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4.30 | 21 ratings | 7 reviews
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Album · 2016


1. Charging The Void (9:11)
2. Cygnus Terminal (8:15)
3. LCD (Liquid Crystal Disease) (7:33)
4. Mountains Above The Sun (1:22)
5. Ultimate Artificer (5:04)
6. Pteropticon (6:00)
7. Psychotropia (7:39)
8. Pillars Of Sand (5:19)
9. Collapse (9:22)
10. Recharging The Void (13:36)

Total Time 73:21


- David DiSanto / Vocals, Guitars
- Erik Nelson / Guitars
- Blake Anderson / Drums
- Frank Chin / Bass

About this release

Released by Earache Records, May 6th, 2016.

Thanks to siLLy puPPy for the addition and adg211288 for the updates


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The Crow
A brutal travel through space and death!

Hearing Terminal Redux is like being propelled through light years of heinous wars, apocalyptic starship crashes and obscure mythologies. The concept of the album is obtuse and difficult to understand, but also an adventure to discover, just like the music of Vektor. They proudly carry the banner of technical death metal today. And they deserve it!

The production of the album is also very solid, leaving space for every instrument. I would mention the guitars, which sound piercing and pristine, and also the powerful drums. Maybe the bass is a bit low for my taste, but that's usual in thrash and death metal anyway. But let's talk about the songs!

Charging the Void introduces us in a very powerful way in the style of the album. A very technical and fierce death metal but with tons of epic melodies, really catchy for adventurous listeners. The DiSanto vocals are pure black metal nevertheless, and they are accompanied in this song by splendid clean female choirs. A very solid, progressive and surprising song!

Cygnus Terminal is a bit more melancholic and melodic, but also powerful and it contains incredible drumming from Blake Anderson. LCD is even faster, with brutal lyrics with helps to define the concept of the record. And then comes Mountains Above the sun, a very wise track which introduces variety while being just an introduction for Ultimate Artificer, a song which is a bit more classic death metal, but it contains some of the best riffs of the album.

But hey... The second half of the CD is even better! Pteropticon is one of the most complete songs of the album with its devilish speed and brutal melodies. Is one of the best written tracks. Psycotropia increases the craziness level and it contains one hell of a bass solo. And Pillars of Sand follow the more straightforward line of Ultimate Artificer... At this point we start to feel again the album needs a change.

And then we find Collapse! A semi-acoustic and beautiful track with clean vocals which increases its intensity progressively bringing a beautiful moment when clean vocals and growls unite, making a very original and catchy section. The final part of the song is a bit more conventional, but also great. Another marvelous bass playing from Frank Chin!

Recharging the Void... If I had to introduce Vektor to someone, this would be the chosen song to do that. Over 13 minutes of epic melodies, haunting clean choirs, brutal guitars and incredible riffs. It's arguably the best song of the album and one of the highlights in Vektor's career. Just a must hearing song for every prog metal lover! Just like the rest of the album.

Conclusion: Terminal Redux has a pair of not so brilliant moments where the music can be a bit repetitive. But as a whole is just one of the best metal albums of this decade. Superb songwriting, cryptic concept and impressive instrumental skill which recalls the best technical death metal moments of the 90's while it achieves to sound different and very actual. If you are not scared by extreme metal and black metal vocals, you should give Terminal Redux a chance. It's a very impressive release from which confirms that Vektor are not the future of metal anymore. They are the present!

Thank you for this great experience, guys.

Best Tracks: Charging the Void, Pteropticon, Psycotropia, Collapse, Recharging the Void.

