Terminal Filth – Death Driven
Reviving the grit and power of original stenchcore.
The underground music scene has seen a remarkable resurgence of dark and heavy genres in the 2020s. The original crust punk sound, sometimes referred to as stenchcore, pioneered by influential bands such as Antisect, Axegrinder, and Amebix in the 1980s, has also experienced a global revival with new bands emerging around the world. While many of these bands remain true to the genre’s roots in both sound and aesthetic, without the need of reinventing the wheel or adding new elements, there is a clear emphasis on delivering quality over quantity in their work.
Among the bands embracing the classic stenchcore sound and distinctive artwork, Berlin-based Terminal Filth caught my attention. Taking their name from stenchcore godfathers Deviated Instinct, this German band is a pandemic-born project that has come to tug at my crusty heartstrings with their aptly titled The Plague Sessions EP. Featuring four powerful tracks infused with filthy metallic riffs, a thunderous rhythm section, and gravel-gargling vocals driven by darkness and despair, the EP was released during the Covid lockdowns in Europe. Two of the best tracks from The Plague Sessions, such as “Arcanum” and “Come and See” (featuring a doom-laden violin sound similar to bands like Garmonbozia), were remastered and released along with four new songs (not counting the intro and outro) on the band’s debut album Death Driven, which was released on vinyl by Agipunk in 2022, and now sees the light of day on cassette via Passaro Negro and Black Konflik Records on CD.
No matter the format chosen, Death Driven fulfills the expectations of hard-hitting and apocalyptic crust music. Each track is a dense onslaught of metallic passages, brimming with relentless thrills and noise terror. Terminal Filth draw influence from bands like Extinction of Mankind and compatriots Instinct of Survival, striking a chord that resonates with both crust punk loyalists and seasoned battle-vested metalheads. The album’s production, expertly handled by the genius of Jack Control at Enormous Door Studios, solidifies its status as another triumph within the enduring appeal of the stenchore genre.
Death Driven embodies the relentless power and darkness that defines the genre and serves as a testament to the enduring spirit of underground punk & metal music. The band’s name may be the biggest cliché, but the intensity of their music doesn’t disappoint, presenting a solid stenchcore that will appeal to old and new fans alike.