Review by Wade Hill
Terminatryx is an industrial metal band from Cape Town celebrating 13 years of existence, and one of their goals are pretty clear – to set themselves apart from the country’s rehashed metal sub-genres and stand as a unique entity. From what I’ve seen, they’ve done this quite successfully by playing at a number of prestigious events and garnering quite a solid fanbase.
While I was by no means amazed by Terminatryx’s new album, I found it somewhat refreshing, as I haven’t come across many South African bands pursuing the sound that Terminatryx explore with Shadow. Shadow has a very cinematic feel to it, and this is achieved by combining industrial, goth and electronic elements to create the moving, working machine that is their new album.
Sonja Ruppersberg’s vocals seem to be carefully positioned within the mix of instruments so as not to dominate the sound like many female-fronted bands before them, but to allow the instruments to do the “talking,” while the vocals “translate” the message. After some thought, I concluded this was a good move.
This brings me to the “problems” with the album. The guitars and drums don’t always dominate as much as they should, and don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying they’re not “heavy” enough, they just lack volume and, well, oomph. Acclaimed producer Theo Crous offered a helping hand with mixing/production, but I found an inconsistency throughout the album where some songs sounded sonically pleasing and others just felt under-produced.
I also felt that I hit a few dull and boring moments as Shadow as an album was not able to keep me listening actively. With that being said, the album really does have its high moments, especially the two instrumental tracks (opener ‘Metropolis’ and ‘Outcast’) and ‘Shadow’ (the Industriezone remix of ‘Shadow’ is also phenomenal and belongs in a goth club dance floor). These tracks stand out as interesting, unique and well produced.
Terminatryx is definitely not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but at least they’re going against the norm and they’re bringing a horde of fans with them for the ride. While Shadow will certainly not be on repeat in my playlist, I look forward to seeing what they have to offer in the future, especially when they play on the stage of one of the country’s biggest metal festivals early-April, Witchfest 2015.