Friday, April 29, 2016
Album Review :: Terminal Gods - Wave/Form
May 6 2016 (Heavy Leather Records)
Words: Richard O’Hagan
We often malign the Eighties as being the decade that taste forgot, an era of batwings, shoulder pads and unmitigated Thatcherite gloom. In doing so we forget some of the things that were great about that time – The Batcave, leather gods and unprecedented, uplifting goth. Fortunately, we have Terminal Gods to remind us of that.
This, their debut album, released on their own Heavy Leather label, is full of very deliberate references back to then. If anything, opening track ‘Shockwave’ is misleading, as it bounces in like a lost New Order classic, because things get rather deeper and darker after that. With Robert Cowlin’s deep bass voice and the drum machine array that they employ it is easy to compare Terminal Gods to the legendary Sisters of Mercy, but the fact is that they are better than that.
There are touches of every band of that genre in here, so whilst a track like ‘Electric Eyes’ is indeed pure Sisters, something like ‘Monument’ is much closer to less mainstream acts such as Fields of the Nephiim. This isn’t, therefore, a case of a band picking a style of music and replicating it wholesale. It’s almost an exercise in musical archaeology, carefully unveiling the past and using what most makes sense. As ‘Discovery’ aptly puts it, the attempt is to ‘cautiously revive’ goth, and in doing that Terminal Gods succeed magnificently.