the self - R on his many, many projects.

47:34 - Working in the wake of "caverncore" - what is the difference between black and death metal?

57:14 - Gazing onward - where does P.H. go from here?

01:00:28 - Now listening - R shares what's on rotation.

01:07:57 - Outro - Noisy Neighbors - "Dead Serious," fr. the Competitive Victimhood split w/ Shit Life (Independent, 2020)

 

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thetrueterminus@gmail.com

Terminus Episode 29 - Pneuma Hagion, Goatpenis, Black Horizon Ancient Belial, Inquisition

Terminus Episode 29 - Pneuma Hagion, Goatpenis, Black Horizon Ancient Belial, Inquisition

November 25, 2020

It's almost Thanksgiving in the USA, and to celebrate we've brought you a rich bounty of big new releases! If you listen exclusively for the cryptic demos, don't worry -- we've got one of those for you, too.

The Death Metal Guy fires up the festivities with something that knocked us both on our asses. If the somnabulant haze of 2013 gave us Sunbather (lmao), the miasmal tempest of 2020 could only give us.... Voidgazer. On this supermassively dense, furiously grinding record, Pneuma Hagion seriously up the brutality wars, fulfilling an ancient Terminus prophecy regarding the future of death metal.

The only way to follow this is with something just as insane, and The Black Metal Guy does his damnedest with the return of Brazil's one and only powerlifting flamethrower death squad, GOATPENIS. We compare new tracks side-by-side with their old work, and try to figure out the secret of their unhinged energy.

And then, for something completely different, as The Death Metal Guy introduces us to Black Horizon Ancient Belial, a new necro-symphonic BM project from Japan. BHAB fires off blistering mid-90s Swedish riffs over song structures that sprawl like ruined cathedrals.... but might have something to do with hardcore?

Finally, we get to the thing you've all been waiting for: "what Terminus thinks of the new Inquisition record." Here, we lose all discipline, and a simple album review rapidly snowballs into an energetic back-and-forth on Inquisition's work thus far, their abiding influence by hard rock, and their central place in the canon of American black metal. Sick ultra-kvlt namedrops include AC/DC, Blink-182, and, uh, Bruce Springsteen?

 

00:00 - Introductory bullshitting

01:13 - Terminus News ft. Azanul (Heidens Hart) and Zygote (Sunshine Ward).*

17:10 - Rundown of bands and labels

21:02 - Pneuma Hagion - Voidgazer (Nuclear War Now)

01:00:32 - Goatpenis - Decapitation Philosophy (Nuclear War Now)

01:36:00 - Interlude - Truppensturm - "Gustav, the Great," fr. Salute to The Iron Emperors (Van Records, 2010)

01:41:52 - Black Horizon Ancient Belial - A Winter Dead Wandering Forever (Under the Fog Records / Victim Records)

02:25:00 - Inquisition - Black Mass for a Mass Grave (Agonia)

03:03:45 - Outro - Arkha Sva - "49 Evil Spirits," fr. Gloria Satanae (Aura Mystique, 2007)

*TBMG accidentally says "Sunlight Ward" on air.

 

Terminus links:

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thetrueterminus@gmail.com

 

Terminus Interview - Trash

Terminus Interview - Trash

November 22, 2020

In Episode 27 of Terminus, we reviewed Forbidden Rites, the debut full-length of a band called only "Trash." Their chugging Florida-man thrash metal sounds like no single other band, but makes surprising connections between all manner of 80s and 90s filth.

On this special episode of Terminus, The Death Metal Guy shoots the shit with frontman Zach. He leads TDMG through Trash's unusual range of influences, as well as the nuts and bolts of their songwriting process, from the joys of sampling a hurdy-gurdy to the challenges of writing his unusually detailed, rhythmically tailor-made lyrics.

Throughout, they explore the differences between what Millenial and Zoomer metalheads listen to, how they get into it, and what they actually hear when they listen to it. Zach comes across as an understated, witty dude with a singular perspective on metal, and a fearless willingness to get raw.

