Monday, August 4, 2003

Review: Terminator - Sanctuary Of Fear (2002)

Sanctuary Of Fear

Almost from the moment I put this album into my CD player I was simply amazed. Besides being a devoted fan of dark Goth metal, my veins flow with the sounds of '80s metal legends such as Dokken, Iron Maiden, and AC/DC. Terminator  was born out of an inspiration fostered by the famed Rock In Rio festival and so the sound of the '80s is at the core of their debut album Sanctuary Of Fear. Unlike some new bands like Wycked Synn who strictly adhere to their influences, Terminator merges modern metal and power metal elements with the tried-and-true '80s formula to create a fresh and original album.

Sanctuary Of Fear begins with an intro that would certainly be more at home on a pure power metal album, but Aldo Guilherme's well-executed licks and driving riffs on the title track immediately call to mind '80s guitar heroes such as George Lynch and Eddie Van Halen. Érich Martins, who sounds like a cross between Layne Staley of Alice In Chains and Don Dokken himself, belts out the lyrics with conviction. This is true not only on the title track, but continues on throughout the album and is a cornerstone of Terminator's style. That being said, the foundation of the band is built on the the rock-solid rhythms created by drummer Márcio Cruvinel's complex beats and André Montanini's intricate bass lines. The two timekeepers drive "Just Leave Me Alone" with a modern metal groove while Aldo's leads float across the surface, tying everything together in a tight package. My favorite track on Sanctuary Of Fear is "Supernatural Tale", a steamrolling tune with a touch of keyboard atmosphere resulting in a sound similar to Whitesnake and Dokken. Once again Aldo's memorable riffs and soaring leads permeate the song while Érich pours his soul into telling the tale. All of the elements that mark the uniqueness of Terminator come together perfectly on this track, making it the highlight of the album. "Target" also stands out for its chugging riffs and tight hooks, off-time beats and, once again, Érich's sharp vocals. Another kick-ass rocker is "Razor On Fire", with its fuzzy riffs, dancing keys, and Érich sounding very much like Don Dokken. Although I've written about a handful of songs specifically, there isn't one track on the album that doesn't deserve mention.

The sound presented by Terminator on Sanctuary Of Fear is everything their promo package claims - original, fresh, and melodic. The best aspects of the '80s icons have been harvested and joined with a style much in sync with today's metal trends, keeping Terminator sounding unique yet comfortably familiar.

Track Listing
1 Intro
2 Sanctuary Of Fear
3 Just Leave Me Alone
4 Black Hole
5 Supernatural Tale
6 Seduction
7 Target
8 Millenium Calls
9 Scars Of The Tempest
10 When I First Died
11 Razor On Fire
12 Seas Of Greed

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