Holocene Extinction, which is the debut full-length album from the Arkansas-based death metal/ metallic hardcore band Terminal Nation, feels like a perfectly raging response to societally-entrenched oppression. The viciousness coursing through this album feels brazen and unsanitized — the songs are like a caustic splash that simultaneously invigorates those who face the brunt of everyday institutionalized violence and sends up an inescapable call for accountability for those who are perpetrating that violence in the first place.
The band perform with a mixture of death metal and metallic hardcore sensibilities. The songs feel founded on a melodic edge like that of classic hardcore, but there’s an earth-rattling ferocity that runs through the band’s performance. It’s pummeling — Terminal Nation deliver big, booming riffs one right after the other with little in the way of respite and with connective ligaments in the form of powerful drum blasts, gut-rattling groove, and more.
Taken as a whole, the music feels somewhat like the soundtrack to an apocalypse, which is fitting, considering the sociopolitical environment that it’s emerged in and been inspired by (the lyrics feature fiery rage against the status quo). Just about every blast feels like it packs power that’s comparable to some huge asteroid hurtling out of the sky and slamming into the earth, leaving a huge cloud of dust and a massive cavernous crater on the ground. The focus with which Terminal Nation have presented their songs suggests that the band members are zeroing in on this metaphorical apocalyptic scenario, and the inescapably brutal vibe of the performances, even amidst the sky-scraping riffs, establishes the band’s perspective as smack dab in the middle of the chaos as the fiery apocalypse approaches.
Oppression, as a concept, seems like like it could be taken for granted, in a sense; the concept has been referenced a lot, and privileged folks might miss the actual gravity that’s at hand. It’s impossible to miss the seriousness underpinning Holocene Extinction — Terminal Nation have brought paradigm-rattling developments into startling focus with their sharp musicianship. The band’s musical prowess runs through elements like the pummeling breakdown at the end of “Arsenic Earth,” the especially vicious-sounding speed of “Master Plan” and “Thirst To Burn,” and the ominous feedback-riddled textures of the latter parts of “Revenge,” and at every moment, there’s a sandblast of sincerity. Time to rage.
Listen to Holocene Extinction below! It’s out via 20 Buck Spin