My rating: *****

This review was originally written for
To many, Vektor are essentially carrying the torch of modern thrash metal. It’s a completely understandable claim; the band have released three albums thus far, and each one of them has received a ridiculous amount of praise. The skeptics may deem the group a smidgen too reminiscent of Voivod, but I’d argue that the whole “progressive-thrash” concept is where that similarity begins and ends. Sure, there’s the space theme as well, but both bands deal with that idea in different ways. Whereas Voivod’s music is much more based around panic and confusion, Vektor take a more expansive and otherworldly approach to their atmosphere. That, and raspy black metal-esque vocals add a layer of extreme metal aesthetics to the prog-thrash core of their sound. Either way, whatever you may classify them as, Vektor is basically one of the most acclaimed thrash bands in years. So after Black Future and Outer Isolation, it seemed like they couldn’t take their sound any further, as well as the quality of their music.

I was dead wrong.

Terminal Redux feels like the musical equivalent of being lost in space and feeling insignificant to every star and planet around you. There’s not only an overarching darkness to the record, but such a strangely attractive beauty to it all. This is, of course, despite the amount of intense distortion and fast tempos you’d typically expect in Vektor’s chosen genre. While the beginning of “Charging the Void” suggests a frantic atmosphere to the following album, it’s soon realized that the band are especially keen on inserting moments that let the listener breathe and take in the majesty of the instrumental work. The highly melodic and catchy interlude “Mountains Above the Sun” is a perfect depiction of this, bringing a mellow respite (until the end of the track, at least) after three intense bangers. Speaking of those, I don’t think I’ve heard such a strong three opening tracks in a long time. “Charging the Void” immediately strikes with countless inventive thrash riffs, and before you know it, by the end of the song you’re hearing a goddamn choir singing along with David DiSanto’s shrieks. It’s all brought together by an overall song structure that’s highly progressive while maintaining a headbang-worthy slew of riffs. “Cygnus Terminal” keeps up with the standard of quality with a beautiful clean-guitar introduction and a few moments that somewhat borrow from jazz fusion due to the guitar chords, while “LCD” has an exceptional finger-tapped guitar motif that’s both technically impressive and appropriately spacey. One of the most remarkable things about Terminal Redux is that it never really dips in quality… and it’s 73 minutes long! Quite an astounding feat.

A big part of the album’s appeal is that, with every track, an interesting story is unfolding through David’s dense and complex lyrics. I haven’t been able to fully grasp the entirety of the tale, and the band haven’t totally explained it as of yet, but this is what I get from it: an individual comes to rule the Cygnus regime after rising to power because he found a supposed method to attaining immortality. However, considering some of the lines DiSanto delivers, the character’s views are likely controversial, most notably on “LCD” with lines like, “have them screened/we feed off their disease.” Regardless, the way the story is combined with such compelling instrumentation and vocals makes for a record that’s simply addicting to listen to. This is especially true of faster-paced songs like “Ultimate Artificer” and “Pillars of Sand,” which generate a sound more akin to classic 80s technical thrash while retaining the rest of the album’s songwriting complexity. Also, despite the tightness of the instrumental work, there’s a hint of irreverence once in a while; the climactic solo in the middle of “Pteropticon” combines classical elements with a touch of seemingly random dissonance, tapping into something more chaotic. This is one album that’s incredibly entertaining to listen to while reading the lyric booklet, if mostly to see how each stanza works in conjunction with the musical accompaniment. Of course, I can’t forget the other musicians alongside David DiSanto who make all of this possible. Erik Nelson blends with DiSanto effortlessly, and brings some experimental and even jazzy guitar leads to many of the tunes; the rhythm section of Frank Chin and Blake Anderson is also to be admired, particularly on the faster tracks which require a ton of stamina and intricacy to nail.

