TERMINAL - Tree Of Life

Terminal - Tree Of Life

12 songs
49:56 minutes
***** *
Witching Hour


Maybe it’s such a distorted image I have of Poland, but ever since Riverside made their mark on the progressive rock world map, it seems as if every Polish label has to sign at least one band from that genre. Witching Hour are normally more into releasing high quality death metal, but Terminal’s info sheet promised a lot too: inspired from heavy metal and R&B, citing Dream Theater and Toto among their influences, one was allowed to expect something rather unusual.

But as if often the case, reality couldn’t quite keep up with the promises. It would be utterly wrong to call Terminal an untalented band, but once you made it through the fifty minutes long debut album, you feel a little let down.

Sure, there are fusion elements that pop up from time to time, but they drown in the production that gives the music a modern progressive rock and metal touch with a strong sense of accessibility, which may be a good thing for the casual listener, but I have sometimes the impression as if the songs on Tree Of Life rather sound like Dream Theater teaming up with Coldplay or Nickelback. Therefore it’s logical that the newcomers from Eastern Europe are always at their best when they sound more metal than rock.

There is a strong AOR vibe underneath it all, as if Terminal desperately want to hook stadium rock fans to a more progressive minded music. Apart from the intro and the outro, we are left with ten tracks that are most of the time slightly longer than four minutes. Without wanting to tell artists what to do and what not to, I still think the progressive rock genre leaves enough space to indulge sometimes into longer structures. There is a lot of potential at work here, now the guys only need to find the courage to break out of their rather narrow corset, become less predictable and consequently more progressive.

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