Year of release: 2016
A dizzying mix of old school thrash, progressive instrumentals, and sci-fi themes, Terminal Redux is Philadelphia metal band Vektor's finest hour. Their first two albums, Black Future and Outer Isolation, were part of the "New Thrash" movement, and sought to retain the 80s-era purity of the genre while adding forward-thinking flourishes which may have seemed out of place decades ago. Drone, prog-rock, and black metal influences were especially present on Outer Isolation, but Vektor fully embrace their inner nerds on their latest full-blown concept opus; charting the tale of a military astronaut seeking an interplanetary mineral which may hold the key to immortality.
If all of this sounds like something prog titans Dream Theater would come up with, Vektor rips closer to Voivod than Yes; with a hard-hitting intensity which covers over the inherent silliness of the conceptual framework. Best of all, on tracks like rampaging opener "Charging the Void", the band put on a dazzling technical clinic; with harmonic chanting, squealing guitar solos, and vocalist David DiSanto's throat-shredding screams setting the stage for the seventy-plus minute running time.
Terminal Redux is an exhausting, brilliantly composed metal record which doesn't so much redefine the thrash genre as it violently grabs it by the throat with insane musicianship and epic ambition.