Terminal Nation’s fire-churning rage matches a land in turmoil with massive ‘Holocene Nation’

Photo by Kurt Lunsford

There was a time when we thought COVID-19 was going to be the biggest issue and problem the United States was going to face this year. And then George Floyd was murdered. Then the floodgates opened. Then the government’s outright fascism spewed into the streets, and the people who claimed to want to fight tyranny parked themselves at the boot for a long, sensuous lick. This is America.

Imagine, if you will, being locked deep in Arkansas during all of this, a place as red as red can be, with what I’m sure is a population steadfastly wrapping their arms around the goddamn injustice marring our country. That’s where Terminal Nation hail, where their politics surely can’t be met with smiling faces. But in total defiance, they push on, and the results are all over their new album “Holocene Extinction,” a collection that is fire-breathing and full of torment, an onslaught that likely didn’t know it was going to be as on the head as it is. For those new to the band—vocalist Stan Liszewski, guitarists Tommy Robinson and Dalton Rail, bassist Chase Turner, drummer Chase Davis—expect a punishing mix of hardcore, doom, thrash, punk, and death, and along the way, their righteous fury for what they’ve seen and heard comes rushing to the surface.

“Cognitive Dissonance” bursts open, trudging and smearing blood, with wild howls landing blows. The guitars take on machine-like efficiency while Liszewski prods, “What side will you be on?” as the track spirals out. “Arsenic Earth” has nasty wails as the pace grinds away, and speedy jolts send electricity. The guitars light up and punish, leading toward the title track that churns your bones in their gears. “The doomsday clock, it keeps on ticking,” Liszewski warns as the guitar work builds momentum. “You cannot save a world that does not want to be saved,” Liszewski charges as the track ends in muddy thrashing. “Master Plan” blasts by, sprawling and throwing wild punches as the vocals are directly in your face, and the senses and nerves are chewed to its ending. “Revenge” is blinding with rage-infused vocals and noise hanging in the air like a threatening cloud. The playing gets gritty and wild as maniacal laughing splashes with acid, the system burns down, and everything melts into dust. “Thirst to Burn” is a maniacal 31 seconds that’s a hugely splattering attack that reminds of Napalm Death at their gnarliest.

“Orange Bottle Prison” starts doomy, bathing in drone before it shreds into hardcore-style violence. The track lays waste in no time as Liszewski howls, “I can’t escape from this orange bottle prison,” as the guitars openly burn off. “Leather Envy” is animalistic and goes right for the guts, tearing you open and letting the insides spill out, raging into “Expired Utopia” where the guitars melt rubber and release noxious fumes. A doomy haze later settles over an atmospheric pocket, feeling mournful at times as hope bleeds away, putting a pall on this instrumental cut. “Death for Profit” hovers over as Liszewski’s talk singing lands shots before the intensity explodes. The words turn into vicious barks, with Liszewski howling, “When will we ever learn?” about humanity being a commodity for trade, and spirited gang shouts help hammer home that message. “Caskets of the Poor” is speedy and chunky as the pace agitates, slamming home the message with gargantuan power. “Disciple of Deceit” explodes with the bass driving and raspy wails, with Liszewski accusing, “You play the victim.” The track is sludgy in spots, feels like hardcore insanity in others, and is utterly devastating. “Age of Turmoil” closes the album with chugging playing and the pace smashing. “Welcome to the age of turmoil,” Liszewski wails while the playing is calculated but hammering, as the track is slowly pounded into oblivion.

It’s an incredibly fitting time—cosmically so—for Terminal Nation to arrive with “Holocene Extinction,” a record that matches what we’re seeing on the news and in our streets as people finally seem to be waking up to reality. This record has those same levels of anger, sarcasm, and hope, fighting and refusing to ever relent, and it probably packs even more for a punch for them being deep in red territory. This record not only is recommended for its incredible musical content, but also because it sounds like the voice of a nation that has had enough of being fucked.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/terminalnation

To buy the album, go here: https://www.20buckspin.com/terminalnation

For more on the label, go here: https://www.20buckspin.com/