Nullptr – Terminus

3 out of 5

Label: Central Processing Unit

Produced by: Eddie Symons

If we were telling a story here, Nullptr’s Aftrmth would be the angular, unsettled moments, well, after, and Future World would be the calm and everyday, once the dust has fallen to ground and life has once more found its rhythm. I really liked the former; I was pretty disappointed by the latter. If Terminus is an ending, as per its name, it suggests something cyclic: Future World’s collected, laid back beats, touched by Aftrmth’s complexities. Eddie Symons – Nullptr – gives each of Terminus’ four tracks a really moving pulse, but then hangs back a bit, a la Future World. However, whereas I felt like that LP stalled on its ideas, this followup EP pokes at them, and nudges them along. It’s subtle stuff, but effective. That ‘hanging back a bit’ could almost be read as caution – things are winding down, and notes of concern or anxiety creep in to tracks, but we don’t want to be worried, we just want to chill, so they go away. Narratively I can buy it, though musically it results in some of Terminus’ tracks – Mesopheric Cruise; Syndicate – from getting too far before shutting down; tracks don’t really have conclusions, so much as peter out. However, when we actually arrive at the end end – the title track – it all falls into place: Terminus is the EP’s best song, keeping its steady beat but adding some aggression to its evolutions, remaining on its toes.

If the story continues, that might mean we circle back around to whatever would’ve occurred before Aftrmth, and hearing the different ways Symons has applied their skills… even if I haven’t always found them directly compelling, the consistency and overall scope is definitely intriguing, and I’m curious as to what comes next.