Termina – Dysphoria (Review)

Termina - DysphoriaTermina is the collaborative debut album between solo artist Nik Nocturnal, and Andy Cizek, singer of Monuments.

Termina’s music is best described as modern metal – a mix of genres and styles such as progressive metal, technical metal, djent, deathcore, and metalcore.

Across a very engaging 41 minutes it quickly becomes apparent that Termina specialise in hook-driven metal that boasts strong, catchy choruses and a song-based approach that really pays off. Everything about the music services these basic elements on Dysphoria, resulting in a very enjoyable album that’s easy to listen to over and over.

The songs are crafted around earworm-friendly choruses that stick in the mind. The vocals are performed with passion and skill, ranging from powerful soaring cleans that brim with emotion, to aggressive screams, harsh shouts, and hostile growls, all of which have the right level of anger and ferocity in them; the singer is very capable indeed.

One of the things I like about Termina is that although their songcraft is blatantly built around a big standout singalong chorus, the rest of the music is not neglected in favour of this. When the band are aggressive, they go all out and pummel with heavy grooves, punishing rhythms, and crushing riffs. When they’re atmospheric they can produce sections that are immersive and beautifully-wrought. When they’re showing off their technical chops, they manage to balance the needs of the song against ostentation, to the benefit of all.

With more depth and longevity than you’ll normally find on something tagged with labels like modern metal and djent, Dysphoria is a very strong release. Packed with catchy songs that actually shine brighter with repeated spins rather than fade, Termina have produced an album that really works well. It takes skill to produce music like this that doesn’t sound stale and bland, and Dysphoria is a joy to listen to.

If you’re a fan of this type of music, but can’t be bothered with the run-of-the-mill dross that makes up the bulk of this sort of style, make sure you don’t miss out on this.

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