 

32:16 - Interlude - Trash - "Wandering in Purgatory," fr. Forbidden Rites (Independent, 2020)

 

55:48 - Outro - Doomsword - "Soldier of Fortune," fr. The Eternal Battle (Dragonheart Records, 2011)

 

Terminus links:

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thetrueterminus@gmail.com

Terminus Episode 28 - Azketem, Isenscur, Hanging Fortress, Glistening

Terminus Episode 28 - Azketem, Isenscur, Hanging Fortress, Glistening

November 18, 2020

In Part I, the Black Metal Guy takes new releases from Germany's Azketem and England's mysterious Isenscur as examples of a sinister, "nocturnal" strain of paganish black metal, recalling the earliest days of the genre before the various themes were teased apart. Azketem conjures up moonlight mushroom journeys, while Isenscur sparks "holy fire" from fungally-infected grain.

In Part II, the Death Metal Guy takes us back to nowadays grit and misery. Hanging Fortress come out of Toledo, Ohio, and they play beatdown-driven hardcore songs with early-90s DM riffing -- or is it the other way around?? -- but not like you've heard it before! Should be of interest to death metal as well as hardcore people. And we close out with Glistening's left-field variant of anti-natalist DSBM, which cuts unusually powerful Finnblack riffs with jagged shards of straight-up indie rock and emo. This is one of TDMG's favorite releases this year, and a promising new project we'll be paying close attention to in future.

 

00:00 - Introductory bullshitting

02:48 - Terminus News ft. Sordid Crest and Doldrum

16:52 - Rundown of bands and labels

21:02 - Azketem - Inzernznytazure (Independent on BC / tape on Iron Bonehead)

59:43 - Isenscur - Asyndrath (Barghest / Maleficentissimus Triumphatus)

Interlude - Verdunkeln - "Im Zwiespalt," fr. Einblick in den Qualenfall (Van Records, 2007).

01:57:30 - Hanging Fortress - Darkness Devours (Redefining Darkness)

02:32:03 - Glistening - The Antinatalist (Extinctionist Records)

03:11:13 - Outro - Martyrdod - "List," fr. List (Southern Lord)

 

Terminus links:

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thetrueterminus@gmail.com

Terminus Episode 27 - Carved Cross, Trash, Vong, Warkvlt

Terminus Episode 27 - Carved Cross, Trash, Vong, Warkvlt

November 11, 2020

As the Samhain moon wanes and the comet Atlas crosses Orion, trailing the doom of kingdoms in its wake, we're back with another sick, dank, crushing episode of Terminus! This one is a bit of a world tour.

In Part I, The Death Metal Guy leads us from Tasmanian desolation to American "working class bleakness." First, he introduces The Black Metal Guy to Carved Cross, whose barren, unsentimental DSBM grows from fascinating chord shapes and adventurous DIY production. TDMG sees it as heralding a new movement in DSBM, and TBMG makes some connections to early-90s UK sounds. Next up, we check out the baffling and brutal debut of Trash, a young band soaking in all manner of punk-metal "80s filth." We have a great time wading through the reference points, while homing in on the project's core idea.

In Part II, The Black Metal Guy leads us through the first installment of the Terminus Guide to Southeast Asian Black Metal.* One-man project Vong breathes a Vietnamese spirit into old Norse bones, drawing heavily on Darkthrone and Burzum without sounding like one of those "Burzthrone" bands. We went into this record hoping for a solid homage to the masters, but came out seriously impressed! At last, the Indonesian maniacs of Warkvlt flatten the whole battlefield with hyperminimal monolithic war metal. Their discipline begets a terrible beauty -- sunlight flashing cold through a blackened sky.

 

00:00 - Introductory bullshitting

02:28 - Introducing Terminus News ft. new releases from Feral Heart Productions and Old Mill Artifacts.

16:38 - Rundown of bands and labels

20:08 - Carved Cross - Embittered Amidst the Ashes (Overuse)

53:37 - Trash - Forbidden Rites (Independent)

01:23:23 - Interlude - ADX - "Deesse du Crime," fr. Execution (Devil's Records, 1985). Last reissue was a 2017 tape run by Warlord Trinity Productions - now sold out. But ADX still puts out new music! Here's their Bandcamp.

