Fermion - Infinity Terminal
This review was commissioned. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint.
After a couple of neat little teasers in the form of the “Surveillance” and “Relapsed” EPs, dark electronic duo Fermion has finally unleashed their third full-length album “Infinity Terminal” for the masses. And what better way to describe the audience they’ve unleashed this album unto as they dive into subjects such as the horrors of technology, abuses of it, and how it can lead to mental and emotional damage. So on and so forth; a subject that’s been tackled numerous times but, nonetheless, can still come off as refreshing so long as it’s done right. "Infinity Terminal" is polarizing when put against the standard; at times it's brilliant, at others it's sinking, and yet again it crosses the mediocre line.
I discovered track number one when it was released as a single in July. My initial thoughts were positive, and that hasn’t changed, with me complimenting the tracks’ ability to maintain a consistent and engaging beats and rhythms, while tackling the issue of privacy invasion. ‘Dissent’ and ‘We Are All Destroyed’ are different enough, sure, but they still sound off as if Fermion is using the same sound bank to perform different tactics. Uncanny in resemblance yet different; a bit the same but not. This is also where I’ll state that sometimes the production sounds a bit muddy; attempting to strain my ears to hear every little drop of electronic substance. It could have been cleaner.
Those previous tracks are unlike the fourth track on the album, ‘Relapsed’, where I heard a difference in style. The main difference being the steady, punchy beats that form on ‘Relapsed’. It has a much cleaner style, allowing me to appreciate all the subtle touches; the synth wailing in the background, the clang of what sounds like metal pipes, so on and so forth. It also marks a moment where I feel as if Fermion hit a stride with their production; much better design and mix.
The title track isn’t worth your time; I understand that this is meant to be a bit of an intermission track, a bit of an experimental bridge between one chapter to the next. But in terms of ambient / noise, it’s not that great. It’s rather dull and I’d rather not sit through it again. Do yourself a favor, skip this, and get to the next song.
‘Crossing the Lines’ was another track that I covered on the “Surveillance” single when that arrived. I originally enjoyed it – and I still do – but with one caveat. I’ve changed my opinion from “everything’s well placed in the mix” to thinking how the vocals in this song are overpowering in the mix. Other than that, thoughts are still the same; a fun little EBM inspired kick.
‘Torqued’ is one of my favorite works from the band thus far. An extremely interesting listen with element of IDM scattered about. Dark, ominous, squealing synths and the like; again, a bit repetitive, but Fermion stretch their legs with this one and allow themselves to have some much-needed fun. ‘Fractured’ falls in line with the first three songs on the album, the “block” that I mentioned earlier while ‘Trepidation’ again attempts to capture the spirit of ambient / noise works in line with ‘Infinity Terminal’. Again, it sort of falls short and lacks the production needed for ambient / noise material.
The final song on the album is ‘Counting Down’ in which Fermion attempts to stretch their vocal chords. While their vocals haven’t been stellar throughout the album – the sort of spoken word stuff I’ve come to expect from independent dark electronic acts – they also haven’t really made the effort to sing thus far. Well, on this one, they did. And it’s pretty bad when it does appear. Nasally and with way too much reverb. Thankfully, the majority of this track is instrumental and takes the Fermion formula and flavors it with synthpop. An odd combination that pays off for the most part.
I suppose what I find so odd about this experience is what I was expecting versus what I received. While the “Surveillance” single gave me positive notions about the band, when the whole thing is put together I’m rather disappointed. Most of the songs I woudn’t give another pass; of the ten on here, I appreciate ‘Surveillance’, ‘Relapsed’, and ‘Torqued’ the most, while I wouldn’t ever bother again with songs such as ‘Trepidation’, ‘Infinity Terminal’, and ‘Counting Down’. And the rest of the songs on the album are a bit middling; neither here nor there. While I think Fermion has potential, this isn’t cutting it.Oct 28 2023
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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