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Terminate - Ascending To Red Heavens

Ascending To Red Heavens
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 14 February 2013, 12:14 PM

There have been plenty of people asking themselves what is really heaven? Sure that they don’t have to blow their brains out to actually see if it really exists because it doesn’t sound reasonable right? However, the question of heaven has been quite a topic since forever I think, like an ancient myth or an everlasting riddle. But maybe the heavens are red, with lava or boiling with blood of those that got there. Thinking about it for just one second (and I am lying), perhaps the heavens are red and could just a gate in some weird way to downstairs? The Death Metal band from the US, TERMINATE, had their way with the idea that what is up there isn’t safe for us humans. But where will we go after our passing, the crossing to the other side of life, meaning Death? So many questions, damn that is hard. However, it was more hard for me to enjoy TERMINATE’s “Ascending To Red Heavens”, the band’s debut album via Selfmadegod Records. I am a fan of old school Death Metal, but where did the quality go? Another question shot out of my brain, damn I am on a roll here.

Essentially, “Ascending To Red Heavens” is pretty simple, a straight shooter with not too much strings attached. TERMINATE share appreciation to sweet old late 80s, early 90s Death Metal reminding a bit of old DEICIDE (without being too satanic about it), pre Progressive DEATH era (merely of “Scream Bloody Gore” and “Leprosy”), slight MORBID ANGEL elements, shrapnel of Dutch Death Metal, and a really few motifs of OBITUARY. On paper this comparisons sound rather cool and a foundation for something good, but I am afraid that “Ascending To Red Heavens” turned out to be average and moderately below that. Other than the production that reminded me of homemade recordings I used to make before I started my own band, the material didn’t hold much attention, it played its part and faded away. There were a few great riffs that only old school fans with true understand of the past could muster up, but the solos were dreary, a few seemed off beat / out of synch with the rhythms, vocals just hanging there leaving nothing to brag about. The rhythm section sounded solid and created a few nice moments. Songs such as the title track, “Ascending To Red Heavens”, “Blind Leading the Blind” and “Rotten Dead Mass”, took me back to the old US Death Metal scene when being blasphemous was a must without all that bad influences from modern Hardcore. TERMINATE bruised with this potential tracks with solid riffing, ample vocals, bits of soloing that have direction and a gruesome attitude.

In general, “Ascending To Red Heavens” is just another Death Metal of a new band that is trying to recapture the old evil monsters of the past Metal scene, but without doing it well. There are a few bits and pieces that can be a feast of enjoyment, but these guys need to work on their material and make it more interesting. A band of such manners can be as brutal as it gets with a shred of creativity, it is a must. Furthermore, how about producing it better so it will still sound old school? It is a critical necessity action as well for the future.

2 Star Rating

1. Answered In Lead
2. Demonic Instinct
3. Numb
4. Rotten Dead Mass
5. The Savage Silence
6. Chainsaw Omega
7. Ascending to Red Heavens
8. Blind Leading the Blind
9. Iron Supremacy
John Porada – Guitar / Vocals
Tom Cardella - Guitar
Alfred Mulle - Bass
Jim Smith - Drums
Record Label: Selfmadegod Records


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