01:28:41 - Vong - A Wander in Liminality (Analog Ragnarok)

02:02:35 - Warkvlt - Deathymn (Sadist Records / Kult of Belial)

02:34:04 - Outro - Mantash - "Samiri I," fr. Samiri (Kalacemeti Records).

*For more on the Southeast Asian scene, see T2 on veterans Impiety and Surrender of Divinity, and T23 on newcomers Elcrost (friends of Vong!).

 

Terminus links:

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thetrueterminus@gmail.com

Terminus Episode 26 - Ifernach, Pan-Amerikan, Conjureth, Negative or Nothing, Dearthe

Terminus Episode 26 - Ifernach, Pan-Amerikan, Conjureth, Negative or Nothing, Dearthe

November 5, 2020

If you've been with us since the beginning, congratulations, you're a half-year older and the world is still ending! It's our 26th regular episode and, quite by accident, one of our heaviest, most ambitious yet. The Death Metal Guy is going through some shit right now, so he's absolutely shitcanned throughout -- but remarkably coherent!

We start off with a close listen to August's Ifernach / Pan-Amerikan Native Front split. This will probably be remembered as a landmark release, consolidating the burgeoning North American Native BM scene, and carving out the beginnings of a northern-Native sound. We find plenty to talk about as far as songwriting, but this opens out onto an epic conversation on the complexity of heritage in the "new world," and the possible convergence -- both musical and spiritual -- between bands with markedly Native and Euro American sounds.

We follow up with some ripping semi-melodic Azagthothian death metal from San Diego's Conjureth, out on the finely curated Fucking Kill! label. The Death Metal Guy thinks it's pretty cool, and The Black Metal Guy loves it. But why does it sound so fresh to him? TDMG drags a couple embarrassing confessions out of him....

Part 2 is a much darker affair. As we listen to the bleak and disorienting DSBM of Negative or Nothing, The Death Metal Guy connects with the music on a profoundly personal level. He ties the music of NoN back to his earliest attraction to depressive black metal, as well as cruelly abstract, blasting brutal death -- metal rooted less in power and aggression than  in suffering and fear. Be warned, this gets extremely raw.*

The depressive atmosphere carries over into our last band, Australia's Dearthe, who play an original and promising sort of post-Slavic BM. They draw freely on ideas from death metal and post-hardcore, but not for a facile "update" to black metal fundamentals. Rather, this allows them to reawaken the storming grimness at the genre's core.

 

00:00 - Introductory bullshitting

05:45 - Plug for Terminus Black Circle / Terminus Prime Content

12:31 - Rundown of bands/labels

16:29 - Ifernach/Pan Amerikan Native Front split LP (GoatowaRex)

01:15:04 - Conjureth - Foul Formations / Levitation Manifest (Fucking Kill Records)

01:47:13 - Interlude - Samhain - “Let The Day Begin,” fr. November Coming Fire (Caroline Records, 1986). Various reissues floating around the internet. There are used original copies out there, too.

01:50:50 - Negative or Nothing - Drowned (Careless Records / Wulfhere Productions / Depressive Illusions Records)

02:28:38 - Dearthe - Dispirited Obscurity (Bloodforge Distribution)

03:05:37 - Outro - Excessum - "The Mournful Held Within," fr. Death Redemption (Deathstrike - CD / Tour De Garde - tape, 2005). You can buy it directly from the band via Bandcamp.

 

ADDITION: We didn't realize until after recording that Dearthe's main songwriter is Desolate: founder of Austere, longtime guitarist of Nazxul, and current frontman of Temple Nightside, among numerous other Australian bands. Vocalist Mordance played alongside him in Temple Nightside, and served as live drummer for Mongrel's Cross, whose new record is due out in November (you can expect a review here).

*And be assured, TDMG is still among the living, fighting onward as he always does.

