Terra Tenebrosa – The Reverses (Review)

Terra TenebrosaThis is the third album from Terra Tenebrosa, a black metal band from Sweden.

Terra Tenebrosa are definitely one of the stranger, more imaginative bands out there at the moment. This is experimental, avant-garde metal with a blackened side and all manner of sinister and misanthropic vibes.

If you take a mutated, warped black metal core, and add in elements of proto-industrial, noise and avant-garde influences, as well as pinches of bands like Blut Aus Nord, Bathory, Ævangelist and Axis of Perdition, you’ll at least be in the same dark, dank forest that Terra Tenebrosa inhabit.

The tracks are dark, claustrophobic hymns to forgotten urban gods and rotten rural nightmares made flesh. These are not songs in the traditional sense, but noisy expositions on the nature of sinister apocalyptic prophecies and catastrophic revelation.

Dark melodies lurk just under the cacophony the band create, seemingly taking beatings from the uncaring drums and the cold soul of the music’s rank underbelly. These melodies work almost out of sight, providing structure for the band’s experimental explorations, preventing them from descending into pure noise or unfocused wanderings.

Terra Tenebrosa work with sickening atmospheres that nonetheless have this melodic backbone of blackened steel holding up the rotting foundations in which they choose to dwell. This makes for music that largely works much more than it doesn’t, and focuses the mind to see past the drapes of mouldy vines and into the beating heart of the abyss. This is where the band work their black magic, conjuring creepy images and nebulous, ill-defined impressions of eschatology.

There’s a plethora of different guests on this album too, from such bands as Antaeus, The Moth Gatherer and Blut Aus Nord. They all seamlessly merge into the general effluvia that these tracks emanate.

The Reverses offers the listener almost 50 minutes of dark, ripe, foetid flesh to feast on, and feast you will. There’s a lot of prime meat left on this decaying carcass, and you will swallow every last morsel.

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