Everything eventually wraps up with the mindblowing closer “Recharging the Void,” a 13-minute epic that pulls together everything the album tried (and succeeded) to accomplish. The story started by “Charging the Void” comes full circle with many musical and lyrical nods to that very track. One of which is the melodic portion with the choir returning, but it’s been expanded to a full ballad portion with DiSanto showing off a beautifully calm vocal performance; in it, he sings: “All we ask is our story told.” Well the band’s story has been told. It was told in a 73-minute-long masterpiece, a sci-fi tale that’s gorgeous and compelling while being complex and brutal. I usually don’t hand out a perfect score to such new releases, but it’s the only score I can imagine lending to Terminal Redux. There’s not a single dud here, the story is exceptionally well-delivered and well-paced, and every musician is on-point. This, my friends, is a modern metal classic.
siLLy puPPy
Coming at ya in the space-time continuum around star date 6MAY2016, the prog + thrash = tech thrash Arizona based VEKTOR burst onto the scene back in 2009 with their attention getting album “Black Future,” overcame any possible sophomore slumps with 2011’s “Outer Isolation” and have successfully accelerated their tech thrash vessel into yet another sector of their bi-propellant yet harmonious blackened thrash metal world of Voivod influenced sci-fi adventures. The band deliver yet another competent display of musical maestrohood with their third release TERMINAL REDUX. While experiencing cislunar events along the way with forward light scattering, these brave individuals rejected all temptation to water their music down in any possible way and instead opted to experience simulated free-fall through fusion-fuel cell technology to deliver a fresh new trajectory of thrash metal for all to enjoy like an inferior conjunction of the near perfect syzygy of heavenly bodies, all the while exhibiting an ultrahigh frequency of their metal sci-fi adventures into the Van Allen radiation belts and beyond. BTW this was the first album released on Earache Records. Big step up, guys!

Right off the bat, “Charging The Void” slowly oozes into the listener’s conscious with a short ambient clip before bursting out into full tech thrash fury appeasing any potential fears of “selling-out” as often occurs when a band like VEKTOR becomes quite revered and climbs up the metal ranks in a short time. No way! VEKTOR not only deliver the expected thrash metal hooks from the past bringing the classics of the late 80s / early 90s continuum to mind but more than up the ante in the most logical (Mr Spock would approve) and volcanistic ways but incrementally brings VEKTOR into a more sophisticated realm of the metal universe bringing them ever closer to zero lift trajectory, the most coveted position in the metal world where all a band must do is release an album and metal heads far and wide go absolutely bonkers over its mere existence. TERMINAL REDUX elevates the band into a yet more sophisticated stratum of metal madness. This album is a logical but NECESSARY extension of the VEKTOR continuum!

While the thrash elements that are on board inspired by Voivod, Megadeth and other past masters are in full regalia on TERMINAL REDUX, there are a plethora of additional elements that elevate VEKTOR’s prog creds manyfold. There are more bluesy riffs that add an extra layer of catchiness (important in prog metal as experimentalism can quickly spire out of control and veer off into the void where only the most dedicated will follow), but also more subtle elements such as female vocals (although none are given and i wonder if there’s some falsetto or OMG even hidden castrato elements going on here! On with the codpiece only clad iron!) As the album goes on i’m a little dismayed.

Hmmm. I really want to give this album a seal of masterpiece approval but i really just can’t. It starts out really promising but then becomes a little monotonous in its delivery. Yes, every single track is a beautiful composition and all but the problem resides in the fact that they all start sounding too similar to one another and at a staggering length of 73:21 it is apparent for the prog metal enthusiast that this album needed to be trimmed down a bit to fulfill its entertainment value. While tracks like “Collapse” which deliver clean vocals and a subdued VEKTOR approach that allows a break from the frenetic tech thrash approach, it just ends up being too long of an album for the amount of effort put in. Simple as that. Yes, one of the most surprisingly discoveries on the album is at the end of the 10th track “Recharging The Void” with its tech thrash pummeling approach throughout the first when it totally turns into a non-metal soul track and actually delves into Pink Floyd territory which has become the popular thing to do as they remain one of the most popular bands in history. It ends with clean guitars, clean male vocals and a female in the background going “ooooo ooooo aaaaah aaaah.” It does go back into metal territory but ultimately TERMINAL REDUX seems a little too calculated than divinely influenced. A great listening experience but not one that i could call a masterpiece. Thie trajectory of this band’s albums though gives me very high hopes that they are indeed on the way UP and not just a flash in the pan. TERMINAL REDUX is very much recommended if not the epitome of perfection.
Out of all the more recent thrash metal bands to hit the scene I don't think there is another who have enjoyed as much recognition as US act Vektor. It's not without good reason, as these tech-thrashers are probably miles ahead of the competition in terms of musical prowess and have already got two well received albums to their name in Black Future (2009) and Outer Isolation (2011). But just when Vektor seemed to be taking the thrash metal world by storm they suddenly left it five years before delivering their third album, no doubt leaving their followers salivating for more. Terminal Redux (2016) is Vektor's comeback and it's been pretty difficult to ignore that its arrival is being treated as the metal event of 2016.

