TERMINUS: extreme metal podcast
Terminus Episode 111 - Candlemass, Grave Upheaval, The Funeral Orchestra, Mournument

Terminus Episode 111 - Candlemass, Grave Upheaval, The Funeral Orchestra, Mournument

November 28, 2022

If you're wondering why today's installment of Terminus took a while to get to you, it's simple: episode 111 is all about doom, so it moved a little slower. Amidst all the high energy death and black metal we've been covering this year, we've been waiting for the opportunity to cover records a bit more... lethargic. Call us Type O Negative, because today we're going slow, deep, and hard. First up: a mini review of the debut record by Chilean epic doomdeath purveyors Mournument, which fuses romantic funeral doom with Peaceville riffing and all the wistful sorrow you could ask for.

Next up: the 13th full length record by Candlemass. Typically while writing these descriptions we try not to spoil our overall assessment of an album, but in this case, it's unavoidable: it's a rough one, folks. Somewhere in a murky realm between stoner rock, bad Manowar, and a hint of actual doom lie the remains of Candlemass, who present a record composed nearly exclusively of terrible songwriting decisions and musical theater cheese. Those negative nancies who appreciate us at our most critical will undoubtedly enjoy this episode nearly as much as we despised the record in question.

Following is a record that makes its listeners miserable for the RIGHT reasons: the newest split between Grave Upheaval and Terminus alums The Funeral Orchestra. This came out back in August but it was worth the wait: this is a split that's more than the sum of its parts, feeling like a truly collaborative effort between the artists. Grave Upheaval slows way down and explores the dismal fringes of caverncore to great effect; TFO strips back their buzzing lurch to something more minimal, grumbling, and unsettling. The result: a record so empty, dismal, and harrowing it would make Mutiilation blush.

0:00:00 - Intro

0:06:08 - Mournument - Smouldering Into Dust (Ardua Music)

0:26:05 - Candlemass - Sweet Evil Sun (Napalm Records)

1:14:00 - Interlude - Reverend Bizarre - “The Devil Rides Out” fr. II: Crush the Insects (Spikefarm Records, 2005)

1:20:12 - Grave Upheaval/The Funeral Orchestra - Inexistentia (Parasitic Records)

2:06:53 - Outro - Lycia - “Ionia,” fr. Ionia (Projekt, 1991)

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Terminus Episode 110 - Grave Pilgrim, Ink & Fire

Terminus Episode 110 - Grave Pilgrim, Ink & Fire

November 19, 2022

Terminus has been, to some degree, derelict in its duty to promote Outlaw Rock this year. Hopefully today's episode ameliorates this deficiency with a grip of records all firmly within this rough and tumble style of black metal(?). For those unfamiliar with the term, Outlaw Rock is a concept formulated by Terminus for a distinct style of USBM with a range of pointedly American influences, from country to hardcore and all points between. In this case, we have two very different sides of the same coin: one creaking out ghostly whispers of the old west, and another which explodes in passionate psychedelic violence.

A double-feature of Grave Pilgrim opens things up, with reviews of both last year's self-titled full length and this year's EP to provide better context. A mixture of KPN, Taake, and deep Americana makes for records which immediately hook the ear but feature surprising structural depth. The band's first record flamethrows the cave of Instagram black metal with deep, intricate riffing and the second iterates on these melodic concepts through flirtations with trad metal and desolate ambient. The only question: where do they go from here?

Providing counterpoint is the debut Ink & Fire record, likely familiar to terminators as a new project from MK of Fin. MK's unique riffing style is firmly intact but simultaneously stripped down and overdriven into brief, fulminating tracks. Ink & Fire's vicious yet manically joyful attack is immediately ear-pleasing but clattering and overwhelming, merging the smearing drone of Blazebirth Hall with MK's agile leadwork. Music to be enjoyed under the influence of any drug that makes you fast.

