domingo, 24 de septiembre de 2023


1. The band started up around 2018, why did you decide to create the band? What does the name Terminalist refer to and why did you decide to use it?

“I started writing music back in 2016 but it didn’t truly take form for a couple of years. In 2018, we were a three-piece and had some sense of direction, but it still took some time before we settled on the name Terminalist which, in my opinion, works in multiple ways. A terminal is a place from which you depart to go somewhere else. It is also the plane at which you leave life and enter death. So, when writing songs about how speed, acceleration, technology, destruction, and death are all tied together, this name made sense in the way that our music ‘kills’. It is, however, also a tribute to Vektor’s seminal album ‘Terminal Redux’ which inspired me tremendously (and without which this band would probably never exist) as well as the ‘Terminator’ franchise. ‘Terminalist’ exudes a vibe that fits our style.”

2. In 2018 you released your first album “The Great Acceleration”, an album that received good reviews from the beginning thanks to that somewhat unclassifiable thrash sound and the futuristic and science fiction theme. Did the success of the album take you by surprise? How do you remember the whole issue related to the composition and recording of the album?

“It came out in 2021, though. 😉 We expected a good response since we knew we were onto something, but we were also “just” another sci-fi-themed band amongst many other sci-fi-themed bands, and our inspirations very much came through on that record, so I think it takes something more to prove that our music truly has longevity and stands out as our own. So, we took the success with some moderation. Everything was a very new experience – heading into the studio for several weeks, working with our producer Lasse Ballade, awaiting the mix, master, and finally the physical release – and it was a very exciting time. To finally have the album out was uplifting but you also learn a lot more about your music and the recording process along the way and there are a few things that I would’ve corrected if I had the knowledge I have today. That’s probably very common and it just adds to the charm of the first album, I guess.”

3. A couple of years later the release of your second album “The Crisis as Condition” arrives. How have you approached the entire process of composing and recording this new album compared to the previous one? What brands of instruments have you used in it? process?

“The approach was very much the same as the first one. I provided the song ideas, we made some adjustments, our drummer Frederik Amris and bass player Kalle Tiihonen came up with their respective parts based on my ideas and in their own style. There’s been no experimentation with instrumentation but there has been with the songwriting process, for example in the last song, ‘Move in Strife’, where we have this slightly jammy and proggy buildup-section in the second half of the song. It was supposed to have been improvised but we ended up writing it out to give it a more coherent structure.”

4. Unlike “The Great Acceleration”, this new “The Crisis as Condition” does show a sound in which thrash has gained greater prominence, so much so that styles such as black have been relegated to the background. What is the reason for this new approach in your sound? Which classic thrah bands have been an influence when defining the sound of this new album? How would you define the sound of the album for those who have not heard it yet?

“Thanks for the observation, this is a good question! We still call our sound ‘hyperthrash’ to signify that we are rooted in thrash but have elements of black metal, death metal, and prog as well as lyrics dealing broadly with issues of speed and the consequences hereof that lend a ‘hyper’ element to our sound. There are a number of reasons for this turn in style, one being that the thrashy riffs was what came out when I started writing these songs. It felt natural and it started to truly make sense when the lyrics dealing with this new concept of contemporary crises came into existence. Another reason was that I was listening back to a lot of old technical thrash at the time, so apart from the Vektor stylizations that are very prominent in our sound, some of the influences from old Coroner, Kreator, Artillery, Obliveon, Anacrusis, and Aftermath (US), just to name a few, came creeping in.”

5. Another notable aspect is the themes of your lyrics, focusing more on social issues such as crisis or war, this can also be understood as a return to the thrash scene of the eighties, why this turn in the theme of your lyrics? Who wrote the lyrics? Do the lyrics adapt to the music or vice versa?