 

Terminus links:

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thetrueterminus@gmail.com

Terminus Prime 4 - Grand Declaration of War x The Dawn of the Dying Sun

Terminus Prime 4 - Grand Declaration of War x The Dawn of the Dying Sun

November 2, 2020

One of our patrons-only bonus videos, originally published September 8, 2020. Here The Death Metal Guy and The Black Metal Guy get each other into two forgotten classics of "trenchcoat-era" Norwegian black metal, each with an outsize influence on contemporary sounds. In the process, we discover some unexpected connections between these two very different records.

 

00:00 - Intro

06:29 - Mayhem - Grand Declaration of War (Season of Mist, 2000)

01:20:26 - Hades - The Dawn of the Dying Sun (Full Moon Productions, 1997)

 

Terminus links:

Terminus on Youtube

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thetrueterminus@gmail.com

Terminus Episode 25 - Mork Gryning, Sardonic Witchery, Nihil Invocation, Molecular Fragmentation

Terminus Episode 25 - Mork Gryning, Sardonic Witchery, Nihil Invocation, Molecular Fragmentation

October 29, 2020

On this ripping new episode of Terminus, The Black Metal Guy and The Death Metal Guy run through a trio of new BM releases, from the polished to the raw to the utterly primitive, and some BM-friendly brutal death to boot.

We lead off with what is probably our favorite major-label release of the year - Hinsides Vrede by Sweden's Mork Gryning, venerated ancestors back from the burial mound and stronger for it. This band starts from the Swedish Second Wave and sets it racing, gathering up forgotten 90s sounds and coming out ahead of younger bands. Next up is Sardonic Witchery, a Portuguese BM maniac transplanted to Texas. His thunderous low-end rock-BM shows his love of the genre as a whole, and a serious commitment to each of his musical ideas.

On the second half of the show we move into weirder territory. The Black Metal Guy brings the primordial Americana-black of Nihil Invocation. There's a lot about this aesthetic we like, but a lot we'd like to hear developed, too. Finally, The Death Metal Guy closes out with multinational project Molecular Fragmentation, who share members with Induced (see Terminus 13). This is the sort of whiplash brutal death that TBMG can really dig, and it leads us back to our ongoing conversation about death metal's future (see Terminus 20, 22). We read the portents, finding only fire and blood. Is "Brutal Death x War Metal" the next big thing?

00:00 - Introductory bullshitting

02:01 - The Death Metal Guy shares a rehearsal track (from a BM band); The Black Metal Guy listens and critiques.

16:43 - Rundown of bands and labels

22:55 - Mork Gryning - Hinsides Vrede (Season of Mist)

01:00:32 - Sardonic Witchery - Moonlight Sacrifice Ritual (War March Records/Niflhel Records/Warhemic Productions/Worship Tapes)

01:34:12 - Interlude - Morte Incandescente - "Black Skull Crushing Metal," fr. Coffin Desecrators (2005, GoatowaRex). Reissued by War Arts Productions, 2015.

01:38:39 - Nihil Invocation - Dead Seed Immersed in Glory (Asrar)

02:22:56 - Molecular Fragmentation - Unparalleled Fatal Collapse (Pathologically Explicit Recordings)

03:06:15 - Outro - Peter Warlock - "Pavane," fr. Capriol Suite (1926). Included on this great comp by EMI Classics. The Curlew, a song-cycle based on poems by Yeats, is another good one to check out.

CORRECTION: Peter Warlock died in 1930, not the later 30s. I (TBMG) fudged a few dates as I riffed off of Wikipedia.

Terminus links:

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Terminus on Instagram

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thetrueterminus@gmail.com

 

Terminus Interview - Grizzlybutts

Terminus Interview - Grizzlybutts

October 26, 2020

In this special bonus episode of Terminus, we speak with Josh, the man behind the webzine Grizzlybutts, who has been kind enough to propagate our gospel of insanity through his site. We talk about his long history of music writing, from his early days writing hypernegative reviews in punk zines, to his current work writing long-form metal criticism that affirms whatever can be affirmed in the music. Over the course of the conversation, we touch on bigger questions like: What is the role of the critic, and the metal critic in particular? What is the point of *writing* about metal, as the big print mags and hegemonic music sites decline? Why should new metal fans bother learning the history of the music? This interview captures a sense of Josh as a man driven by deeply personal conviction: a drive to match the effort of the artist with his own, a compulsion to grapple with the big questions, and a stubborn insistence on the value of the written word itself -- irrespective of what's to gain, regardless of what anyone else thinks.

