Review: Terror Cell – Last Day of Sun (self-released, Mar 20)

I’m pretty glad the title of Terror Cell’s debut release isn’t timely; with everything going so wrong on this planet the last thing we need is for the sun to finally wink out. Luckily, at least here in the Midwest, temperatures are becoming somewhat palatable and our old yellow friend in the sky has been occasionally peeking out from behind the clouds. So, in conclusion, it’s the perfect weather for holing up inside in the dark and thinking about how awful humanity is while blaring Last Day of Sun at full volume. There’s no better way to experience the powerful opening instrumental “[REDACTED]” than with the knob all the way to the right, but the monolithic slab of crushing low end and swirling psychedelic blackness is sure to set the stage for the rest of the album well at any decibel level. The following five tracks present a formidable fusion of modern metallic hardcore, dense sludge/doom, and an overwhelming sense of anger, pain, and uncleanliness that can only come from the darkest corners of extreme metal. The new Richmond quartet’s influences manifest differently on each song: patient, plodding atmosphere-building on “Modern Failures”; malevolent crust and pounding metalcore on “White Phosphorous”; cinematic post-metal crescendos on the title track. The vocals are well done too, varying from unnatural wails to throat-gouging bellows. Solid and much-needed stuff from a promising new band.