Rating:
8.4
Terra Tenebrosa - The Purging
22 February 2013


01. The Redeeming Teratoma
02. The Compression Chamber
03. Black Pearl In A Crystalline Shell
04. House Of Flesh
05. The Nucleus Turbine
06. The Purging
07. Terra Tenebrosa
08. At The Foot Of The Tree
09. Disintegration
10. The Reave


Terra Tenebrosa relish in their own secrecy and sound of mystique. Through mask and hood the band view things in an uncompromisingly dismal light and what we get from their music is something which you know just should not be there, yet there it is. The avant-garde expression of The Purging isn't exactly becoming to all listeners, especially considering the difficulty in linking comparisons, yet its self assured character is well manifest.

Such a unique experience can throw up a shroud before you which doesn't immediately reveal its inner workings willingly. It has an alluring pull the listener may not be able to withdraw from, the kind of sound that may at once sound disconcerting yet enticing. Once you start listening you want to know more as things start to coalesce. Curiosity killed the cat, or purged the cat in this case.

Avant-garde fans are likely to fall into such an album readily and face first, with it absorbing their attention like a sponge, yet the strong compositions here will have a pull on a wide variety of listeners. Much of the album has a depth to it which allows for the effective burial of its crux of post-black riffs of which some may identify a sludge-like semblance to their sometimes trudging often unsettling nature. The bass breathes well throughout despite all of its depth, often forming the fundamental lines behind the jarring guitars. A fully fledged dissonance is cleverly masked and honed in a listenable flow by an abundance of captivating layers, it being encapsulated within a thick coat of industrial sound effects, an ever morphing vocal presence and cacophonous walls of crashing cymbals.

"The Nucleus Turbine", probably one of the most challenging tracks to come to terms with, is a maddening game of follow the drum beats, which circulate erratically as if caught in a turbine around a centrally audible drone. The addition of insane whispers, chuckling, cackling and industrially rendered utterances that make little sense all aid its gripping gradual pace. And I don't mean to alarm you (I lie, that's exactly what I intend to do) but those incessant voices are everywhere and they force their way into just about every track, which might give you the impression that a visit to the psychiatrist is next on the agenda, after the album's finished, of course.

The ambient additions further enrich the album's surface, being used throughout various tracks, while also forming structural foundations such as in the opening "The Redeeming Teratoma", "At The Foot Of The Tree" or closer "The Reave." The intro to the self-titled "Terra Tenebrosa" begins like some pivotal scene in a sci-fi epic and ghoulish howls gradually and subtly occupy the background before descending into a slow pace of avant-garde lumbering which embeds itself in the memory.

Terra Tenebrosa laughs maniacally in the face of convention, The Purging proving to be a cathartic salve for all those who like their metal manoeuvring the genre's unexplored fringes.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 10
Production: 9


Band profile: Terra Tenebrosa
Album: The Purging


 



Written on 03.03.2013 by
R'Vannith
R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.
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