Terminal Function Measuring the Abstract

Terminal Function Measuring the Abstract
Somewhat atypically for Willowtip, Terminal Function's debut offering is a fairly palatable technical metal record that rests comfortably between Theory in Practice and a less metalcore-ish Textures. However, lacking the overwhelming barrage of the former and the accessibility of the latter, Measuring the Abstract sits squarely in the "inoffensive/decent" category, as opposed to "brilliant." There is a futuristic tone to some of the noodlier, more fusion-inspired passages that hints at something beyond what is displayed here, recalling some of Cynic's more open-ended moments. Occasionally Meshuggah-esque riffs anchor the heaviness, while space age synths, serviceable thrash vocals and jazzy chord structures keep things from getting too one-dimensional. There are compelling moments throughout, usually during the soloing, such as the staggered rhythms and breathtaking lead work of "Cloning Assembly." A flat, clinical-sounding mix hinders what could be a lot more crushing, and again, considering this is a debut, it's hard to hold the album's many minor flaws against it. With time, Terminal Function could mature into something greater, and they're certainly off to a decent start, just don't expect another Focus or Unquestionable Presence. (Willowtip)