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don't fear the reaper's spiral architect - 65%

caspian, March 8th, 2018

Yknow in hindsight it's kinda strange that there's been no other albums that've used Asimov's Foundation as a concept for an album, or at least no other albums that are fairly big. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, mind, as while I'm sure it was one hell of a book at the time, a current read suggests it's the sort of fanfic written by a dude with a few photos of Tyson/Sagan/etc stuck together with a lot of dodgy looking tissues nearby.

Anyway, Terminus do a decent enough job, but I'm not convinced it's any sort of classic. They mine the same thing over and over again- epic 3/4 riffs, lots of big Wooooah-oh-oh, a fair few little dual leads around the place. I'm not saying the thing is terrible- there's plenty of good moments. That big old "Alchemy transforming stee-eeel" bit Traders is pure Manilla Road, in the best sense, Poseidon's Children has a pretty cool chorus and in general rips hard, coming across like a busier prime Visigoth cut. Perhaps it's just the accent of the main singer but when these guys get rolling in it's reminiscent of Solstice's New Dark Age, with a bit less doom and a bit more thrash influence, and Foundation lyrics swapped in for the relentless thesaurus abuse. I like the down tuning a fair bit- all the galloping parts have a fair bit of heft.

I guess the main problem with this is that for epic heavy metal, you can't just go full throttle all the time without a break. Pick any big epic album, new or old, and there's peaks and troughs, to keep the thing from sounding too flat. Terminus suffer from a severe lack of variety, and combined with the fairly limited vocal range of the singer, the result is one of general mehness. It hits a plateau early on and then goes nowhere, the whole time. That's fine if you're playing Reign in Blood or Back in Black. But if you're trying to tell a story and whatnot, then write some songs that go somewhere! The ok but fairly flat production doesn't really help either.

It's not the only album that does it; I call it the three song problem. If you picked any three songs from this and played them, they would sound completely killer. After nine songs of the same old stuff, though, it really drags.

Certainly not shit, and probably worth a look, as some of the songs do go fairly hard. It's not normally how I like to recommend stuff, but you'll probably get the most out of this album by mixing it into your gym playlist and throwing it on shuffle.