Terra Tenebrosa
The Purging


4.0
excellent

Review

by Alex Newton USER (46 Reviews)
December 29th, 2013 | 15 replies


Release Date: 02/22/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Terra Tenebrosa are onto something tantalizing and sinister.

There’s something about three dudes in black capes and demon masks that just never gets old. It really should, but it doesn’t as long as they've got the music to back it up. In stark contrast to Swedish compatriot Ghost’s tongue-in-cheek doctrine, Terra Tenebrosa legitimately gives the creeps with its genre-defying attack and macabre imagery. The trio came together in 2009 from the ashes of post-hardcore outfit Breach and delivered a promising debut, but it’s on their sophomore effort that they’ve laid claim to territory all their own. Full of distorted chants and screams, paranoia-inducing machine noises, and all sorts of other bizarre sounds, The Purging is a tour de force in unsettling songcraft.

The band members go by the names The Cuckoo (yes, that’s actually the vocalist’s pseudonym), Risperdal, and Hibernal, and no one on the outside really knows who does what. Multi-part songs like “Black Pearl in a Crystalline Shell” and “The Nucleus Turbine” ride on claustrophobic atmospheres dominated by growled lyrics and turbulent drumming that borders on industrial in nature. More straightforward pieces keep the album grounded, with “House of Flesh” the most notable departure as it blasts through a three-minute runtime like Ministry in a house of horrors. Putting any sort of label on The Purging is basically futile, as each song takes pieces of noise, black metal, doom, post-rock, and totally indescribable elements (see: “At the Foot of the Tree”) and mashes them into a concoction that evokes Meshuggah in equal turn with Bathory’s immortal “Odens Ride Over Nordland.”

Terra Tenebrosa’s organization of the whole exercise (see related: exorcise) is key. “The Redeeming Teratoma” opens with two minutes of fuzzy synthesizer surrounded by horror-movie soundtrack noises, then decompresses into the shifting polyrhythms of “The Compression Chamber” to jump-start the album. On the other end, “Disintegration” restores order after some creepy instrumental chicanery with a more straightforward structure, rising from a hollowed-out bridge to a huge climax of layered guitar harmonies and vocals that blend seamlessly into howling wind. It must have taken a staggering amount of samples and tracks to assemble these pieces, but the overall sound is remarkably balanced – each heavily-panned vocalization has a counterpart; every guitar wail and radio broadcast sample seems to occupy its own niche within the wall of sound. Whoever mixed and produced the album deserves an award (it’s not like anyone involved with the Grammys will ever hear it).

The most remarkable thing about The Purging is how it manages not to overwhelm despite its turbulence and nebulous composition. Songs fade in and out, pummeling riffs come and go, and the whole affair wraps up in a tidy 47 minutes without once becoming stale. Crafting an album like The Purging is a tricky affair, but Terra Tenebrosa weaves its incendiary compositions to maximum effect and makes sure that no element outstays its welcome. That, perhaps more than anything, is what leads to the success of The Purging, an album that implies that not only is the well is still plenty deep, but the best may be yet to come.



Recent reviews by this author
Anaal Nathrakh DesideratumRevocation Deathless
Rings of Saturn Lugal Ki EnEchoes of Eon Immensity
The Great Old Ones Tekeli-LiThou Heathen
user ratings (36)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Relinquished
December 29th 2013


25875 Comments


yeah I seen these guys perform

something extraordinary

pedro70512
December 29th 2013


3651 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They'll be announcing a tour soon. Hoping against hope that it hits the US.

Digging: Taravana - A Visible Chill

PistolPete
December 29th 2013


3650 Comments


This album is very good, title track is amazing. Can't believe those are the band member's aliases lol

Azn.
December 29th 2013


5617 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

great more horrible metal variations

pos'd btw

CaptainDooRight
December 29th 2013


30334 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Pos'd

Perhaps I'll give these guys a listen

pedro70512
December 29th 2013


3651 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks. Yeah, I almost missed them before making my final AOTY year rounds in the last few weeks.

Amebix
December 29th 2013


240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

absolutely amazing CD, their other album rules as well!

Tyrael
December 29th 2013


20972 Comments


The Compression Chamber gives me chills

sweet album

Avagantamos
December 30th 2013


2500 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

really love Terra Tenebrosa, never heard anything like it. The Tunnels I think is even better than this

Digging: Nadja - Touched

Foaming
December 30th 2013


298 Comments


Yeah the Tunnels is a trip, really love what these guys are doing.

CaptainDooRight
December 30th 2013


30334 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

in my honest opinion I feel this is pretty poor, ineffective, boring

the band mixes various elements but fails in them all

TheNexus100
December 30th 2013


2591 Comments


band sucks ass hahah

Digging: Slowblow - Slowblow

pedro70512
December 30th 2013


3651 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That's twice in a row I've failed you, Captain...

CaptainDooRight
December 30th 2013


30334 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

You haven't failed me bro. Never be concerned about me or others. Music is a personal thing and if something works for you don't sacrifice it for anyone. I appreciate the diversity of peoples tastes and I've never concluded my own opinion as the absolute, but I am always passionate about my opinions, naturally.

TheBarber
December 30th 2013


2180 Comments


Ex-Breach members damn, I want this...

Digging: Ulver - Trolsk Sortmetall 1993-1997



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy