One of the biggest and best surprises that 2021 has had to offer so far is the debut album “Dysphoria” from Termina, an outfit which sees YouTuber, guitarist and producer Nik Nocturnal paired up with vocalist Andy Cizek of Makari, WVNDER and Monuments fame. Cross multiple sub-genres of Metal like Superheroes performing death defying leaps between talk buildings, the album has so much going on within its confines that it’s simply jaw dropping. Fortunate enough to be given an audience with the pair, we asked them a few choice questions and this is what they had to say…
How have you found the reaction to the four pre-album release singles that you’ve dropped so far? Nik Nocturnal (Guitarist/Producer): The reaction has been amazing so far! We’ve gotten a lot of support from the community, as well as solid feedback regarding what people really enjoy and want to see from us when it comes to combining our talents. I’ve been watching almost every reaction/cover video posted on Youtube so far, and it brings a huge smile to my face seeing people enjoy the songs as much as we enjoyed writing them.
In our review we’ve compared your sound with bands like Veil of Maya and After The Burial, but who would you describe as some of the influences behind it and why? NN: We love those bands, so you’re not far off! Our influences vary from more modern bands like Volumes, Periphery, Loathe, Spiritbox, Brand of Sacrifice and Dance Gavin Dance, all the way back to more classic bands like Deftones, Avenged Sevenfold, My Chemical Romance, Breaking Benjamin, etc. We really like infusing different subgenres of metal into something we can just call “modern metal.” That way, we aren’t ever limited to only doing one thing forever. We want that freedom to maybe throw down a disgusting deathcore track, then follow it up with a catchy old-school emo track, while still making sure everything is cohesive as possible.
Over the past year or so (which we’ve affectionately referred to as the year of the Great Plague) we’ve often said that there have been projects which have surfaced which might not have seen the light of day without the time made available through the absence of touring. Do you consider Termina one such project? How long has it actually be in the works for? NN: Termina has been in the works for almost 3 years now. It’s a project where Andy and I can really come together to blend our styles in a unique way that no other project has really let us explore before. The pandemic wasn’t necessarily a factor in us wanting to write an album, but it did give us more time to finally finish it up after many years of work.
Termina is very different sonically to the other projects you’re involved in, so how much of that was a conscious thing, to create a separator of sorts so that it wasn’t seen as just another version of one of those projects but it’s own entity and how much of it was just going with the flow and not allowing boundaries to creep into it?
Andy Cizek (Vocalist): Luckily, it wasn’t really an issue. The instrumentals that Nik comes up with are so different from what Makari, WVNDER, or even Monuments does that I don’t have to make a conscious effort to separate my sound with Termina. The music just calls for something else, so the vocal parts I write are a reflection of that.
“Eras Of The Past” is particularly jaw dropping moment on the album, the vocals are incredible throughout but there is somehow an extra give percent squeezed out on that one along with a really nice solo. Does it have a particularly strong meaning for you? What’s the story behind that one?
AC: Thanks! Nik and I actually wrote that instrumental together, so I felt extra inspired writing the vocals. The meaning behind the song is definitely important to me. It’s about the woes of getting older and longing for the youthful days of the past.
We found “Dysphoria” to be a quite a cathartic album; did you find creating it to be that way?
AC: Yes and no. I’d say there was a certain cathartic release of emotions from Nik and I that came through in the music. These songs are fairly angsty and aggressive—feelings that I like to channel through music. However, the process of creating the album was a difficult and unconventional one, as everything was DIY between the two of us. We basically spent 3 years recording, mixing/sending files back and forth, slowly grinding away at it until it was done. Vocally, it was also incredibly challenging. This was some of my most ambitious writing ever, and recording each track felt like a triathlon. It feels absolutely great to have it all done now!
Do you see Termina ever being fleshed out into a full band for live shows or is it very much a studio project at this point in time? AC: Termina is very much a studio project currently. Andy and I both have a lot going on outside of Termina whether it’s other bands, or Youtube/Twitch. It would be hard for both of us just to put a pause on our current lives to go on tour. We really just want to focus on writing music instead of being on the road for Termina.