Terminal Sound System ‘Heavy Weather’ CD/LP 2011
26th May 2011
If I had to use only two words to describe Terminal Sound System, those words would be ‘vast’ and ‘filmic’…although I’m not enirely convinced that ‘filmic’ is an actual word.
‘Heavy Weather’ is the ninth album from what is essentially the one-man project of erstwhile member of heavy doom/drone/noise-merchants HALO, Skye Klein, although it is the first to be released by Denovali AND, I have to admit, the first that I have ever heard…but it sure as hell won’t be the last, based on THIS outing!
Overcast, moody, dramatic and tense, Terminal Sound System loom into earshot and envelop the listener like a black cloud of cinematically-inspired sound. As far as being ‘the soundtrack to an interior movie’, to quote Ulver, a band who move in similar areas to Terminal Sound System, ‘Heavy Weather’ is MORE than successful in providing evocative, mood-enhancing. mood-altering, music. In fact I would go so far as to say that ‘Heavy Weather’ would function as a soundtrack yet still retain individuality and listenability when taken away from the accompanying visuals to a far greater degree than a good few wildly generic’blockbuster’ movie soundtracks I’ve heard of late…’Thor’ springs to mind immediately. Yes, Klein has had nine albums across which to hone his chops and hone them he has, to a razor-sharp edge.
Best taken as a whole in order to not diminish the oceanic ebb and flow of the music, ‘Heavy Weather’ is something into which the listener can plunge headfirst and become fully immersed with great ease. Epic in the true sense of the word, the sounds generated by Klein have real depth and heft to them, along with a real sense of space surrounding the core elements of the music. Towering, vast, frequently crushing and often surprisingly subtle, Terminal Sound System open up a whole sound-world of their own and drop you in, leaving you to make your own way out.
Immediately upon commencing with opener ‘Lords Of The Living, Masters Of The Dead’, Klein sets his stall out and shows you the goods – massive blocks of pure sound, strung together with enormous drums and an all-around cavernous yet lush sense of ambience. The ingredients are simple and straightforward, but Klein is clearly a master chef. Skyscraping moments such as the opening track nestle up with subtler numbers such as ‘Run, Just Run’, the moodily woozy ‘Broken Hands For Careful Minds’ and the heavily electronic motorik pulse of ‘Time/Light Flows’, along with hulking bruisers like the gloweringly menacing ‘Long Division’ and chimeras like closing track ‘When It All Breaks Down’, which begins as the subtlest of tracks before mutating into colossal doom-filled chords and triumphant synth harmonies. ‘Heavy Weather’ runs the gamut, but always maintains a sense of cohesion and purpose – no tediously meandering post-rock noodling here.
Terminal Sound System have delivered one hell of a piece of work here, one that thrives on volume as much as it benefits from being played on headphones. ‘Heavy Weather’ can take you somewhere else in your head if you switch off and focus solely on the MUSIC being made, and it’s a place I wouldn’t hesitate to visit again.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have eight more albums to track down…
Scribed by: Paul Robertson
Published on 26th May 2011 at 8:58 am and has the following tags: