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Dynamic riffing and instrumental proficiency - 60%

autothrall, November 2nd, 2009

Willowtip has always had a good ear for signing brutal and technical new talent in the death and grind fields, and Sweden's Terminal Function is no exception. Not the easiest band to describe, but imagine a hybrid of math metal ala Meshuggah, abstract fusion jazz similar to the interludes on the later Pestilence albums, and the wild technicality of Theory in Practice. Of the three, I'd say the band is closest to the third. I even hear a little of the later Death style, especially with the solos and some of the riffing under said solos.

The band has an excellent grasp of dynamic riffing and instrumental proficiency, and Victor Larsson's aggressive vocals are quite ensnaring when you first hear it. The first track "Spawn" is a great example of their frenetic riffing and the morphing nature of their compositions, interspersed with soft, progressive jazzy guitar breaks. "Tactile" and "Cloning Assembly" were two of the other tracks that really captured me as fine examples of this style, winding exercises in mathematic tempo-shifting metal.

Yet, for some reason, the album didn't capture me as fully as a Theory in Practice or Meshuggah record. The virtuosity of these musicians is hard to deny, they are capable of quite a stir among the tech metal community, but the songs themselves didn't stand up to repeated listens for me. It was more of a situation in which I listened, appreciated, then moved along. I doubt I'll return, but if you're a tech metal fanatic then give it a listen to make up your own mind.