00:00 - Brief lead-in

02:20 - The genesis of GrizzlyButts: origins, influences, ideals, antipathies

36:07 - Filtration and curation: How does G.B. choose what to cover? How do we do it?

45:15 - You Need To Know This / Why Are You Doing This?: The purpose of metal history; folk art vs. high art, returning to the spirit of black metal.

01:26:47 - Ordinance - "The Kingdom of Nothing," fr. In Purge There Is No Remission (The Sinister Flame, 2020)

Enter the GrizzlyButts domain

Terminus links:

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Terminus Episode 24 - K.V.N.T. Kolektiv, Goratory, Yersin, They Came From Visions, Dressed In Streams

Terminus Episode 24 - K.V.N.T. Kolektiv, Goratory, Yersin, They Came From Visions, Dressed In Streams

October 22, 2020

At last, your daylong wait is rewarded with this sprawling and eclectic episode of Terminus. Today, we review not four, but *5* goddamn records back to back. We warm up with a special "Terminus reacts" segment on the new compilation of noise, industrial, and minimalist black metal by K.V.N.T. Kolektiv, longtime supporters of the show. Then, in a rare change of the marching order, The Death Metal Guy takes the helm for the leadoff band, Boston's Goratory. You'll hear TDMG introduce TBMG to the finer points of dizzying technical brutal death -- with some wild melodic riffs thrown in -- and explain what "New England death metal" even is. We roll on to the debut LP of Yersin, newcomers from England's savage North whose  sound is difficult to pin down: Is it polished, catchy blackgrind? Is it the infamous "arena crust?" Is it beatdown with Immortal riffs? And where should they go from here?

In the second half, we return to the "post-Slav" territory we started mapping out in Episode 23, with a rather disputatious review of Toadeater. The Death Metal Guy once more begins with They Came From Visions, an interesting Ukrainian outfit that folds the post-black tendency back into the darker, storming side of their native sound. We talk over the skillful, forward-thinking songwriting, which allows this band to evoke some unexpected moods. Finally, The Black Metal Guy introduces a project that many of our fans will really dig, but may have passed over for subcultural reasons -- Dressed In Streams, an American tribute to Indian revolutionaries that blends wild Indo-Slavic melody with rhythmic modern hardcore bite. Whatever our gripes about the presentation, the songwriting speaks for itself.

 

00:00 - Introductory bullshitting

05:00 - Terminus reacts to K.V.N.T. Kolektiv - Kovid 666 - K.V.N.T. Compilation 2020 (Kvnt Kolektiv)

26:52 - Rundown of bands and labels

31:52 - Goratory - Sour Grapes (Everlasting Spew Records)

01:10:14 - Yersin - Guilt (Independent)

01:48:37 - Interlude - Stormcrow - "Dead Dreams," fr. Stormcrow / Sanctum split (No Options, LP; 20 Buck Spin, CD). Available on the Stormcrow legacy Bandcamp.

01:56:35 - They Came From Visions - Cloak of Darkness, Dagger of Night (Bloodred Distribution)

02:33:04 - Dressed in Streams - Swaraj: or, “Self Rule” (Colloquial Sound Recordings)*

03:17:24 - Outro - Reek of The Unzen Gas Fumes - "Dehumanizing Cesspool for Future of Humanity," fr. Reek of The Unzen Gas Fumes LP (GoatowaRex). Goatowa is now distributed by Ajna Offensive, but looks like they're already sold out. Honestly I have no idea where to find this.

 

*The Indian band whose name I totally mangle is Aparthiva Raktadhara, members of the Kolkata Inner Order along with Tetragrammacide and Kapala. Here's their excellent demo, and here's their extremely NSFW video, ft. real contemporary paganism -- not exactly a Heilung music video, is it?

Terminus links:

Terminus on Youtube

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Terminus on Instagram

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thetrueterminus@gmail.com

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