The Dutch black metal band Turia made a powerful first impression with their debut album Dor in 2015. Much of the music (which was recorded live) could be characterized as propulsive atmospheric black metal, with teeth — barbed with melodic hooks and relying on sequences of repeating movements that drove the music into your head like railroad spikes. But the album revealed other dimensions as well, including slower and gloomier ones, all of them equally seductive.
The band’s second album, Dede Kondre, will be released on January 23 by Altare Productions (12″ vinyl) and Haeresis Noviomagi (cassette tape). Its title track was released near the end of last year, and today we have the pleasure of bringing you a second song, “Waterzucht“.
Dede Kondre has a conceptual framework, an unusual one that (to quote a press summary) “delves into the missionary chronicles of the Maroon (escaped slave) communities, inhabitants of Suriname”, a former South American colony of The Netherlands. “Dede Kondre”, in the main language of Suriname (Sranan Tongo), is the land of the dead, the interior of the jungle “from which the clergies recounted pagan, unhallowed and demonic forces”.
The first three minutes of the title track greet you with a raw, abrasive gale of riffing and blood-freezing shrieks, but through that maelstrom the bass-and-drum tandem get a grip on your pulse and drive it hard, while flickering melodic tones ride the rhythm and get caught in your mind. And then the song switches to a rocking beat and a slashing riff, and only the dead could fail to move to them.
“Dede Kondre” is a thoroughly mesmerizing piece of music. “Waterzucht” is at least its equal. It also gets the head nodding — and swimming in strange seas. The shrieking vocals are searing enough to melt skin from sinew, and there’s a coating of abrasiveness on the riffs, but the song’s melodic core is highly seductive, perhaps with a hint of gloomy post-punk in the mix and with a chiming chord in the opening minutes that sounds like a bell.
The music comes to a near dead-stop in the middle, and the ambience becomes eerie, even hallucinatory. The twittering electronic tones that fill the wide spaces between big jagged chords sound like bird song under a dark rainforest canopy. It’s a brief, trancelike interlude, because the song’s intensity surges again in the closing minutes, a high luminous melody rippling through the piston-like drive of the bass and the drums.
There’s something otherworldly and uneasy about the song’s atmosphere, but it reveals glimmers of beauty within the hostile darkness — and it manages to be physically compulsive as well as dreamlike. Like the title track, it’s evidence that as good as Dor was, Dede Kondre is another step ahead for Turia.
As noted earlier, Dede Kondre will be released in a limited edition of 200 cassettes by Haeresis Noviomagi and a limited edition of 250 12″ LPs by Altare Productions. For more information, check these links: