Album Review: Terminal Nation

Death becomes them

For a band that adopted the word “terminal” as part of their moniker and put “extinction” front and center in the title of their full-length debut, this Little Rock, AR quintet is paradoxically extremely fucking adept at breathing new resurrecting life into flatlined sub-subgenres. Holocene Extinction marries a tectonic late-’90s metallic hardcore pummeling—think Acme’s towering comp To Reduce the Choir to One Soloist (1996), His Hero Is Gone’s Fifteen Counts of Arson (1997) and Catharsis’ Samsara (1997)—to a nasty attack that calls to mind Napalm Death, Entombed and Obituary, with a few requisite-yet-tastefully-executed circa South of Heaven Slayer-isms tossed in for good measure.

The album, in other words, delivers on the promise of the promo photo featuring Terminal Nation members in All Out War, Earth Crisis and Immolation gear. Which is to say, it’s easily one of the best, most interesting metal/hardcore hybrids of the last several years. I mean, the opening track has a breakdown where it sounds as if Todd Burdette of Tragedy/His Hero Is Gone is trading vocals with Steve “Zetro” Souza of Exodus—you really gotta try to not love that! Holocene Extinction may not be perfect—across 13 songs, there are a few repeated ideas that could’ve probably been distilled and condensed—but for those who do not feel the same nostalgia for nü-metal that the current rising crop of metallic hardcore bands clearly do, this vibrant, vital offering will be a thrilling (and welcome) corrective to a lot of the posturing and self-indulgent meandering/hammering going on in the scene right now.

Review taken from the September 2020 issue of Decibel, which is available here