Terminus – Fortune Looming
Shindig Rating: 9.0
Released July 14 2018
The smartest band in Arkansas released its second full-length album this week, and it’s everything we hoped for and more.
I liken Terminus, the aforementioned smartest band in the state, to a finely-tuned muscle car. Because every time you take the band out for a spin, you don’t want to stop, because it’s like an exciting, new experience each time.
When the band shuffled off in late 2017 to record “Fortune Looming” — the follow-up effort to their stellar debut “Safe Travels, See You Never” — we around the Shindigmusic offices often speculated what the new material would sound like. Would it be heavier? Would they dabble more into prog? Would it be more technical? The answer is a little of all of that.
If you’ve seen them live, you know the band brings it. But if you haven’t, Terminus plays a frenzied, technical and powerful style of music that blends elements of progressive rock, sludge and metal — think a combination of what Rush and Yes would sound like if they joined forces with Queens of the Stone Age, Sleep and Black Sabbath — and that translates to their studio work, as well. Believe us when we tell you that when they’re on top of their game, they’re unstoppable. Enter “Fortune Looming.” From the get-go you get a sense that the band is expanding its sound to add more layers, textures and dynamics to everything. On the radio-ready leadoff track “The Way Your Heart Sings,” the band reaches into its back of tricks to deliver a poignant, churning ballad (if you can call it that) full of Queen-like layered vocal and guitar harmonies with a sugar-coated refrain that will have you humming along for about a week or so.
From there, the band takes us on a sonic, explosive journey. You’ve got your straightforward bangers in The Hotspur, Down to the Wire, Stoke the Flames and Beat to Quarters, and then you see the band taking chances with tracks like I Got Married, Believe Me, We Begin Again and Don’t Come too Close. Whatever chances they want to take they absolutely pull off. Kick ass mid-song time signature changes? Got ’em. Brutal distorted bass lines and expanded riffing? Got those too. Anthemic, victorious choruses? Yep. Sitars? Hell yes! And you know what? It all works.
“Fortune Looming” is one of those records that once you start it, you’ll just want to listen over and over again. What makes Terminus work so well is that they’re capable of writing songs that stand up on their own, or work as a lyrical and musical theme in an album-oriented format.
The music of Terminus is perfect and it commands attention. Whether you’re a hardcore metal fan, really into prog, or crave brilliant song structure and clever melodies, Terminus makes music that has a little bit of something for everyone.
Stream and download “Fortune Looming” here.