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The Purging
(Trust No One Recordings)

This just in! The cenobites from Clive Barker's Hellraiser have formed a new band! The nightmarish and generally nonsensical / chaotic nature of the music certainly brought that association to mind. No, this is not a War Metal hybrid, whirlwind Cyber Death or Orthodox Black Metal. TERRA TENEBROSA can generally be described as methodical Avant-Metal with a vomited tapestry of stuff going on in the background. Actually, this is one of those records that I fucking dig but have a hard time explaining why. First strike, the guys in the band wear masks. With the exception of ARCKANUM (or mayhaps PORTAL), I find that approach a lame gimmick; a cheap way to draw impressionable teenagers as fans (SLIPKNOT couldn't have become rich men on just pillow-biting riffs and 'I hate my mum and dad' vocals alone). The mask thing, in other words, I usually regard as a distraction to cloak shallow music. Not so with TERRA TENEBROSA. Additionally, these guys' reliance on layered background noises and vocal effects would ordinarily also be a clear indication of a lack of substance. Again, not the case here. The track 'The Nucleus Turbine' even has two drumsets playing simultaneously at slightly different speeds - surely an aggravation under normal circumstances - but miraculously turning out to be my favorite song on the album! What the hell is going on?? TERRA TENEBROSA just work for me. I guess I'm seeing more and more the absurd and meaningless nature of existence, and this record provides a great companion soundtrack. A nightmarish 'fun ride' (not too distant from the LEVIATHAN album "A Silhouette In Splinters" or even closer, Wrest's LURKER OF CHALICE project), "The Purging" asks the question, "just how fucked up do you want to get? Just how close to the edge of mental breakdown?"

Dick Osmond

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