Bands That Ended Too Soon - Terminal

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Terminal 1998-2006

RIYL – old school Anberlin, Dead Poetic, Jimmy Eat World, Number One Gun

In this new series, we will be bringing to light many bands that showed us a brief but bright gem of music before disbanding. This entry is about the Tooth & Nail band – Terminal.

Don’t let the years above confuse you, though the band was active for 8 years, they only had 1 full length release.

Terminal was a band that erupted quickly and died the same. In 2005, their debut and only album titled How The Lonely Keep released on Tooth & Nail Records. The album received well deserved praise from both Christian and secular markets.

To the bone, the album is emo-tinged with angsty rock. But don’t let the emo tag pull you away. How The Lonely Keep isn’t a myriad of songs missing an ex-girlfriend. The lyrics are refreshing and delivered in a way unique to Terminal. Many of the lyrics though darkly themed, are about wanting to go back to better times, fighting and dealing with depression, a marriage gone wrong, and a friend’s suicide. In many ways, Terminal tackles many unfortunate events that may happen in someone’s life. There are no solutions or real conclusions to the themes; much simpler, the songs just delve into the issue and fight with it.

What makes this singular album so memorable all these years later is the musicianship from all members. There are no 3 chord songs played at a fast pace for a total of 40 minutes and then it’s over. Each song is significantly different than its predecessor. There are guitar solos placed throughout that seem like they belong there – not just solos for the sake of themselves. There are style changes giving each song their own flavor. Take the tracks “Miss Louisiana” and “City By The Sea” for perfect examples.

A lyric from the album that sticks with the listener comes in “Miss Louisiana:” “I have to keep on moving, or I get lost in all I’m losing. I stay drifting through my head with the static you love.”

The album ends with Foster. A song that thematically fits between As Cities Burn’s “Timothy” and Hawk Nelsons’ “Zero.”

Unfortunately, the band lived up to its own name. Shortly after the album came out, all members split save for the vocalist – Travis Bryant.

If any of this interested you, I’d highly recommend checking them out, or maybe it’s been 10 years since you’ve last remembered their names. It’s a great album and a shame we never saw a sophomore effort.

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February 13, 2020 4:34 pm

I started listening to them back when I was 12 in middle school, and I still listen to How the Lonely Keep today at 23! The last couple of months I’ve actually listened to them almost daily. I’m so glad to see this article and that there’s people that remember them!

Jen Khan
Jen Khan
February 14, 2019 12:13 am

My gosh this is the best article I’ve ever seen about terminal, a brand worthy of praise. Travis bryants lyrics are unique, hes a great writer!

October 18, 2018 11:31 am

Today and tomorrow they are playing in Dallas. Might wanna book you’re tickets now.

October 20, 2018 8:13 pm
Reply to  VeraIcon

I was at the Oh, Sleeper show. They were great!

January 30, 2018 4:54 pm

I knew that song was called “Miss Louisiana” but I wasn’t sure. Haven’t heard it in 10 years after leaving Louisiana back to Texas myself.. something within me just had to listen today. Glad I found this, thanks for the reminisce.

December 8, 2017 4:20 am

Perfect album.

ed n
ed n
April 3, 2017 3:04 pm

Loved the album musically. Lyrically, I felt it was definitely lacking. Where’s the hope? I want more from an album if I’m going to spin it more than once.
I can think of a ton of other notable bands that dropped one or two quality albums and then disappeared.
Here’s a few just to prime the pump…
Consider the Thief
Dear Ephesus
Shipwreck Pedro
Exeter Flud

Oh, I could keep going…

March 29, 2017 3:04 am

I forgot about subseven. Great ep. Another great band from that flicker label was Wavorly. We saw them live with Pillar and they were incredible.

Tony T
Tony T
March 27, 2017 2:03 pm

I don’t think I listened to this album. Another band that ended too soon was Subseven. Although I preferred the ep over the album that followed, there were some good songs on both. I am sad there aren’t as many bands like these anymore. 2004-2011 were great years for Christian Rock and metal in general. Too many bands now rely on catchy dance beats and pop sounds. Even anberlin moved in that direction on a handful of songs before they broke up.

Graham Wall
March 27, 2017 6:00 pm
Reply to  Tony T

I agree about subseven – great band and that first EP rocked. I am fully welcoming of a resurgence of Christian emo/post-hardcore.

March 27, 2017 5:32 am

I still listen to this record. Great stuff.

Tim M
Tim M
March 27, 2017 4:34 am

This album grew a lot on me over the years. I initially got it when it was first released. It’s a fine album and I would have loved to see what came next.

March 26, 2017 6:00 pm

Some bands that may fit this category might be:
The Becoming
The Undecided
Halo Friendlies
Far Less

John Amos
John Amos
March 26, 2017 9:25 pm
Reply to  BillG

I always wondered what happened to The Becoming. I wasn’t really much of a fan of their stuff, but it seemed like they literally dropped into a hole in the earth. Pretty sure at one point they weren’t even listed as an alumni band on T&N’s website.

Far-Less is borderline for me (as far as fitting that category), because they released an EP and two full-lengths. I miss that band somethin fierce.

March 26, 2017 5:42 pm

Man, this brings back memories! One band you almost HAVE to put in this category is Black Eyed Sceva/ Model Engine. Incredible talent and great guys, that left the music scene altogether abruptly due to the record label and issues of the sort.

Brandon J.
March 26, 2017 9:31 pm
Reply to  Dave

Terminal had some good songs. I really liked the singer’s next band “Alive in Wild Paint”. I agree with you about Black Eyed Sceva/Model Engine. Definitely a thought provoking band far ahead of their time. They played a lot of shows with switchfoot back in the day and it’s too bad only one of them managed to explode.

Mason Beard
March 27, 2017 8:51 am
Reply to  Brandon J.

I’ve never listened to Terminal. Any recommended songs?

Graham Wall
March 26, 2017 3:28 pm

If there’s one song that’s resonated with me from here it’s “Foster.” I should give the full album a listen again though.

John Amos
John Amos
March 26, 2017 2:50 pm

Such a good album. I’m still kicking myself for missing the Anberlin/Saosin/Terminal tour.

Odd that you didn’t mention most (if not all) of the members except for Travis actually went on to form Oh, Sleeper.

John Amos
John Amos
March 26, 2017 4:15 pm
Reply to  Zac Zinn

That’s right! I remember thinking Terminal should get back together now that all the original members are out of Oh, Sleeper.

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