Termination Bliss- Deathstars

Release Year: 2006

Rating: 7.5/10

Deathstars are a Swedish metal band who have been around since the mid-2000’s. They have toured with the likes of Rammstein and Cradle of Filth. They gained some recognition in 2007 when their last album Night Electric Night was released, but they are still widely unknown. This is their second album filled with heavy ass songs dealing with war and religion. The album is pretty solid on it’s own, but it does suffer from most of the songs sounding the same due to unchanging music. Otherwise, it’s a decent album.

One thing that will hook you in with this band are the vocals. Whiplasher Bernadotte provides the deep, eerie vocals for the songs. His voice is so deep it sounds like it’s coming from the bowels of Hell! One person described his voice as an English speaking Rammstein. Even though his voice is deep he does vary it. On most of the songs he whispers and sings softly before singing normally, which usually adds a creepy quality to their songs. Also, he doesn’t do any of the cookie monster growling vocals, so it never gets annoying. What’s even more amazing is when you see this guy. He’s not that big, so it’s kind of shocking that such a big, deep voice can come out of him.

There’s no doubt that the songs here are heavy and intense. Everything from the music to the lyrics proves so. The opening track “Tongues” begins with odd breathing and hissing noises that make you feel a little uneasy at first. It then explodes in a mass of crunching guitars and an electronic riff. It’s definitely a dark song that seems to be about drugs. What gives me that thought is the line “The eggs grown in her open wrists/It has started now/Her taste is on my lips and tongue/The taste of white medicine.” In that line he seems to be referring to cocaine. There is some debate among fans about whether it’s about drugs, suicide, or molestation. No matter what it’s about it’s still a dark, creepy song.

The next track “Blitzkrieg” is probably the best song on the album. It’s energetic, aggressive, and hard as hell. There’s a piano playing during the beginning that sounds really peaceful, even a little calming until the heavy hitting guitar and drums come crashing in. The song starts to sound haunting when the piano comes back in during the bridge. At this point it sounds like it’s foreshadowing an impending doom. This songs seems to be about war, judging from the title and the violent imagery found here. It mentions the dropping of bombs, explosions, and crying mothers and children. It’s a really great song that will leave you wanting more.

One of the darkest songs on the album is “The Greatest Fight on Earth.” It starts out with twinkling music that sounds like part of a cryptic lullaby. It plays throughout the song while the guitars and drums thrash along. What makes the song so dark and gruesome are the lyrics: “Lick the wet segments of a worm/Taste it now and let it wriggle down your throat.” These are the type of lyrics that manage to disgust and intrigue you at the same time. You can actually see and feel the worm he’s talking about. It’s really eerie. It’s visual lyrics like this that make Deathstars songs so interesting, even if you can’t tell what they’re about.

The about the album is that the songs begin sounding similar after the second track. This problem is mostly because of the music. The guitar style rarely changes on the album. It’s always the same hard, distorted, guitar riff driving the song. Unfortunately, it causes most of the songs to blend in with one another, so they’re not memorable. But their music isn’t all that boring since they do add different elements, such as synth, electronic music, and string music when it’s appropriate.

There are several themes at play here with the main ones being war and religion. I already mentioned how the track “Blitzkrieg” uses a lot of war imagery, but there seem to be other songs that do the same. “The Last Ammunition” uses a lot of the same imagery as you would expect from the song title. The lyrics constantly mention guns, clips, ammo, Desert Eagles, and even has gun sound effects sprinkled throughout the track. “Cyanide” is another song that seems to talk about war. Not only does it mention the poison several times, it also uses a lot of violent lyrics like “This is the blade that’ll visit your flesh
and release the wine.” The song “Trinity Fields” on the other hand, is a criticism on the church. The lyrics seem to sexualize God and religion with a message of don’t blindly be a follower. The last track “Termination Bliss” seems to also deal with religion, but this time it’s about faith failing you or feeling betrayed by God. These songs are really powerful, haunting, and cryptic.

Overall, the album gets 7.5/10. The album is pretty solid with some outstanding tracks that get your blood pumping. And while there are not bad songs here, most aren’t that memorable because they begin sounding the same. Deathstars’ lyrics are cryptic, dark and gruesome at times, but they make the songs interesting and really make you think about what their message may be. They’re a pretty awesome metal band that is still largely unknown in the States. If you think this is the type of band you want to hear, make sure to check out their other albums.

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