0:00:00 - Intro

0:03:05 - Grave Pilgrim - Grave Pilgrim (Death Prayer Records, 2021)

0:54:17 - Grave Pilgrim - Molten Hands Reach West (Death Prayer Records)

1:20:01 - Interlude - Peste Noire - “Ballade cuntre les anemis de la France - de François Villon “ fr. Ballade cuntre lo Anemi francor (De Profundis Éditions, 2009)

1:26:31 - Ink & Fire - Execution of Spirit (Independent/Death Prayer Records)

2:13:35 - Outro - Fields of the Nephilim - “Power” fr. Dawnrazor (Situation 2/Beggars Banquet, 1987)

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Terminus Episode 109 - Defleshed, Psycroptic

Terminus Episode 109 - Defleshed, Psycroptic

November 11, 2022

On rare occasion Terminus will dip its toe into the heady waters of "mainstream metal" (referring to bands that human beings listen to)- it's a rare and dangerous venture, but a necessary one. Today's episode is one such occasion, one where owners of Black Metal Tapes Worth More Than Your Life eye us suspiciously, thumbing the hammers of their revolvers under the poker table. Fret not- while today's records might be more popular than our typical fare, both are excellent slabs of death metal rooted in styles from the early 00s.

First up is the return of Defleshed, Swedish stalwarts back after a 17 year absence but no loss of energy. Comparable to countrymen like The Crown or Witchery, Defleshed plays a unique style of grinding deathrash which simultaneously embraces a high-flying rock and roll energy as well as a vicious rhythmic intensity. Grind Over Matter is a comfortable blanket of a record for those who came up in metal back in the 00s, but even if you're a newcomer, Motörhead with excessive blasting can never go wrong.

Following this is the newest by Psycroptic, long-running Tasmanian tech death band whose style has always stood on its own amongst legions of sweep-picking drudgery. Divine Council is yet another entry in a nearly immaculate discography, presenting itself with the band's remarkable melodic clarity and mystical atmosphere totally intact. The almost surgically clean production and playing might be a tough sell to those who like their metal more rough and tumble, but concentration on the intricate structural dynamics reaps tremendous rewards.

0:00:00 - Intro

0:05:08 - Defleshed - Grind Over Matter (Metal Blade)

0:48:49 - Interlude - Vargavinter - “Frostfödd,” fr. Frostfödd (Invasion Records, 1996)

0:53:40 - Psycroptic - Divine Council (EVP Recordings/Prosthetic Records)

1:44:12 - Outro - Arsis - “Lust Before the Maggots Conquest” fr. United in Regret (Willowtip Records, 2006)

Terminus links:

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Terminus Episode 108 - Ateiggär, Oppressive Descent

Terminus Episode 108 - Ateiggär, Oppressive Descent

November 6, 2022

Gentlemen... behold! A new lean and mean episode of Terminus has arrived now that The Black Metal Guy has returned from Parts Unknown, fattened on the riches of distant lands. What better way to celebrate than with two down-the-line black metal records? We can have a little shrieking, just as a treat.

First up is Ateiggär from the Helvetic Underground Committee, a group of Swiss artists we've been following on the show for some time now. Ateiggär reaches back to late 90s and early 00s Scandinavian black metal like Kvist and Old Man's Child for its riffing style but adds in the tasteful theatrics of synth, sample, and clean vocal for spice. The aggregate effect is something like Rotting Christ by way of the frozen north, delivering on a promise of epic and ancient tones well at home in that era's more obscure circles.

Following is the return of Oppressive Descent whose 2020 record ended up on TBMG's album of the year list- does the new one stack up? Most certainly. What follows is well within the project's established wheelhouse but distilled and refined in exceptional fashion. This band's moment to moment riffcraft is nearly unmatched in high-flying (and skull-crushing) consistency, and the reduction of the number of influences at play has only sharpened its attack. Who would have guessed that from Portland would emerge the year's best French black metal record?

0:00:00 - Intro

0:04:49 - Ateiggär - Tyrannemord (Eisenwald)

0:46:12 - Interlude - 122 Stab Wounds - “Hunting Humans” fr. The Deity of Perversion (Head Not Found, 1996)

0:50:25 - Oppressive Descent - Spite is My Scepter, Blood is My Crown (Inferna Profundus Records)

1:40:01 - Outro - Chemin de Haine - “Le Royaume Maudit” fr. Hobo of Aramaic Tongues/Le Royaume Maudit (Painiac Records, 2003)

Terminus links:

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Terminus Episode 107 - Imprecation, Anal Stabwound, Daemogog

Terminus Episode 107 - Imprecation, Anal Stabwound, Daemogog

October 27, 2022

Just in time for the spookiest of seasons comes a spine-chilling installment of Terminus with the team you fear most- The Death Metal Guy and Harried Terminus Intern Hyper Shaman. As is (usually) tradition for this combo, we've got a death metal centered episode for you, but fear not: only one of the records discussed has prominent slams! First off, though, is a look at the new Daemogog record, which follows in the style of bands like Astral Tomb in its gangly, abstract take on brutal death technique and dissonant melodic motifs.