If you've heard either of the previous albums then for the most part the music on Terminal Redux shouldn't be a surprise. Technical/progressive thrash metal with an overall blackened feel thanks to David DiSanto's main vocal style. These guys have always had a great sound so they didn't need to reinvent the wheel but they have found room to try out some new elements in their music, notably clean vocals on Collapse and Recharging the Void. The band have also brought in a pair of guest female vocalists who appear on Charging the Void and the aforementioned Recharging the Void, who in what may be the album's most surprising moment sing in a soulful style. Not a mix I ever expected to hear on a thrash metal album. For the bulk of Terminal Redux though you can expect to hear Vektor doing what they do best. It's damn hard not to be impressed by their instrumental work most of all and I challenge any metalhead to claim otherwise. These guys are on fire!

A long album at about seventy-three minutes, it's very easy to get overwhelmed during Terminal Redux. Ironically I think that may even why at first this album seemed to be more underwhelming compared to Black Future and Outer Isolation. It takes a few listens to really take in something of this kind of length. While their style remains the same I am reminded of the saying less is more in regard to this album. I found the twenty-odd minute shorter Outer Isolation much more immediately grabbing. The sudden introduction of David DiSanto's clean vocals in the last two songs makes for a sudden change of pace which I feel was very much needed at that point, but this also does have the unfortunate side effect of making the album feel somewhat disjointed: they saved the bulk of their surprises for the final stages of the record, so the end result actually feels like Vektor doing the business for the first eight songs because that's what fans expect them to do, then getting let off their leashes to experiment. The results, especially Recharging the Void, are stunning, but I do think that as a whole Terminal Redux could do with feeling more balanced.

Small issues aside, this is an incredibly accomplished album from the US thrashers. Vektor are a band who burst onto the scene on a wave of creativity that even after a five year break they're still riding. As instrumentalists I'm not sure they have any equals in the genre. I'm not entirely sold on this being their finest work but certainly if you're a fan of thrash metal Terminal Redux is no less essential than either of their previous albums. People don't really talk about a modern thrash Big Four like they do with the classic thrash Big Four, but if they did, Vektor would surely be one of the bands.
"Terminal Redux" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US thrash metal act Vektor. The album was released through Earache Records in May 2016. One major change has happened since the release of "Outer Isolation (2011)" as the band have moved from Tempe, Arizona to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The lineup has remained the same though, so no changes there. Vektor was formed in 2003 under the Locrian monicker, but changed their name to Vektor in 2004. After releasing some demos the band signed to Heavy Artillery Records for the release of their debut full-length studio album "Black Future (2009)", which almost immediately earned them underground fame and success. A success they followed up in 2011 with their sophomore studio album "Outer Isolation".

Stylistically the material on "Terminal Redux" pretty much continues down the same sci-fi themed technical/progressive thrash metal path as the material on the two predecessors. The band are very well playing, delivering their parts with great precision and skill. Fast-paced and heavy drum parts, thrashy riffs and well played guitar solos, and David DiSanto´s high pitched screaming vocals in front. It´s not easy listening vers/chorus material either, but instead structurally complex and very adventurous tracks, which generally require more than one spin to sink in. But again that´s nothing new if you´re familiar with the two predecessors.

