CD Review

Terminal Bliss – “The Art of Seduction”

By Marcus Pan

The Art of SeductionMy first impression prior to spinning The Art of Seduction was the interesting choice of names for this band. Termination, in my opinion, isn’t even remotely fun and certainly not blissful. But Terminal Bliss they are nonetheless, and their press kit claims that they are a pop band standing about “as far on the dark side as a band can get.” Well, let’s see about that now, shall we?

Made up of Daniel Cain on a whole bunch of stuff (vocals, guitars, piano, synths), Shaun Barrett on bass, Rich Sandrok on synths and Tim Lydon on drums, Terminal Bliss attempt to fuse future pop with plodding, dragging, melancholy-to-the-extreme vocals and synth melodies. The end result is…well, let’s just get into it.

Brooding keyboard chorales with melancholy vocals start off The Art of Seduction on the first track entitled Where do I Begin? It’s…nice. Kind of lays there like a dead lover. If you’re into necrophilia you’d probably like that track. Stay Awhile is similar in make-up with the brooding melancholy, nearly whining, vocalizations and plodding percussion and background guitars that add a foggy feeling to the semblance of the track. Although the press kit seems true – radio friendly this is, even if it’ll terminate the airwaves with it’s brooding.

So that’s the gist of Terminal Bliss. It’s got a dark streak, for sure, and it’s even not all that bad at times, but it just kind of plods along. Even by track three, Wednesday, the sound is so similar to the previous two that you can easily get lost in the spin of the album and wonder if you’ve moved to a new track or not. Poetry picks up the pace with some interesting synthesizer work, scrolling about, but the vocals remain unchanged and kind of drag it down if only a little bit.

We move on to Apple a Day, which again drags along with a very slow 4/4 beat and doesn’t really seem to go anywhere. On the opening of track six, Dirty Mind, we have a little bit of hope as the beat picks up the pace and the guitars start to shred. But they just can’t compete with Daniel’s slow speed vocals, creating a track that instead sounds like it’s off beat and out of synch. What could have been a saving grace of the album has become another plod through the swamp.

In truth, I’m not overly impressed. The press kit also states that Terminal Bliss has a “high-energy performance” when performing live, but I’m a little skeptical as to how high-energy the tracks of The Art of Seduction can be performed. They certainly are trying, but it just doesn’t come out. A new vocalist might help. It’s not that he’s bad, it’s more that he doesn’t have much to offer in the way of rhythm. Methinks maybe he does too many portions of the music – pick one or two or all will suffer says I.

Contact Information:
Terminal Bliss
Post: 1625 Howard, Des Plaines, IL, 60018, USA
Phone: (224) 558-9611