Vektor
Terminal Redux


5.0
classic

Review

by Trevor James USER (25 Reviews)
May 7th, 2016 | 441 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "I think I'm losing my mind."

To say that expectations for Vektor’s third LP were high is a massive understatement. After two excellent releases in 2009 and 2011, the Arizona quartet were hailed as the saviors of thrash and pinpointed as one of the best up-and-coming bands in the metal scene. In the five years between Outer Isolation and Terminal Redux, hype and expectations grew to a fever pitch, reaching a point in which it seemed impossible that the band simply could even begin to live up to the enormous standards created by the metal community as a whole. Surely this small-time group of sci-fi aficionados had no hope of releasing the “spiritual successor to Rust in Peace" that the world demanded of them.

To say that Vektor’s third LP exceeds those expectations is an equally massive understatement. Put simply, Terminal Redux is beyond a shadow of a doubt the best thrash metal album of the 21st century and one of the greatest displays of technical and creative metal musicianship ever recorded. The idea of a 73 minute thrash metal album came across as ludicrous to many (including myself), but Vektor fill that daunting time frame with easily the best material of their career, resulting in the album flowing superbly and not feeling its length whatsoever. Additionally, the band add a plethora of new elements to the tried-and-true Vektor formula, each of them bettering the tracks in which they are utilized. From the operatic backing vocals of "Charging the Void" to the actual singing in "Collapse" and even the Pink Floyd-esque midsection in epic closer "Recharging the Void," Terminal Redux is over an hour of Vektor proving to the listener that they can simply do no wrong.

From a technical standpoint, Terminal Redux is rock-solid. Guitarists Erik Nelson and David DiSanto put on a clinic, showcasing their best, most melodic work to date, most notably on the blistering “Liquid Crystal Disease.” Additionally, DiSanto delivers the most diverse performance of his career, adding some lower vocals and even a dash of clean singing to his regimen. The album’s overall sound is aided by a superb production job; while Outer Isolation was somewhat overproduced, every instrument is crystal clear in Terminal Redux’s mix. As a result, the bass guitar is audible at almost all times, adding another dimension to each song that wasn’t always present on previous releases.

Beyond the musicianship and musical direction, however, it’s the stunning creativity that shines the brightest. Terminal Redux is the first metal album I have listened to in years that actually made me think “holy shit, I’ve never heard anything like this before,” and that’s what truly makes the album remarkable. Rather than simply displaying mindless technicality, Vektor have created a concept album that sounds as stunning as its subject matter. This ingenuity is most present in the album’s final two songs, the aforementioned “Collapse” and “Recharging the Void.” “Collapse,” or at least the first half of it, is the first ballad ever attempted by the band; serving as a remarkable departure from the album’s first seven tracks, it creates a serene atmosphere before becoming one of the very few thrash metal songs that I could even begin to describe as emotional. This emotion carries over into "Recharging the Void," the crown jewel of an album filled to the brim with crown jewels. Boasting epic riff after epic riff, the track eventually breaks down into a straight-up 70s prog rock section before picking back up into an absolutely breathtaking finale.

Put simply, Terminal Redux is a stunning statement of the capabilities of thrash metal as an art form--because, above all, the album fucking rocks. Despite the beauty and creativity exemplified here, Vektor have crafted an honest-to-god thrash album, and the fun associated with the genre is in no way lost here; no, instead of abandoning their genre of choice, these guys have simply taken it in a wholly new, exciting direction. Whether the thrash metal genre takes note of this revolution remains to be seen, but the fact of the matter remains: as long as it still has Vektor, thrash metal’s future is bright.



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user ratings (1252)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
Chamberbelain CONTRIBUTOR (4.5)
Prepare Uranus because this thing smashes....

manosg STAFF (4.5)
Vektor’s most mature effort might as well be one for the ages....

