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Terra Tenebrosa - The Reverses (2016) - Review

Band: Terra Tenebrosa
Album title: The Reverses
Release date: 17 June 2016
Label: Debemur Morti Productions

01. Makoria
02. Ghost At The End Of The Rope
03. The End Is Mine To Ride
04. Marmorisation
05. Where Shadows Have Teeth
06. Exuvia
07. Fire Dances

The present king bowed his head,
His time had come to pass:
”Only one who embraces chaos
Can rule unruly mass”

Welcome to the one of the most obtrusive musical creations ever, its name is Terra Tenebrosa. The band which is around since 2009, being born out of the ashes of Swedish post-hardcore band Breach, now released its third full-lenght. After they were exploring the more ambiental side of darkened madness on The Tunnels in 2011 and went chaotic with their turn on more industrial/avantgarde with The Purging in 2013, now with The Reverses The Cuckoo and his tenebrous partners blend everything together into one cohesive sulphurous creation that walks a thin line between chaos and order. Terra Tenebrosa is not a typical extreme metal band at all, nor it's dark ambient and absolutely it's not hardcore, sludge or anything similar, its creation is a well structured chaos, it's void and Dante's inferno transformed into music. Yes, it's avantgarde, psychedelic, it's black, dark and utterly suffocating, but yet it's something more, something that is beyond anything done so far. On this album mastermind The Cuckoo got around him some very notable guests from extreme metal scene, Jonas A Holmberg (This Gift Is A Curse), Alex Stjernfeldt (The Moth Gatherer), MkM (Antaeus, Aosoth) and Vindsval (Blut Aus Nord).

The Reverses is an unique piece of organized chaos, a cinematic journey, one of the most evil soundscapes ever. From the short opener "Makoria" on, which begins with almost one minute of silence, then proceeds with subtle nightmarish evocation of ambiental sounds and transforms into mind crushing density in the "Ghost At The End Of The Rope". It feels that there's no escape from the turbulent maelstrom of somehow at first sight uncontrolled mind penetrating psychotic pounding sounds, but in its very basics everything seems to be there at right place to grab the listener into the artistically uncompromising, bone-shatteringly intense and devilishly heavy - a contorted monument to sinister devastation. The album has many layers that reveal slowly to the one who dares to explore further this walls of unrelenting tight compositional darkness. "The End Is Mine To Ride" offers even kind of a catchy subtle melody that invokes the most sinister appeals of disturbed minds, one of the guitar riffs in here reminds a bit to Katatonia from Last Fair Deal Gone Down. Layered malicious sounds lurk beneath a frenetic flow of creepy doomy riffing, while the perpetual echoes of nebulous blackened evil voices are pushed into parallel dimension and are carefully enmeshed within walls of guitar. The furious drums are constantly hammering a destructive rhythmic march. There are so many strange ambiental sounds, drones, screams of tormented souls, maybe some field recordings or just electronic samples from hell, it feels like some unworldly presence is trying to break free from the vastness of darkness.

"Marmorisation" is a fine example how to make an unique crossgenre luxurity which unites avantgardish cosmic chaos with nightmarish dark ambient and sludgy walls of demonic sound. It's a scream of frantic relentless obscure mind. "Where Shadows Have Teeth", I think that the title says everything about this most avantgardish and disonant song up here. While most of the songs have kind of a flow and pathos leading into a well structured form of organized soundscapes, there are many twists and you can't really settle on any compositional continuity, even sick theatrical elements, best heard in the hypnotic "Exuvia" are masterfully inserted into the whole picture just to offer an ever dramatic evolution of The Reverses. And then there's the epic more than 17 minutes long vortex called "Fire Dances" which unites everything you heard on the previous tracks. There are so many psychedelic subtle sounds that swiftly blend together with massive sonic destruction which this time goes into extremes, just listen to those thumping almost tribalistic percussion, imploding bone-shatteringly droneing riffs, ceremonial preach of devil himself,... everything waiting to be discovered by the one who dares to be drawn into this advanced form of sonic darkness.

The Reverses is that kind of an album that needs to be heard many times and by every consequent listen you will discover more and more hidden things being disguised in this darkened psychotic musical gem, and maybe if you'll be persistent enough the hidden world of those compositions will slowly unveil all of its creepy beauty. Terra Tenebrosa did their best album so far, it's not for everybody, it's love it or hate it thing, but I'm pretty sure that those who want to be embraced by absolute darkness and like to go on a sonic discovery will find in this album their companion which will chill down their minds in the coming summer heat. A chaotic masterpiece!

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 9/10