What is new compared to the two predecessors is the use of clean vocals on the two closing tracks "Collapse" and "Recharging The Void". The latter even features some semi-operatic female vocals. The opening track "Charging The Void" also features something new in a choir section, which leads my thoughts toward Devin Townsend and his wall of sound vocal approach. So Vektor have developed some parts of their sound, but they´ve (for the most part) maintained their aggressive thrash metal authenticity. It´s like listening to a combination of "The Sound of Perseverance (1998)"-era Death, late 80s/early 90s Voivod, and some of the mid- to late 80s albums by the German thrash metal triumvirate of Kreator, Sodom, and Destruction. I´d say it´s slightly more melodic and progressive this time around, but it´s details and if you enjoyed the first two albums by Vektor, this one should probably make you happy too.

"Terminal Redux" features a well sounding production, and the musicianship is also of high class on all posts, so upon conclusion the album is yet another high quality release by Vektor. If I have to mention a couple of minor issues, it would be that the tracks are generally a bit too long and that 73:21 minutes is also too long a playing time for the album. If Vektor hadn´t opted to put "Collapse" and "Recharging The Void" (which are two of the most different and varied tracks on the album) at the end of the tracklist, my attention might have begun to wander. So while "Terminal Redux" certainly is a very impressive release, there is still room for improvement in the songwriting department. More conscise material, a few more hooks, and a shorter playing time could have done the trick (less is more). But don´t misunderstand me here, because those are minor issues, and overall "Terminal Redux" is still a very interesting and adventurous release, delivered by skilled musicians and a 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.
Vektor took some five years to polish their sound after releasing the excellent Outer Isolation, and I think it really shows here, with their efforts yielding a substantial improvement in their sound. In particular, the compositions allow for a bit more variation in tone, so it's not all screaming, shrieky blackened thrash metal all the time (David DiSanto even engages in some conventional clean singing at one point). With each studio album Vektor seem to get better and better, and Terminal Redux continues that upward trajectory admirably. I sincerely hope it doesn't take five more years for the followup to come out, because Vektor seem at the top of their game right now.
Vektor’s first two albums, Black Future and Outer Isolation were amongst the best thrash metal albums I’ve heard this century. Fast, incredibly intricate and precise but most importantly songs with captivating riffs that totally blew me away. Kind of a more technical Voivod backed up by the sci-fi nature of their covers and song titles bringing to mind classic thrash albums like Killing Technology and Dimension Hatross.

Album number three, Terminal Redux has been a bit of a slow burner. On the face of it nothing has changed. The songs are still incredibly intricate and precise but something was missing. A few plays have revealed some brilliant music but the first two tracks, Charging The Void and Cygnus Terminal, so important on album as a statement of intent were still leaving me underwhelmed. All the Vektor trademark ingredients were present and correct but they were still failing to get under my skin. Fortunately things greatly improved and more than make up for any shortcomings at the start of the album. From LCD the band launch into an upward spiral of excellence, each subsequent song seemingly better than the one before with side three of my vinyl copy from Ultimate Artificer to Psychotropia being a particular high full of ferocious riffing that’ll rip your head off. Charging The Void also finally clicked as I suspected it might, Vektor weren’t going to open with a low point were they, revealing a track that has much to offer with perseverance.

Collapse sees a respite from the full throttle thrash with vocalist/guitarist David DiSanto replacing his trademark high pitched snarl and almost singing. Some tastefully clean guitar arpeggios and chords add some welcome dynamics as well as some melody. At over nine minutes it clearly wasn’t going to remain so but still retains a sense of melody and restraint throughout. If you’re going to stick a thirteen minute plus track on your album it had better be damn well good. Fortunately Reaching The Void closes things in fine style and a summation of all that is great about Vektor, never losing its way and a myriad of changes, plenty of melody and dynamics mark it as another highpoint.

Much of Terminal Redux is as good as and sometimes better than anything Vektor have ever done. It’s a grower for sure and any initial reservations I had were dispelled though it took a few plays. Not sure if it’s my favourite Vektor album yet but it’s another excellent addition to their small but impressive discography.

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