“I write the lyrics and come up with the concepts as well. ‘The Great Acceleration’ was very much a sci-fi-oriented record but when we started writing the new material, it felt wrong to make another record speculating in a future dystopia when the present we live in is as bleak and fucked up as it is. I read a book called ‘Krisesamfundet’ (in English: ‘The Crisis Society’) by a Danish political scientist named Mikkel Vedby Rasmussen. Broadly paraphrased, he argues that the days of progress, globalization, and normality are over, and that the pandemic and the handling of the corona virus symbolized a break with the way of governing that we once knew. Put another way, the victory of liberal democracy and capitalism, the so-called ‘end of history’ that Francis Fukuyama claimed was the true lesson of the collapse of the Soviet Union and which defined a lot of policy-making throughout the 1990s and since, has been upended. History, as a foundational political struggle between opposing ideologies and values, instead has restarted. Political choices suddenly take on a new meaning. The crisis necessitates radical measures and actions, it makes possible what was previously impossible, and it outlines a path forward to the future, how bleak this may seem. Taken into consideration how radical the measures taken against the virus was (who would’ve thought that lockdowns and curfews would be possible in our time?), who can imagine what will happen with the accelerating climate changes, if the war in Ukraine continues, if the political polarization intensifies, if social and economic equality keeps deepening? We don’t know but things don’t look too good. And yes, this is very much a continuation of what thrash bands were addressing in the late 1980’s as well, only now we seem to be at a tipping point where no easy solution is possible. The crisis is here to stay.”

6. Your previous album contained songs of greater development and duration, however in this “The Crisis as Condition” the duration of the songs has been reduced. Was it very difficult for you to adapt to this new length of the songs and how did you do it? did you focus?

“We agreed to have more songs on this album so it’s slightly longer and with two more songs in comparison to the first one. This meant cutting away the fat, making the songwriting sharp, precise, and focused, yes. Which is a major fuckin’ challenge if you have trouble limiting yourself as I do, haha. So yes, it was difficult, but I also think it helped the result.”

7. You have worked again with Ballade Studios and Woodshed Studios for the recording and mixing work on the album. Despite there being differences in sound between your two albums, did you consider from the beginning to maintain confidence in these studios to carry out this process?

“We knew from the beginning we’d like to work with the same people again, yes, since it turned out great on the first album. Only this time, the production and sound aesthetic seems even more tight-knit and razor sharp. I think Lasse Ballade from Ballade Studios, who has worked with a great deal of black, death, and doom metal bands throughout the years, really nailed a gritty, yet sharp sound that suits the fast picking and thrash riffing style while V. Santura from Woodshed Studios provided the clarity and punchiness needed.”

8. For the release of the album you have once again collaborated with the Danish record label Indisciplinan, why did you make this decision?

“Well, as a fairly new band, you can’t necessarily pick which label to work with so when a label wants to work with you, you’re in luck, haha. Especially when it’s a highly regarded label as Indisciplinarian. Again, the collaboration worked great on the first album, but I also believe it’s the label in Denmark that suits us best. They have a great roster of bands that we’re proud of being among, they have a sharp focus on quality and integrity, and they’re not afraid to add an intellectual edge to their promotion material which is a clear plus for us.”

9. Ryan T. Hancock has been in charge of the album's artwork, at what point did you decide to work with him? What does the cover represent and how does it relate to the content of the album?

“I came across Ryan’s work a couple of years ago on Instagram. We were looking for someone who could make a beautiful science fiction cover for the first album. And I don’t mean digitally, but painted it in hand. He could, he did, and we were amazed by the result, so of course we wanted to work with him again. This time around, it was a bit more complicated, though. How do you paint a crisis? And how do you connect it stylistically with the interstellar artwork from ‘The Great Acceleration’ but still make it clear that we’re not dabbling in the same sci-fi subjects this time around? We emailed back and forth a bit, talked it through over a Zoom call, looked at some sketches and settled on this motif of an earth fracturing from a tilted angle which gives the whole artwork a feeling of disorientation from the view of the spectator. It’s down to earth in a literal sense, but the ball of light also signifies something strange, mystical, apocalyptical, maybe even religious. It has a sci-fi feel to it but still depicts the literal downfall of a modern and advanced society which strongly connects to the theme of the album. I mean, we even have a song called ‘Mutating Fractures’ on the record and the cover shows a major fracture. I think it turned out great – again.”