Brendan Schroer (5)
An expertly-crafted science fiction journey, Terminal Redux is a glowing example that modern metal i...

blacklightjer (3)
Think Ayreon but with thrash metal... BAM! Space metal! (with bad vocals)...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Ebola
May 7th 2016


3434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah.

bloc
May 7th 2016


53382 Comments


I don't say this a lot about new metal, but this is godly

Digging: The Presets - Hi Viz

Ebola
May 7th 2016


3434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, I did worry that it was a little bit "massively hyperbolic," but that's what I actually wanted to say about the album so I didn't change a whole lot. And Deathhammer absolutely rips, agreed

doomjitsu
May 7th 2016


1240 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Need to play this on my old as fuck PC and just chill while listening in headphones, but this kicks ass confirmed by everyone.

InFlamesWeThrash666
May 7th 2016


8523 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is simply stunning

Digging: Power Trip - Manifest Decimation

Dizchu
May 7th 2016


269 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This album is a contender for AOTY for me, but I can't help but feel that the response it's had is waayyyy out of proportion.



This review is alright but doesn't really describe how the album sounds, just states that it's "the best thrash album of the 21st century". I would have commented on the mix, instrumentation and composition a little more. While I do think the quiet part in Recharging the Void sounds Pink Floyd-esque (The Great Gig in the Sky, anyone?) you don't really explain HOW it sounds like Floyd.



These are nitpicks, the review's generally well-written.

FirstStrikeIsDeadly
May 7th 2016


947 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I hope that by the time this gets to 200 ratings it has at least a 4.4 average

Anthracks
May 7th 2016


6259 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Can't find this in any stores

Digging: Obliteration - Cenotaph Obscure

south_of_heaven 11
May 7th 2016


5513 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome album. I like Wildfire a little bit more in terms of my favorite album so far this year, but they are two completely different styles.

Geadom
May 7th 2016


3758 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

You should HAVE pointed the EXCELLENT production, more akin to their first album. Outer Isolation was a tad bit overproduced IMO.



So far my AOTY.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
May 7th 2016


11339 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Amazing album. Was writing something but you beat me to it haha.

emester
May 7th 2016


8249 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I do concur with hype inflating the reception to this beyond belief, but this still is Vektor's best work yet. Despite this I almost feel as if they gave us just too fucking much. To consider it as the spiritual successor to RiP is honestly a claim empty of meaning. This and Megadeth's opus have little in common with one other. They are each completely different beasts.

Hawks
May 7th 2016


64084 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This really is as good as advertised. I was feeling like I might be a little let down with all the hype, but yeah this is absolutely amazing.

Digging: Cell - Hanging Masses

StarsDie
May 7th 2016


63 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The biggest thing that separates this album from the previous two is the ingenuity of mixing the Floydian/Space Opera styles in those 3 tracks. It does not sound like anything I've heard in a thrash album. The previous albums were great for the mere fact that they were insanely technical musicians with a good deal of songwriting and melodic abilities. But this does raise the bar for thrash, which has always been kind of bound to formulas.

Digging: Droid (CAN) - Terrestrial Mutations

Ebola
May 7th 2016


3434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thank you all for the feedback, I'll definitely give this a tune-up once I get home tonight. I think I actually might just add another paragraph to address the stuff that I left out.

Geadom
May 7th 2016


3758 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh, and this is what the new Obscura should have been

ShadowRemains
May 7th 2016


24990 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

songwriting on this is masterful, these guys are so adept at transitions within their music and making 70+ minutes seem relatively short

CalculatingInfinity
May 7th 2016


8673 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Even if I didn't enjoy this as much as alot of people (I'd say atm 3.8/3.9 so still really enjoyed it), I don't really like this is fell into hyperbole or overhype because of how much it differs from so many Thrash album and what they're doing here is very impressive.

KingdomOfTyrant
May 7th 2016


650 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

one of the best thrash metal albums of this century

Kusangii
May 7th 2016


2097 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Can't remember the last time I've been this floored by a thrash album. Would be surprised if I didn't end up 5ing it.



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