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Tersivel – To The Orphic Void

Tersivel
To The Orphic Void
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 04 February 2022, 1:13 AM

TERSIVEL is a band that I have never heard before, despite the fact they formed in 2004 and have numerous releases under their belt.  “To The Orphic Void,” is their third full length album but they have also released two demos, two EPS, and a split album. Based upon my research, this band started out in Argentina but are now located in Sweden.  However, location hasn’t been the only aspect of the band that has been changed.  Apparently, they started out as a symphonic power/folk band before going towards a more death/doom metal direction.

I feel this research doesn’t really convey the full picture of TERSIVEL and, specifically, “To The Orphic Void.”  I didn’t get a chance to listen to any of their earlier music to get a full picture but I have listened to the hell out of this latest album.  Although it certainly contains doom and death elements, the band has a unique sound that is an odd mix of a lot of things. As such, it has a progressive feel to it at times and the band seems to just do what they feel the song needs.  This can make the album sound disjointed and more like a random collection of songs than a flowing album but the song writing is on point and the emotions are real.  Plus, how often does a truly unique band come along?  Everything has been done before and even great albums don’t always bring something new.  Although the sound may not always work, I do appreciate TERSIVEL trying something original.

The opening track, “She,” begins with drums and bass laying down a thick atmosphere.  Ambient keys sprawl out over the background as the heavy riffs kick in.  At this point, the song is directed by the rhythm but for a minute the song switches gears and it feels like the keys are driving everything forward.  Lian’s vocals begin and the rhythm oriented directions returns but I like how the keys are still present but just enough to heighten the surroundings without changing the landscape too much just yet. Lian’s style is varied and hard to pin down but that works well enough with the description I’d also use for the music itself.  He is sometimes rough and sludgy like KIRK from CROWBAR but he can get even heavier and much, much lighter.

Towards the end of “She,” he shows how gentle he can be during the clean section that is a big change of pace for the song, thus showing off the album’s prog tendencies.  This song is a good choice for the opener because it gives a well pointed example how well the band can move around within their own sound. “Weeping Iron Tears,” begins much more direct sound but is also more somber—the keys go a long way adding to that but it also shows well they work with the riffs.  As the three minute mark comes up, the riffs take a back seat to a weird mid section made of what sounds like random guitar and key noises.  With that being said, they do build towards something which is a mountain of dense riffs and stark keys.  The drumming during this section is well timed and potent, especially the double bass.

I enjoyed these two songs but they also didn’t “wow” me all that much.  The next track, “Moving On,” is when the album first grabbed me.  The beginning is bass focused, with the guitars working around it instead of the other way around.  This languished sound is given urgency with the drums that push the song towards the chorus which is catchy as hell and very emotive.  This track almost ruined the album for me because, honestly, none of the other songs quite hit the impact this one has. The mid section is a beautiful yet tragic passage of keys, clean piano, and then crunchy riffs that are straight up made for head banging.  This combination of light and darkness hits poetically hard and is exactly what seems to be missing from the other songs.

The Ferryman,” isn’t a terrible song but I can firmly say it is my least favorite of the six. I found the vocals to be underwhelming, especially during the verses where they seem to lack a lot of power, and are too overpowering in the chorus.  After the 2:40 mark, riffs that combine a djent style and groove enter the fray—definitely the best part of the song. “Shivering Deadly Cold,” has a lot of parts I like, especially the beginning which is straight up doom and the sudden bursts of aggression throughout are also a nice kick in the teeth but the song does seem too disjointed at times—the lack of flow makes it a jarring listen.  The melodic ending redeems it—the riffs and keys are very much enjoyable.

The final track, “Transmigration of The Soul,” is over ten minutes in length and its attempts to be a prog epic fall a little short but, overall, the song does a whole lot right.  The first four and a half minutes or so is a lush instrumental passage that has the band doing what they do best: combining their myriad style into one force that hooks into them mind.  The heavier mid section takes a more guitar oriented approach and the result is pretty damn good.  After wards however, I found the song to be a bit boring and not needing to go on for another five minutes.

As a whole, I enjoyed the album but it falls short of being as great as I wish their unique style should make them.  If they can figure out how to keep sounding different from everyone else while finding more focus, I think their next album will be next level.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. She
2. Weeping Iron Tears
3. Moving On
4. The Ferryman
5. Shivering Deadly Cold
6. Transmigration Of The Soul
Lineup:
Lian Gerbino - Guitars, Vocals
Franco Robert -Keyboards, Piano, Accordion, Vocals (Backing)
Danny Ebenholtz - Drums
Record Label: Uprising! Records
     


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Edited 05 July 2022
 

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