Terminal Nation 
Echoes of the Devil’s Den

“Fuck every fucking cop that’s ever fucking lived.”

I want to start with those words, which are repeated many times in “No Reform (New Age Slave Patrol)” the fourth track from Terminal Nation‘s second album, Echoes of the Devil’s Den, to simply let you know the message, and to turn back now if offended. For those who aren’t feeble, weak, fragile bootlickers, continue reading. Here lies a protest record of America’s current police state, and I’m on board, even if I don’t agree with everything. After all, not every cop is sexy.

If unfamiliar, Terminal Nation resides mostly in the area where metal, especially death metal, crosses paths with hardcore. It’s not deathcore or metalcore, though. The hardcore presence is strong, but some of their songs tread deep in the dirty swamp. “Written by the Victor” for example, has the deep vocals and demonic bellows straight out of the new wave of old-school death metal movement I enjoy. With barely a minute left, there comes a shouted section, followed by death metal vocals, and an immense breakdown. The focus on death metal is much more prevalent than on their previous album.

Only a few tracks later, “The Spikes Under the Bridge” is a lumbering prod for a few moments before turning into a churning storm of death. If you couldn’t tell, it’s about how our ruthless capitalist society criminalizes the act of being homeless. Hostile architecture is prevalent in our cities, making it impossible for someone down on their luck to even get a night’s sleep because of the risk of what? Making our cities look less wealthy? Making it try to look like poor people don’t exist? Yes, it’s a much better use of resources to intentionally harm them than lending a helping hand. Terminal Nation is pissed, as they should be, and I’m with them.

On “Merchants of Bloodshed,” guess what? Still pissed. It’s a bruiser and that slow part around 2 minutes in, even though it doesn’t last long, is brutal. The shouts after this echo hardcore, and there’s a perfectly appropriate breakdown to follow. At 3 minutes, we have some synths/keys, which leads into a half-sung section. The synths stick around for the rest of the song.

Much later in the album is one of my favorite songs, “Cemetery of Imposters.” It’s short at under 3 minutes but has a hook and a more hardcore approach in the vocals. It’s a proper beatdown in case you were curious if there were any more of those after the synths in the previously mentioned track. It doesn’t end there, but my review does.

I was very excited about this follow-up as I am a huge fan of Holocene Extinction. I’m not disappointed. Even the boss asked why he had never heard of them before. Well, sir, you have. I told you about them when the last one arrived, and I was referred to Xibalba for comparison. I’m used to people not listening to me. Anyway, this is, as I mentioned earlier, a modern protest record. I’m certainly no expert on the topic, but it’s not preaching to engage in the political process “or else,” much like Lamb of God’s Ashes of the Wake. It’s just great music, letting you know how they feel, and giving a different, much-needed perspective regarding the direction of this country. It’s early in the year, but this is a vital, essential record. You should buy it.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
June 6th, 2024

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