Terminal Nation – “Holocene Extinction” (20 Buck Spin)
Battle Helm Rating
Forever famed in American history as being the town where forced desegregation was ruled by the U.S. Supreme Court, Little Rock, Arkansas is also home to Terminal Nation, a heavy grindcore band who aren’t shy of voicing their own political views into the tinderbox of today’s America. As much influenced by the metallic hardcore of Integrity, Bolt Thrower’s death metal and the powerviolence of Nails, Terminal Nation have issued several EPs prior to the release of debut full length assault. “Holocene Extinction” pulls no punches in its voiced outrage and musical angst captured by a huge, ominous sound thanks to the mastering of Brad Boatright (From Ashes Rise, Integrity, Noisem) of Audiosiege! From the roars of Stan Liszewski to the titanic, crushing guitars of Tommy Robinson and Dalton Rai, the brutal rhythm of Chase Turner and drum destruction of Chase Davis cannot be understated in its demolition capacity, although equally to be acknowledged are the intelligent arrangements, catchy grooves and hardcore melodies that gel the blood savagery with the anarchy on hand. Blasting in on ‘Masterplan’, frenzied double bass drums and cement mixer guitars are excellently contrasted by evil melodies along with plenty of tempo changes, almost erratic at times, but all working to great effect to create an intimidating atmosphere into which Liszewski pours his aggression. Steaming with powerviolence and death metal, ‘Thirst To Burn’ is only 30 seconds long, but its tidal wave effect is felt no less through its dirty distorted guitars, pounding drums and Liszewski’s dry roars in a very old school sound that has been commendably recreated here. In total contrast are the slow, reverb soaked riffs and doom warbles to ‘Orange Bottle Prison’, where Chase Davis’ massive drums and Liszewski’s shouts compete to out power each other as the tremolo guitars wail insanely as if everything is going up in smoke – well, it is if you’re Terminal Nation! Offering a mild (?) respite in the grim, atmospheric instrumental of ‘Expired Utopia’, with its slow, crushing riffs chimed off exquisitely by funeral doom melodies, closer ‘Death For Profit’ continues with a slight ray of sunshine in cleaning up the guitars before blasting for the bleachers in its expletive ridden heavy hardcore of thick menacing riffs, stomping beats, wailing tremolos and band shout outs in an ultimate declaration of dissent. With a near apocalyptic vision of society’s dominoes falling and the hour of reckoning almost at hand, “Holocene Extinction” does little to comfort, indeed, it actually acknowledges a fate for a world that refuses to be saved….