Mark Riddick’s cover art for Teratism’s new MLP La Bas tells you something of what you need to know about the music: It is, in many respects, far out on the frontier of bestial extremity, dwelling in a poisonous landscape where demonic entities howl for the manifestation of the Adversary. Yet there are depths in this musical inferno, and the more you listen, the more you discover of its otherworldly dimensions.
The vocals are the most challenging aspect of the music, yet they are also a vital ingredient in the occult atmospheres that La Bas generates. In a word, they’re horrifying. V. Wrath delivers a series of distorted incantations, condemnations, and satanic proclamations that range from roars to shrieks to cracked, whispered chants. Often, the vocals are layered, producing harmonies that invoke sensations of bedlam. Whether agonizing, despairing, or furious, the ferocity of his delivery is convincing evidence that Teratism have indeed opened a fearsome channel to hellish realms.
Much of the accompanying music is also ferocious, with distorted, swarming guitars and blasting drums generating a dense cloud of evil noise, perhaps most intense and overpowering in the EP’s relentless third track, “Thy Swill Be Dung”. But La Bas isn’t thrashing black metal; it is instead mainly devoted to the creation of bleak, damned atmospherics. “Shadows Flee the Burning Sons of Light” becomes dirge-like and doomed, a miasma of contagion, soaked in illness, and “Gospel of the Heliophobe” splices its whirlwind of cacophony with moments of crawling malevolence. Continue reading »