Review Summary: this ugly duckling isn't so ugly anymore
Originally formed under the unfortunate moniker "Liar Liar Cross on Fire", Terzij de Horde's first incarnation presented an untapped potential with their 2008 release Exposed, Barren and Often Windswept; raw, passionate, yet underdeveloped, the skill to create a great record was definitely buried somewhere deep inside Liar Liar. The band's failure to realize a cohesive synthesis of black metal and screamo elements ultimately ruined what could have been an amazingly successful affair. Taking a year off, the band's lack of activity during 2009 caused most people to believe this Netherlands based group had disbanded, only to have their socks unexpectedly blown off by A Rage of Rapture Against the Dying of Light--the group's second EP (first under the title of Terzij de Horde), and a thoroughly satisfying effort that overcomes the band's former weaknesses and finally unearths the strengths we knew they had all along.
A Rage of Rapture Against the Dying of Light
marks a large improvement upon Terzij de Horde's former self in essentially every aspect - from songwriting, instrumentation, to even production, the immense progression shown by these Dutch youngsters is so drastic it's almost unbelievable at times. Whereas previously it was easy to decypher the "black metal sections" from the "screamo sections", this time around Terzij de Horde's amalgamation of these two genres is near flawless; their utilization of black metal's sheer ferocity alongside screamo's often dynamic song structuring keeps A Rage and Rapture Against The Dying of Light
an enthralling listen throughout. Fully embracing the former genres use of repetition yet also channeling the latter's use "build-up" song structures, a track like "Vertigo: the Mithraic Ritual" capitalizes on a crawling, dissonant start yet eventually erupts into a blast beat driven fervor, trading harsh tremolo guitar lines for bright and shimmering melodies, a contrast that on paper may seem a bit worrying but when executed with such thought and care makes for a greatly appreciated contrast.
Ironically enough, one of the best songs from A Rage of Rapture Against the Dying of Light
happens to be a re-recorded track from Exposed, Barren, and Often Windswept
; given a new lease on life, "The Roots of Doomsday Anxiety" great benefits from the band's new found attention to detail. Guitarist duo Stefan and Demian perform the track with a much greater sense of precision and tact this time around, throwing down intense, funeral crawl riffs one second and executing hardcore influenced power chord passages the next, this time without all the slop that hindered it previously. Vocalist Joost also seems to have improved, his dynamic rasp brimming with more emotion and conviction than ever before. He may not use a whole lot of variety but his passion is definitely something to be admired and certainly helps contribute to A Rage and Rapture Against the Dying of Light
being the great listening experience that it is.
Making waves inside the world of black metal and especially its growing niche "post-black metal" is not a simple feat but with A Rage and Rapture Against the Dying of Light
, Terzij de Horde have deservedly managed to make a name for themselves, garnering a large amount of fans and perhaps more importantly set the hype train in motion for their next release . As a group that has only just begun to unveil their dynamic style of chaotic blackened screamo, Terzij de Horde have already proven so much, and if given the chance, it's this reviewer's bet they'll only go on to prove so much more.