TERATISM – Via Negativa CD
I first got into this Minneapolis, Minnesota black metal band two years ago with their Pure Unadulterated Hate release. I also figured with that not so loveable gem they would be easily recognized as one of this nation’s premier BM outfits. Yeah well so much for hoping. TERATISM is not new to the scene since they started out in 2002. This is their fourth full length and they also have two splits out plus their original demo. You can call then cult or underground but don’t call them lazy. Here’s something else to remember. Critics of USBM always lump all of the US bands together, WRONG! USBM bands that come from the extremely colder regions or the seriously fuckin hot regions of this nation tend to be the best of the bunch. You can also include BM bands who hail from large Midwestern cities with shitty urban conditions as well as populations. The lion’s share of the bands that come from other areas of the country are mediocre at best or just plain suck like from California. I mentioned earlier that TERATISM hail from Minnesota which in my opinion is a cold miserable place plus it has alot of wooded areas so obviously it’s a great influence for Black Metal.
If I didn’t tell you where this band was from your first thought after a few songs would be Norway. TERATISM conveys a truly cold, cruel and bleak atmosphere within their sound which is very Nordic in influence. What shines out the most are the vocals by Wrath. I bet that the more notable USBM clowns, from places like California, are paying off magazines not to cover this band because of Wrath. This guy can screech like a rabid pterodactyl, gurgle as if blood was pouring out of his mouth and sneak in an Attila snarl as well. You listen to “He Descends” and it’ll send chills down your back, especially if you have the stereo speakers behind you like I do. The band consists of two guitarists a drummer and bass player who gets lost in the sound anyway. Overall Wrath’s vocals dominate the sound quality you can still appreciate how the musicianship and song writing structure is far from your garden variety crap. There’s alot of variety in the riffs which is something symphonic bands have to hide by covering everything with keyboard melodies. A good raw yet epically melodic BM band like TERATISM uses the guitars. A song like “Necrofuge” would be ruined by some wannabe DIMMU band because they would throw that wall of noise at it and blast beat it to death. Yes there’s plenty of blast beats but they are tempered with added variety in the beats with minor key breakdowns. All in all I say this is an incredible release with ten cuts that will give the unanointed the willies and the copycats the creeps.