(This is Mike Johnson‘s review of the new album by the Dutch black metal band Turia, which was released by Eisenwald on February 14th.)
Feel the chill gnaw at the marrow of your bones, as you trudge through the frozen snow. Shards of ice feel sharper than obsidian as they tear away beneath your cloak. Each step a masochistic delight as the lure of the great grey summit beckons you forth.
It stands amongst its peers with a crown of haze masking its highest peaks. As time disappears the ascension up an unforgiving pass becomes a torrent of lunacy as the shadow of a giant looming over you blocks the sky. A sliver of hope emerges as the pass opens to reveal the sun, its soothing warmth brings a spark of euphoria before disappearing in the shadow of the natural obelisk towering above piercing the sky.
An atmosphere such as this, sonically, should be dissonant, unforgiving, and a relentless fury of pure despair. Turia, a Dutch black metal trio, portray a scene of majestic desolation weaving lush landscapes soaked in reverb into a serrated hail composed of vicious tremolo riffs.
Turia belong to Haeresis Noviomagi (H.M.), a Dutch black metal collective whose inception in 2015 has created a titan amongst those in the modern-day black metal scene. The projects composed by H.M. also include Lubbert Das, Solar Temple, Nusquama, Iskandr, and Paen, and juggle many of the same members in order to convey specific messages within the numerous sub-genres of black metal (I would literally recommend all of these projects — they are incredible!).
Turia, as I stated previously, really focus on the second wave of black metal. Their songs echo with influence from Bruzum to Panzerfaust-era Darkthrone. The trio describe their sound as aiming “to bring the listener into a state of morbid trance, evoking harrowing sublime landscapes. Through ferocious drums entangled with spectral guitars, the menacing vocals conjure ancient cycles of death and rebirth”.
Their new third release, entitled Degen Van Licht, is their best to date. There is such a strange melodic presence that creeps into each song. Turia report that “the record is an ode to the ageless lure of the unyielding mountains, and an exploration of the sweltering warmth which encompasses these heights every summer”.
Turia construct a monolith of madness and bring the listener on a spiritual journey. Their ability to implement strange, warm, rhythmic, almost shoegaze-like song structures (without going into blackgaze territory) to tease the listener about the power of the sun is magnificent.
The vocals are vicious wraith-like screeches from the frost-bitten undead lurking within the heart of the mountain. The production and mixing completed by the band themselves make this trio sound as though they are gods screeching their story across the land. The two instrumental tracks are also fantastic, and truly continue to build upon the bleak atmosphere.
This is a chilling album that can provoke a true journey. A descent into pure insanity with the ultimate reward being that of pure self-actualization at the highest peak, dissolving into the light of the sun.
HAERESIS NOVIOMAGI LABEL/TURIA: