new review on mudkiss.com
Terrorway from Sardinia Italy unleash their debut album Blackwaters, and I am on a mission to encourage you to listen without prejudice to some amazing grooves from the world of extreme metal.
Blackwaters is an album that takes hold of you with the intense sound of groove/ technical death metal, with bags of drive, imagination and some killer vocals and rhythms. Characteristically there are polyrhythms in abundance, that give it that intoxicating jagged and propulsive sound that is so immersive that you lose yourself completely in the music. If you have seen Meshuggah live, you will know exactly what I mean. Rebecca Solnit wasn’t talking about the live experience of groove/technical metal when she wrote this, but she captures so well the experience: “To lose yourself: a voluptuous surrender, lost in your arms, lost to the world, utterly immersed in what is present so that its surroundings fade away”.
On the opening track Wretched the atmosphere is set with the chattering sounds of what I imagine to be a forest, with a voice almost so quiet as not to be heard, followed by the sound of footsteps that quicken into a run as in the background there is some sort of electronic buzzing.... the forest from hell and pretty scary! As an opening track, it creates a very brooding and impatient atmosphere, with the precise guitar generated rhythms holding the sound tightly sprung.
The title track Blackwaters sets the bar high as it drives forward some spine tingling death screams, and then comes to a sudden halt, and is succeeded by a beautiful melodic guitar refrain and solo from guitarist Ivan Fois. Just magnificent in its musical execution.
In a Swamp has some seriously good bass work, as Giovanni Serra plays his bass like a lead instrument, laying down some infectious grooves. How he and the astonishingly good drummer hold down the constantly shifting time signatures and still sound so tight and propulsive is a bit of a miracle.
Chained is quite mesmerising and complex in the way only technical metal can be and not too distant a cousin from the sort of storm Meshuggah whip up on their records, which is high praise indeed. Terrorway though throw in their own original take on the genre, with a prog style unwinding melody as the song’s coda.
The final track Ruins is for me the albums crowning glory, an aggressive and in your face riff begins it, followed by a sweeter guitar sound and clean vocals, before heading back into pure death metal territory with subtle but testing time signature changes. It demands your full attention as the musical journey unwinds. It cleverly concludes with some gentle and lyrical acoustic guitar playing over a very hypnotic electric guitar refrain. Such radical changes within a single song can easily just sound messy, but this works so well.
Have I convinced you to give some seriously good extreme metal a listen? I hope so and then you can take the next step and experience this sound live. So look out for Terrorway touring in support of this album. Hopefully including the UK guys? Oh and please more space for those wonderful bass grooves in the mix, it can only enhance what is a great sound.