Many years ago on a road trip, I was listening to a record as I was driving, and one of the passengers lamented all of the songs are too long, and this isn’t fun, and can we listen to something else. First, not all records are made the same ; second, I’m not in charge of your fun; third, no we fucking can’t. Yeah, sometimes bands create songs longer than three-minute fun bites, and we should all be thankful.
UK black metal trio Terra would have thrown that person from the car, and I would have helped. They return with their mammoth third record “Für Dich Existiert Das Alles Nicht” (loosely translates to “none of this exists for you”), a four-track, nearly 64-minute behemoth that is in no hurry to push your instant entertainment buttons. That doesn’t mean this record isn’t something that can provide pleasure, but it takes a certain audience and a lot of patience to take this entire journey. But if you do, you’ll find it’s worth it, and it’s a record that can expand your mind and put you into a state of concentration. The band—guitarist/vocalist Ryan Saunders, bassist/vocalist Scott “Scuz” Brophy, drummer Luke Braddick—pours everything it has into this record and rushes absolutely nothing in creating these pieces. This is something that’s more for late-night reflection than crushing skulls, a black metal album that’s interested in your mind rather than your guts.
“The Beginning” is a beast of an opener, running 15:24 and using every drop of that time. The pace builds and eventually bows to chaos, and a crushing wave of black metal washes over everything, spilling toward the blanket of darkness. Shrieks destroy as the underbelly thickens and spreads doom, rumbling and pummeling, rousing your bloodstream before fading into somber atmosphere. Gazey power stretches as the gray skies beckon, leaving you with wounds that don’t seem capable of healing. “Verisimilitude” is a 14:33-long excursion that lights up and spews life, giving off a hypnotic vibe that pairs up with wrenching calls and a pace that flattens. The storming gets harder as the vocals reach for the throat, emotions flow generously, and a proggy feel emerges and penetrates the mist. All elements then combust, simmering in its own juices and bleeding out into the night.
“Gelbwerdend” is the longest track, flowing for 17:46 and taking its time setting up an ambiance that wafts toward thick chugging and playing that causes your adrenaline to rush. The cloud cover thickens and chokes out the sun as the pressure builds, and deep howls sink into your ribcage. The cries jolt your skeletal structure as the pace calms briefly, then everything re-engages, playing in spirals, driving fiercely as the drums go off and level structures. The growls gut as the playing pounds away, plodding and bruising until everything fades into noise. Closer “The End, My End” is 15:30 and escapes from an enveloping fog, punching its way out and leaning into whirring melodies. The bass stomps through the murk, the storm hovers, and then the thing melts into chaos. The playing operates like a buzzsaw as delicate piano notes drip, birds chirp, and the weight is lifted from your chest to start your long recovery.
“Für Dich Existiert Das Alles Nicht” is not an easy listen, nor is it one that’s going to hand-feed you bite-size chunks you can digest according to your own schedule. Instead, Terra take you on existential journeys, pushing you take on these epic pieces and find portions of yourself in them as you challenge your own will to how much you can endure. Patience is rewarded here, and sometimes you might wonder if these pieces are meandering, but at the end, the sweat and tears are worth it as you reach the end of the challenge.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/TerraUK
To buy the album, go here: http://www.code666.net/webstore/
For more on the label, go here: https://www.code666.net/