Saturday, August 9, 2014

Terminal - Heavy Metal Lokomotiva / Slovo (2014)

As I've said before, traditional heavy metal will always be my favorite because I grew up with it. I distinctly remember Maiden, Priest, Dio, and others being played throughout my childhood, and there was, and still is, something special about how well their songwriting holds up 30-odd years later. It takes a special kind of artist to create timeless, anthem-like music--and traditional heavy metal is often the place to do it, because it has the ability to be over the top and serious at the same time, which is a quality very few genres of music can pull off with any sort of ingenuity.

In recent years, traditional heavy metal has made a comeback--though it never died--and one act in particular, Enforcer, has made big waves in the metal community. They've done so well, in fact, that the members have taken part in other projects, the most recent being Terminal, a band with lyrics entirely in Slovenian as a tribute to '80s heavy metal played under the Iron Curtain. Fascinated, I tapped into that last year, when I interviewed Gaia, of Baltic Metal Division, but I never went any farther than that, despite having good intentions of doing so.

Better late than never, right?

Indeed. Terminal is among the best traditional heavy metal projects I've been fortunate enough to discover this year. Their music oozes the timeless quality I often find myself longing for, and the melodies sound fresh--they're just as at home today as they would be in the 1980s, and there's really something to be said of that because, again, it takes a special kind of artist to work their way into the hearts of listeners with little effort.

When I say Heavy Metal Lokomotiva / Slovo is superb, I mean it because, deep down, I'm a traditional heavy metal snob. Despite being only two tracks, the demo takes cues from all the greats ("Slovo" sounds like early Maiden!) and likely acts as brief history lesson, if you're fortunate enough to understand the lyrics. But it's no big deal that I can't comprehend them--in this case, I'm in it solely for the music, and not the lyrical content.

This is a rare instance where I prefer to let the music do the talking. The demo is so majestic and well written that a few words thrown into a blog post can't even begin to describe both tracks. This is, hands down, one of my favorite releases of the year, of any metal sub-genre.


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