First to bat is the newest record by Imprecation, stalwarts of the Texas scene, who provide yet another blast of traditional, blasphemous death metal from the early 90s. While this music is immediate and straightforward from moment to moment, it's also deceptively complex owing to elaborate song structures and a striking rhythmic performance. Imprecation rejects the conceits of nowadays "OSDM" and strikes at the heart of what made the original records of that era great. FFO Morbid Angel, Profanatica, the literal devil, etc.

Concluding the proceedings is the third (!) appearance of Anal Stabwound on the show with the project's second full length record. To the shock of absolutely no one who's been paying attention, the new record is a dizzying display of technical and compositional prowess. Expanding from the jazz-infused style of later Defeated Sanity, Anal Stabwound combines the brain-melting rhythmic concepts of The Sanguinary Impetus with an emphasis on readable and even catchy songwriting. I'm still mad at Nikhil though.

0:00:00 - Intro/Daemogog - Yawning Expanse Yearning (Bent Window Records)

0:23:51 - Imprecation - In Nomine Diaboli (Dark Descent)

1:02:15 - Interlude - Resurrection - “Smell of Blood” fr. Embalmed Existence (Nuclear Blast America, 1993)

1:06:09 - Anal Stabwound - Reality Drips Into the Mouth of Indifference (New Standard Elite)

1:50:43 - Outro - Charles Mingus - “Group Dancers (Soul Fusion) (Freewoman and Oh, This Freedom's Slave Cries)” fr. The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady (Impulse!, 1963)

Terminus links:

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Terminus Episode 106 - Blood Chalice, ᛋᚢᚱᛏᚱ ᚹᛟᚢᚾᛞᛋ (Surtr Wounds), ColdWorld

Terminus Episode 106 - Blood Chalice, ᛋᚢᚱᛏᚱ ᚹᛟᚢᚾᛞᛋ (Surtr Wounds), ColdWorld

October 18, 2022

We return to your regularly scheduled programming after a brief diversion to record a bonus episode on Lykathea Aflame's seminal Elvenefris (which you should purchase your way into immediately.) This week we're going way down the line with three more-or-less black metal records occupying often-ignored sonic niches of interest to serious listeners. First up: the return of ColdWorld, a DSBM legend who has lost no vigor in the 6 years since the last full length, providing classic melodies with a renewed essence through impressive harmonic arrangement.

To the meat of the episode: Blood Chalice provides a truly alarming amount of ÖUGH with their second LP which sticks to the tried-and-true conventions of putrid Finnish blackdeath in the vein of Archgoat, Beherit, and all other good company. What it may lack in novelty, though, it more than makes up for in execution, with compact, high energy songs that trace this style's lineage back to primordial extreme metal and grindcore, revealing track by track that this style is capable of far more variation than one might suspect.

Following this is the mysterious ᛋᚢᚱᛏᚱ ᚹᛟᚢᚾᛞᛋ (Surtr Wounds,) a British one-man project exploring a strange and murky nexus between black, doom, death, and industrial. Somewhat like the Syndexioi record we covered several episodes ago, Surtr Wounds retvrns to pagan tradition by accessing originary extreme metal ideas and presenting them remarkably unadorned within the haze of a gauzy, unearthly production job. Discussion on this one is complex and unusual, resulting in the conclusion that, yes, Hate Forest and Crowbar do have something in common after all.

