“We’re just two little girls from Little Rock. We lived on the wrong side of the tracks” Jane Russel and Marilyn Monroe sang wonderfully in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”. I gotta say that was the first thing that sprang to mind when I read that Terminal Nation were from that particular Arkansas town. Well sass and glamour are not adjectives that can be used with this band.
In the last few years folk have consoled themselves through the political and cultural turmoil of the globe by clinging onto the historic evidence that the best music often comes from adversity.
Holocene Extinction is angry brutal music for angry brutal times. This mix of big beat Hardcore punk and grindcore is the sound of a tear gas canister being scooped up and lobbed back, the sound of a bare fist against a Kevlar riot shield. These blokes are pissed off and they want to tell you why. Their Facebook page cites their influences as Infest, Dismember, Citizens Arrest, Madball, Napalm Death and Bolt Thrower. That list gives any listener the sonic idea of the band more than me spending pointless moments twisting sentences to do so, precious moments that could be spent just letting the tracks on the album pummel my eardrums and rib cage.
The bands last release was a split E.P in 2019 with fellow raging left leaners Neckbeard Deathcamp – an act well-loved in this parish. Terminal Nation’s 4 minutes of blast on that release was a quick punch to the jaw to white supremacy and gun lovers stateside whilst Holocene Extinction is a sustained choreographed battle plan.
Like any successful battle plan there needs to be contingencies for every eventuality and this album does exactly that. It packs in a collage of music styles within its 13 tracks that cover big riff stomping hardcore, blistering grind, sludge and head crushing doom metal all utilised as weapons to dismantle the horrors that they see befalling the world at present.
Tracks like “Master Plan” cut a path to the core like Napalm Death at their most venom spitting. Giant angry vocals ride on the back of crunching riffs that despite being mid paced explode like phosphorous to devastating effect. “Revenge” that follows it mixes hyperspeed grind with big mosh arm swinging moments to great effect. The thirty seconds of “Thirst To Burn” is straight out of the Dan Lilker playbook whether it be Venomous Concept or Brutal Truth.
So imagine my surprise when “Orange Bottle Prison” starts up with a lumbering riff like a sasquatch entering a mud pit before ascending into blistering blastbeat madness for a few seconds before sliding back down into the sludgy depths. Sludgy doom and grindcore? All in the same track? Ambassador you are spoiling us ! (one for the older Rocher fans). All that’s left for this listener is some epic instrumental doom. Oh Terminal Nation you think of everything – “Expired Utopia” is a giant lump of funeral doom that makes the tears want to eke out of my mince pies before segueing into the E.N.T meets Doom (band) protest anthem “Death for Profit”
Throughout this album the anger felt by the band is tangible. This is no packaged rebellion . At a time where snatch squads are rampant in Portland and folk are still being hit by plastic bullets funded by governments and manufactured in the U.K this is a fitting soundtrack. I don’t have a lyric sheet to go with the release but there is enough getting through to get the message across. This album pummels the eardrums and opens the brain cells in equal measure.
Protest and Survive folks.
(8.5/10 Matt Mason)