Terra Tenebrosa

The Tunnels

Written by: DR on 13/07/2011 20:49:02

From the ashes of now-defunct Swedish post-hardcore band Breach, some of the members went on to this project, Terra Tenebrosa, which seems to take pride in its own enigma; in fact, it's 'official' line-up is The Cuckoo, Hibernal and Risperdal. Aside from that, there isn't much to be found out about this band. There's something mysterious about Terra Tenebrosa, if not downright spooky.

This musical-persona, if you will, they've crafted for themselves carries over into their music. I'd hesitate to use a pigeon-holing term such as post-metal for their debut, "The Tunnels", and although it definitely shares some of the characteristics such as down-tuned guitars and monstrous walls of sound, whereas that genre (in my experience) is often about being heavy and destructive, Terra Tenebrosa seem intent on making the listener's experience an uncomfortable one. What I mean by that is, along with being heavy and destructive when they need to be, it seems more of a by-product of their desire to mask atmospheres they've created ranging from the eerie to the disturbing, and they will only reveal themselves the more you listen. It's like someone is slowly removing their mask from their face, allowing you to gradually see more and more - but only those truly willing and patient will be rewarded with all of the features - big and small - of Terra's music.

After some off-kilter drumming, opener "The Teranbos Prayer" launches an epic wall of sludgy, gritty sound at the listener out of nowhere, but underneath the immediate instrumental power are voices screaming at the wall, clawing at it, like they're trying to climb their way up and over it, to escape it. It sounds like a horror-film. "Probing The Abyss" presents a bleak atmosphere masking a deep, booming and mocking voice, and in the breaks of light in the sound comes the ringing of what sounds like the ticking of a clock, representing a sinister countdown. Centrepiece "The Mourning Stars" mixes things up a little, carefully adding layers of instruments and ominous vocals over it's ten-minute run-time, growing and growing until you expect it to erupt - but it never does.

The remaining four out of seven tracks continue to tread the same road Terra Tenebrosa demolished anything beautiful to build "The Tunnels" on, with those sadistic vocals making the crescendo "Guiding the Mist/Terraforming" in particular as bone-chilling as it is. Maybe it's best that the members conceal their identities behind names like Cuckoo, Hibernal and Risperdal, because "The Tunnels" is a thoroughly twisted approach to making music. It can make for uneasy listening; yet, in a weird, sadistic, fucked up way, there's something beautiful in that and how they manage to make the listener nervous through music alone. That takes skill.


Download: The Teranbos Prayer, The Mourning Stars, Guiding the Mist/Terraforming
For The Fans of: Tephra, Isis
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 11.04.2011
Trust No One Recordings

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