 

0:00:00 - Intro/ColdWorld - Isolation (Eisenwald)

0:32:39 - Blood Chalice - The Blasphemous Psalms of Cannibalism (Werewolf Records)

Interlude - 1:13:06 - Nunslaughter - “Raid the Convent” fr. Goat (Revenge Productions, 2003)

1:15:25 - ᛋᚢᚱᛏᚱ ᚹᛟᚢᚾᛞᛋ (UK) - ᛋ​ᚢ​ᚱ​ᛏ​ᚱ ᚹ​ᛟ​ᚢ​ᚾ​ᛞ​ᛋ (Inverse Solar Reqvriem)

2:09:20 - Outro - Cobalt - “Witherer” fr. Eater of Birds (Profound Lore, 2007)

 

Terminus links:

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Terminus Episode 105 - Asgrauw, Firtan

Terminus Episode 105 - Asgrauw, Firtan

October 11, 2022

Let's face it, people: 2022 has been a difficult mating season for black metal. They're not sending their best, folks- or at least they haven't been so far. That might all change with today's episode, which features two excellent records of autumnal, melodic, and strikingly structured black metal which reaches back to the trenchcoat era of the late 90s/early 00s for its primary influences. If you're the type of Terminator who listens for assistance in separating the wheat from the chaff: welcome home.

First up is the newest record by Dutch stalwarts Asgrauw, who TBMG has mentioned numerous times on the show as a central figure to that nation's scene and as a personal favorite. For those unfamiliar, Asgrauw play an agile and melodic but traditionally aggressive form of black metal, pared down and structurally minimal, but harmonically and timbrally rich. This is a record that strikes a fine balance between accessibility and authenticity, between simplicity and dynamism, and is almost certainly one of the best black metal records of the year.

Drawing from a similar pool of influences but with a radically different vision is Firtan, a German band who reach back to ambitious, prog-infused black metal records to create something vast in both scope and sound. Featuring striking technical playing and impressively dense and saturated instrumental arrangements, Firtan manage to capture the excitement of early prog-black without sacrificing the core of heavy metal songwriting we're all here for. Violins? Spoken word passages? Maybe there's a place for those things after all.

 

0:00:00 - Intro

0:02:14 - Asgrauw - Façade (Death Prayer Records)

0:53:42 - Interlude - Thyrfing - “Set Sail to Plunder,” fr. Thyrfing (Hammerheart Records, 1998 / digital by Despotz).

0:58:06 - Firtan - Marter (AOP Records)

1:45:05 - Outro - Nagelfar - “Srontgorrth (Das Dritte Kapitel),” fr. Hünengrab im Herbst (Kettenhund Records, 1997). Here’s digital for the 2017 Ván reissue, with sadly inferior cover art. If you wanna hear these guys do a straight-up ripper, check the preceding track, “Bildnis der Apocalpyse,” or pretty much anything from Virus West (2001).

 

Terminus links:

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thetrueterminus@gmail.com

Terminus Episode 104 - Ares Kingdom, Galicia

Terminus Episode 104 - Ares Kingdom, Galicia

October 5, 2022

Again, a bit of a delay, but we've got something to make it up for you: a big, sprawling episode of highly anticipated records and autistic analysis guaranteed to please all Terminators or your money back (please don't call me on this I can't give refunds on Patreon.) This time we're looking at two scrappy, unusual records descended from a parallel universe war metal scene that somehow drifted into our own- one from an established classic act, and another from youthful upstarts on a mission to make their mark.

From the veterans in Ares Kingdom comes a record that refuses to rest on the laurels of the past. "In Darkness at Last" presents the band's resolute and powerful style of black/death/thrash metal in a looser, more jamming fashion that excites TDMG but may polarize longtime fans of the band. There's no shortage of crushing riffs and vigorous rhythmic stomping, but the atmosphere of this record is that of a long-defeated empire slowly slipping into memory. What's the goal, here? And has Ares Kingdom really been a black metal band all along? We discuss.

Coming off last year's "Serpentine Descension," California-based Axis of Advance worshippers Galicia return with "Precipice," a debut record as exciting as it is inscrutable. The structural brilliance of Olde Edmonton combines with the sheer ferocity and pacing of mid-era Cryptopsy to create dizzyingly intense yet tremendously melodic music where riffs and rhythms slip past as quickly as they're introduced. This isn't easy listening, but those willing to take the time will likely discover one of the best records of the year.

