thehumansconditioned (None of the Above)
by Paul Lee
“The metallic wound uniting man to the universe…”
That’s the sound bite that opens Terminal Sect‘s “Spirit in a Wire Cage.” It conveys a bizarre message. Heavy and twisted just like the band. On their first full-length thehumansconditioned (None of the Above) this New York band has sculpted an uncomfortable and black soundscape through the use of high-tech noise, bleak lyrics, and haunting imagery. Terminal Sect has captured the power of anger, despair and darkness with their synth/techno-beat driven industrial. Listening to thehumansconditioned is akin to being strapped to a computer that causes pain bordering on pleasure while watching visuals of the world’s pain, irony and madness on the screen. This is not a trip for the faint-of-heart. This is not to say that TS use continuous head-bashing techniques. They are as skilled in manipulating eerie, subtle melodies and silence to oppose their powerful synths and beats.
In “Shock Therapy,” one of the most effective sound bites is: “A warning, the pictures are very graphic and you may not want to watch.” Singer Colin Schew, with his syth-distorted voice sings: “Pacing frequencies, voyeur searching, desensitized, asleep with open eyes, mass media disease, cranial purging, baptized – electric eyes, retina penetration, dehumanized, innocence dies…”
With the unique CD booklet artwork (including paintings by Colin Schwen), you can get an idea of Terminal Sect’s mindframe. It’s a cross between Skinny Puppy’s and Sepultura’s artwork. Terminal Sect have taken the industrial lessons and started on their own path. There’s a good deal of oppressive and interesting music on thehumansconditioned. Though not entirely groundbreaking, Terminal Sect have a warped approach that’s intelligent and scary.