10. You have recently shared the bill with Voivod, how did the possibility of offering this concert come about and what has the experience been like? What new concerts do you have prepared to present the new album?

“Daniel Abecassis, who manages Kill-Town Bookings, arranges tours for death metal bands, and organizes festivals like the renowned Kill-Town Death Fest here in Copenhagen, reached out to us since he was about to set up the Voivod show in collaboration with BETA, a rather small and cool underground venue, and he saw us as a perfect fit. The show went well, Voivod were incredibly nice (of course) and easy to be around, and they played great. It was a memorable evening, for sure. Asides from the release show we just played to celebrate the new album, we don’t have anything announced to promote the album right now. But look out, we hope to get abroad sometime next year.”

11. What is your opinion of the extreme metal scene in a city like Copenhagen and how would you describe it?

“It’s thriving, maybe even too much. There’s a lot of bands, including a lot of good ones, and each week is packed with metal shows, huge and small. We have staple festivals like Copenhell and the previously mentioned Kill-Town Death Fest, smaller festivals like A Colossal Weekend and Copenhagen Metal Fest and then you have all the other festivals in all the other cities. If you want to keep track with new bands, you’re easily busy, and if you attend a lot of festivals, you get to see a lot of the same acts, which is a downside. Also, there’s not a lot of antagonism here. Despite our own issues, Denmark is still very much a nice, small, and friendly country, and it shows in the metal scene. Maybe we need some more beef between bands, some enemies to provide a little tension. Anyway, for some interesting newer Danish bands from the Copenhagen area, I can recommend Mother of All, Throwe, Night Fever, and Dysgnostic, if you are not familiar with them already.”

12. How were your beginnings in music: first concerts you attended, first albums you bought? What happened in your lives that pushed you to want to be musicians?

“I can only speak for myself, but a lot happened with discovering my parents’ record collection. It’s a well-known story. The Beatles led to Deep Purple and Alice Cooper which led to Black Sabbath and Rainbow which led to Slipknot, Slayer, Deicide, and the ball kept rolling from there. The first show I properly attended was a Deep Purple and Uriah Heep show. It was 2003, I was 12 years old, and most people in the crowd were 30-40 years older than me. It’s evened out a bit since. For a long time, I was content with not playing music on a serious level myself (although I did know how to play) but discovering Vektor and listening to ‘Terminal Redux’ and hearing all the prog and thrash I’d been consuming for so many years combined made such profound sense that I had to pursue something similar. And here we are.”

13. What album represents for you the essence of black metal? What latest albums have you bought?

“The essence of black metal? This might seem contrary to what a lot of people believe, but I don’t know if there is an essence. Do you perceive black metal to be a musical aesthetic, an ideological stance or both? Or maybe something entirely different? Is the essence comprised of blastbeats, tremolo-picking, and shrieking vocals or of religious antagonism, Satanism, mysticism, and neo-fascism? Both stances, I believe, are problematic. The first one because what has been classified as black metal throughout the years differs a lot – from Bathory and Mercyful Fate to Burzum and Dissection to Behemoth and Deathspell Omega – the second one because the politics is bullshit. Anyway, the most recent favorite black metal albums of mine are Véhémence’s ‘Par le sang versé’ and Stormkeep’s ‘Tales of Othertime’. Also, the last album I bought was 40 Watt Sun’s ‘Wider than the Sky’ when Patrick Walker played here in town earlier this year. It’s an album which, although mellow and somber, is as heavy as it gets.”

14. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions for Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for Terminalist followers this is the place. I hope the questions are to your liking.

“Hey, thank you for taking your time and having the interest to do this! It was a pleasure. If you’re into some hyperthrash, or some thrash with some blackened twists, check out our new record and follow us on social media to keep track on whether we’re coming to a town near you in the future. Hope to see you out there one day.”

Emil Hansen


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