0:00:00 - Intro

0:06:46 - Ares Kingdom - In Darkness at Last (Nuclear War Now)

1:03:00 - Interlude - Order from Chaos - “Forsake Me This Mortal Coil,” fr. Stillbirth Machine (Wild Rags Records, 1992)

1:08:07 - Galicia - Precipice (Hessian Firm)

2:07:03 - Outro - Warrior’s Chalice - “Atomic Assault Troops” fr. Warrior’s Chalice (Independent, 2017)

Terminus links:

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Terminus Episode 103 - Syphilic, Perversion

Terminus Episode 103 - Syphilic, Perversion

September 25, 2022

Okay I know last time I said we were back and were gonna be super consistent and everything, but here's the thing: I lied. I lied specifically to hurt you. The relationship between Terminus and its fans is inherently abusive, but don't worry: we're bringing you back some flowers and promising to never do it again with an episode featuring two radically different sides of the wasteland known as Detroit.

First up is a band long mentioned but only now getting covered: Syphilic. A longtime favorite of TDMG, this one-man project has acquired a cult following over the years through its blistering technicality, challenging song structures, and aesthetics and themes so far beyond the pale they make the rest of brutal death blush. On the project's ninth full length record, the boundaries are pushed even further, making for easily one of the most challenging and exciting brutal death records of the year.

Next is Perversion, long running stalwarts of the Detroit underground who employ a foundation of thrash metal to etch out complex death and black metal ideas with proper leather jacket and sunglasses flair. While built on a mostly established set of influences, Perversion pushes the boundaries of this style past its usual structural limits in order to create dynamic, ornate compositions out of primitive materials.

0:00:00 - Intro

00:05:46 - Syphilic - …And Justice For None (Independent/Brutal Mind)

0:51:43 - Interlude - Insidious Decrepancy - “Extirpating Omniscient Certitude” fr. Extirpating Omniscient Certitude (Brutal Bands, 2009)

0:55:19 - Perversion - Dies Irae (Hells Headbangers)

1:37:49 - Outro - Cannibal Corpse - “Rotting Head” fr. Eaten Back to Life (Metal Blade Records, 1990)

Terminus links:

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Terminus Episode 102 - Vermin Womb, Amargh, Solemnity

Terminus Episode 102 - Vermin Womb, Amargh, Solemnity

September 8, 2022

No excuses this time. We're back. For real. See? We've got another episode? This one's cut in pretty distinct halves, with some remarkably extreme, timbral music on one side and some true to the 80s heavy metal on the other, but surprising threads of composition run through both. To start, though: it's been a little while, so The Death Metal Guy took it upon himself to ruin your day with some brutal death. This time it comes in the form of Solemnity's debut EP, which follows in the footsteps of bands like Pustulated and Foetopsy to create grinding, gore-soaked brutal death in the style of the early 00's to great effect.

The first main review of the night is the long-anticipated return of Vermin Womb, with a concise record that sacrifices nothing in its brevity. This is music that could be described in a lot of ways: black/death, war metal, etc., but ultimately this is grindcore at its core augmented by a wide variety of influences from extreme metal. Balancing adroitly between noisy chaos and elegant riffcraft, this record blows its contemporaries out of the water by engaging in a challenging, nearly forgotten tradition: Writing Actual Songs.

Closing out the second half is the second full-length by Polish heavy metallers Amargh, whose style owes itself as much to 1983 NWOBHM as much as... pagan black metal? TBMG unsurprisingly has a deep thesis on this record, which moves seamlessly between trad headbanging and esoteric, mystical extreme metal in a manner wholly unique to itself. How, exactly, do Jaguar and Graveland relate to one another? Listen to find out.

0:00:00 - Intro/Solemnity - Scourging at the Pillar (Comatose Music)

0:17:58 - Vermin Womb - Retaliation (Closed Casket Activities)

0:55:47 - Interlude - PLF - “Trinitrotoluene Negation” fr. Devious Persecution and Wholesale Slaughter (Six Weeks Records, 2013)

0:57:29 - Armagh - Serpent Storm (First Wave Only)

1:47:56 - Outro – Armagh - “Foggy Dew / Wehrwolf,” fr. the Venomous Frost EP (First Wave Only / 2016)

Terminus links:

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