Second full-length album from Northern Ireland epic metallers TERMINUS that continues their exploration into science fiction realms! It took three years for TERMINUS multi-instrumentalist and songwriter David Gillespie to compile the tracks for the band’s sophomore “A Single Point of Light” studio album. The result indeed worths all that time. TERMINUS songs are often mini-journeys onto themselves, a regular confluence of spiraling riff changes, guitar harmony duels and Beattie’s emotive vocals.
Hello David, A Single Point Of Light is the result of 3 years of work, a long time, any trouble in the middle or too perfectionist?
Just normal life stuff meaning we had less free time than in the past. When it comes to songwriting we continue to work on the songs until we’re happy with them – some may call that perfectionism, we prefer to think of it as setting and upholding a standard for ourselves.
You are the one in the band to do it all, what are the advantages and drawbacks of being alone during the composition of an album?
That’s not strictly correct – the first few songs for the album (To Ash To Dust, Mhira and Harvest) were all put together in the rehearsal room, although I did write all but one of the riffs on those. David McCallum, our former bass player, contributed to Mhira.
There aren’t really any advantages to the way we do things now; you only get one other opinion (James) versus the potential for collaboration in the rehearsal room. We just make music how we can.
On vocals you have counted with your colleague James Beattie, did he participate in the lyrics or the orientation of the album in any way?
James doesn’t play any instruments but we collaborate closely on the lyrics and he has final say over the vocal melodies. Whoever takes the lead on writing the lyrics will generally have an idea of what they want for the vocal melodies too and then we’ll refine those and add harmonies, backups etc. when we’re recording.
The recording process took place at your home studio, it seems the natural thing considering you are working out everything
Drums were recorded at a small local studio then everything else was recorded at my home. Budget dictates this but we’re very comfortable working this way and I’m competent enough in the craft so that no disadvantage befell us by doing so.
The mastering however is due to Richard Whittaker (Solstice), which is not a bad reference at all
Solstice are one of our very favourite bands so we were well versed in Richard’s production work – he has been responsible for the mix & master on all the recent Solstice output. “White Horse Hill” in particular sounds fantastic and is one of the best records of recent years and we were looking for something similar in sound but not identical. We’re very happy with the sound he acheived for us.
This is your second album, how do you feel about it regarding your debut album?
I’m immensely proud of The Reaper’s Spiral – it did very well for us, the people who picked up on it really liked it and I think it’s a very strong album from start to finish. The new album is very slightly different, but I think they’re on par in terms of quality.
If you had to evaluate yourself, what are your strong and weak points when it comes to write or play music?
I have a functional level of musicianship and a decent sense of melody – that about sums it up.
Humble enough… Your new album has the support of the Italian label Cruz Del Sur Music, well known in Europe for taking care of bands with talent which are beginning their path
Enrico is an honest guy and we have a lot of friends (Ravensire, Argus, Atlantean Kodex, Lethean, Darkest Era, Gatekeeper, etc.) who have released records with him. Trust is of paramount importance when you spend years of your life creating something and then hand it over to someone else and Enrico puts his money where his mouth is and makes sure his releases get a decent profile.
As its predecessor, A Single Point Of Light continues to explore the realms of science fiction, a favorite theme for you? Inspired on any novel or movie?
Last time out we were fairly explicit with what our themes are and they were all inspired by novels or movies except for Fortress Titan. This time the last four songs on the album are aspects of an original theme, or as original as you can be in Sci-Fi anyway. Not a continual narrative but different viewpoints of certain events that take place within a story. There are a number of themes touched on in these songs and anyone so inclined to read the lyrics can take from them what they wish.
What’s the connection between the cover art and the lyrics?
The birth of a new intelligence. God in the machine. Any number of things, depending on which angle you wish to consider it from.
We are gonna find seven songs in the album, it might seem a little short but some of them are quite long and in the end I think it has the perfect duration
The album is 42 minutes long – why would anyone think this is short? Standard albums should fit on one side of a 90 minute cassette and preferably on a single LP. Albums that can sustain serious repeat listening at longer durations than this are rare in our opinion. Just because a CD can hold 80 minutes doesn’t mean you have to fill it.
You are right. Terminus is heavy metal, no doubt, but how would you define your own project?
We sit firmly within the Epic Heavy Metal strand originated by Manowar, Manilla Road etc. but our lyrical subject matter set us apart from the pack.
Any favorite in the album? What is the most important element to create a good song in your opinion?
No particular favourites, and a good song is one that stays with you when it stops playing, for one reason or another.
Terminus is only a studio band or you will eventually hit the stage?
We played live fairly extensively prior to 2018 but I would say that the chances of a return to the stage are slim. It’s extremely unlikely.
A true pitty. And the last, David, I cannot avoid to ask you, as a guy from Northern Ireland, what do you think of the neverending Brexit? We will see the end of it some day?
It’s something that I can have no control of, so I try not to think about it. A complete shit show on both sides.
Again, I agree with you. Thank you very much, if you wish to add something…
Buy our records. Listen to them, then go and listen to Solstice, Twisted Tower Dire, Slough Feg, Ravensire, Argus, Deceased, Lethean, Orodruin and anything that’s not poser shit.