Cape Town, South Africa: long-time industrial inspired band Terminatryx are celebrating the eighth anniversary since releasing their self-titled debut album. Limited free (legal) downloads are currently on offer via the band’s bandcamp page, as well as the band having finally released a long-archived music video for the ‘Siek En Sat’ Afrikaans track from the 2008 album.
“When we started in 2002, Terminatryx was an artistic outlet and a drive to do something different that was not represented on the South African scene of that time.” ~ Paul Blom (bass/vocals/programming, Terminatryx)
Paul reflects on an era of playing shows, having fun and experimenting with ideas, but eventually reaching a point where the final step towards being “legitimized” would be to release some music.
“We’ve never felt we needed to be defined by public approval, but you know you’re doing something right if you get both positive and negative feedback from all sectors.” ~ Paul Blom
Having been a part of the alternative-indie-DIY realm since the mid-1980s, Paul applied the same ethic to Terminatryx. Whilst he produced and recorded the album, mixing and mastering was completed by Simon Ratcliffe from Sound And Motion in Cape Town, with the end product leading to an agreement with ENT Entertainment.
“What was also significant about the 2008 release of Terminatryx is that it established Patrick Davidson (guitar) and Ronnie Belcher (drums) as an integral part of the project when we toured the album, stepping into the next phase which broke away from purely programmed drums and backtracked guitar from before.” ~ Paul Blom
Paul describes the reason for self-titling the debut album as an opportunity to allow the release to stand as a singular entity should the band not continue beyond it. However, since then, a complete remix version of the entire album titled Remyx v1.0 has appeared, as well as another full-length follow-up titled Shadow in 2015, the band’s Nosferatu DVD, and appearances on various compilations.
“Currently remixes of the Shadow album are underway and work on the next album is set to begin in the very near future.” ~ Paul Blom
The self-titled debut also prompted many other options and opportunities for Terminatryx, including multiple conceptual music videos, some festival appearances, and providing local support for other interesting international acts such as Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Sheep On Drugs, and even Ministry. With such a strong development occuring on what was originally just an experimental concept project, we asked Paul how else the band had evolved over the years:
“For the debut album our intention was very much a fusion of electronic and organic sound. Over the years we’ve blended into simply doing what comes naturally, not compelled to lean in one or the other direction. The new material for the next album also looks like it will glide into a new dimension with some exciting prospects. With the debut we very much just dove into it. Between the home recording of the debut to the world-class studio of Theo for Shadow, there has been a steady progression when it comes to production – but we’ve always focused on bringing the best out of the songs, whatever the tools or techniques used to get us there. I wrote most of the first album’s songs, but Sonja has embraced her abilities and wrote some of the coolest tracks on Shadow.” ~ Paul Blom
On the matter of the video which has suddenly emerged, Paul explains how much about the debut album was visualized and planned before it’s release. ‘Siek+Sat’ was created as an Afrikaans-language stream of consciousness tirade about some social aspects of the human condition that sticks in the craw.
“We already had a video for the song ‘Midnight’ which released along with the album, but I had an idea for a ‘Siek+Sat’ music video of calm erupting into rage. We try to make a point of making our own videos so that our stamp is burnt onto it. My idea was straightforward but with effective possibilities – to have the band perform against calm, green flames in the verses but exploding into red fire and a drastically altered appearance in the faster choruses as disdain exudes. For that transformation the talented duo of Clinton Aidan Smith and Daleen Badenhorst of Cosmesis resulted in amazingly detailed undead make-up application and black-out eyes.” ~ Paul Blom
The foundation for transformation and horror themes was also established with the ‘Midnight’ and ‘Siek+Sat’ videos; themes which remain consistent in some form throughout all of the Terminatryx music videos including ‘Virus’, ‘Shadow’, and a touch of the supernatural even finds it’s way into the band’s cover of the 80’s hit ‘Obsession’.
This ‘Siek+Sat’ video was shelved for numerous reasons. HD was not yet commonplace and the video was shot on standard definition DV – this resulted in the detail of the striking make-up FX not fully translating visually on the lower resolution, and the green screen issues – especially with motion and hair – was a total headache. It took me quite some time to edit and I think the saturation resulted in the clip being shelved. I wanted it to be perfect; something I always have to remind myself is as relative as the length of a piece of string! Ironically, a live version of the ‘Siek+Sat’ remix by Battery 9‘s Paul Riekert (shot live at the Ministry show) saw the light of day before the 2008 video! But when the 8th anniversary of our debut dawned on us, we decided to revisit the clip. On watching it, it was actually not as bad as originally thought, and we decided to dust it off and throw it out to the public for the very first time. I feel that original content not shared is a waste – sure, you’ll have many jumping on it taking aim from behind their keyboards, but there will be as many who will get a kick out of it in one way or another. With this video I felt we shouldn’t leave it in silent obscurity forever, especially since many people put in their time and talent to make it happen – from Silver Bullet Lighting supplying the lights, to Roice Nel shooting it, and of course Cosmesis and their cool make-up FX.” ~ Paul Blom