Black Metal, Death Metal, Grindcore, Metal, Punk

Terra Builder – Solar Temple (Review)

Band:Terra Builder
Release:Solar Temple
Genre:Death Metal, Grindcore, Black Metal
Country:Germany (Münster)
Release Date:29th of September, 2023
Released viaTranscending Obscurity Records

I think by now, it is no longer a secret that my side project Lower Rhine Underground gets me fully involved with the NRW underground scene. While continuously looking for new music from this federal state, I’ve been consistently finding a lot of great new artists. Every now and then, though, some even larger gems flash up in the middle of the huge supply this musical scene delivers. Of course, it always depends on how you define “larger” acts. With regards to the release that I am about to discuss in the following, the arousal predominantly came from the label that released the music. I’ve been following Transcending Obscurity Records for quite some time now. I got into this label with the initial releases of Eremit that it managed the latest. While having a look at their upcoming releases that are about to drop in the near future, I came across Terra Builder that was getting closer to the release of their latest full-length, Solar Temple. When listening into the music, I got hooked quite quickly. Only later I found out that this band is from Münster, a city that has been praised on my channel numerous times already.

First things first, though. A lot of things have been said already. We are talking about out-of-nowhere Deathgrind combo Terra Builder from the infamous city of Münster. Without previous releases, these five guys immediately went for their full-length debut and it only takes a few seconds to find out that none of these musicians gathered their first musical experience with Terra Builder. Every member of the band has been in other bands already (Metal Encyclopedia), which predominantly explains the level at which this band enters the game. Their full-length debut Solar Temple hit the world with a release via India-based Transcending Obscurity Records, which to a certain extent already sets the bar quite high. Although arguably not marking the top of the game, this label nevertheless delivers gems at quite a high frequency. Thus, expectations were obviously built up.

There is a certain mixture between the holy trinity of genres – Death Metal, Black Metal and Grindcore – that has seen the light of day multiple times since the genesis of those genres. Many bands have taken their stance regarding the interpretation of a symbiosis coming from these tones. With the presence of three different genres, though, the highlight on one of which also inherently means vast differences in the factual outcome of the music. Although blending those genres has been there for quite some time, it seems as if it is still possible to decide for a different emphasis and thus turn out to play a musical style that feels like a new genesis within the genres. When trying to describe the music that Terra Builder plays, I’d most probably draw on those genres, yet I’d never just do so without any additions, since this would deprive the certain detail that makes up what should get you interested in this band.

It only takes a few seconds into the first track “End of Orbit” to get a quick idea what sound is going to pull you down on this entire full-length. From the first track on, this album is going to consitently throw anger right at your face from front to back. After a quick intro interplay on “Orbit,” we just dive right into a wildfire of dissonant stop-and-go guitars that are underlined by furious drums and vocals that raise hell right upon this sound. As mentioned above, the genres that interconnect this style can be loosely linked to Death Metal, Black Metal and Grindcore. What is it, though, that marks the special sound that Terra Builder play? The focus is definitely located between Death Metal and Grindcore. The guitars move somewhere in the spheres of viciously dissonant and occasionally thrashy Death Metal, while the drums switch back and forth between Death and Grind as do the vocals. The Black Metal elements are majorly used at peaks of the tracks, when open riffing is intertwined with fast drumming.

The sound of Terra Builder is heavily marked by the rhythm, though. I guess a band that would pop up in my mind when trying to describe the sound of Terra Builder would be late Pig Destroyer. When only taking a closer look at the sound, this hits the nail quite securely. When going into detail, though, it is especially the rhythm that marks a huge difference between these bands. Terra Builder build up a heavy focus especially on the neckbreaking parts of their music. While the outbursts take place at the full range of Grindcore and Disso Death, especially the intermediate sequences take strong influences from New York Death Metal with pinched harmonics and mosh parts, injecting the sound that gets the crowd going. Nevertheless, the framing of the entire sound and especially also this release primarily shifts the tone of this band towards the impression of the ominous and occult that also encompasses the Death Metal I favor.

Apart from this interplay, there are certain features on different tracks that will keep up your interest throughout the entire full-length. For example, when having mentioned the fact that I see certain elements of Black Metal on this release, you might wonder where those are located exactly. I highly recommend listening into the track “Abyss,” that showcases strong influences from Cascadian US Black Metal especially on the guitars. After the first half of the track, the sound switches from pounding Death Metal towards a riffing that is highly cathartic and crushes upon you as soon as drums and vocals kick in as well.

The track that had me think of Pig Destroyer the most was “Dead Celestial,” which also strongly points at major differences between these bands within the first minute of the track already. When jumping into the groovy sequence of this track, the parallels become fuzzy and eventually, when entering the finale of this track that is underlined with heavy tremolo picking, the slight Black Metal influences flash up once more.

Some of you might say that the overall tone that Terra Builder plays somewhat falls into the line with numerous other artists. In that case I have to highlight the details of this release, though. Listen a little closer in order to see the reasons why this record stands up to a lot of comparable other releases. This record does not take a break at all and throws wrath at you from front to back, sometimes whirring it around your head like a spitfire and sometimes frontally thrashing it into your face with stomping rhythm. The fury that accompanies this entire release is overwhelming and should get you into listening into Solar Temple the latest!

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