Wednesday, January 21, 2015

REVIEW-TERRA SANCTA-EXILE-CD

TERRA SANCTA-EXILE-CD
MALIGNANT RECORDS-TUMORCD69
DARK AMBIENT/MINIMAL SOUNDSCAPES
COMES IN A SIX PANEL DIGI-PACK WITH ARTWORK.
TERRA SANCTA IS:
G. GOOD



I.) EMPIRE OF ASHES... / II.) ...KINGDOM OF DUST /
III.) CELESTIAL EXTINCTION (FEATURING RASALHAGUE) /
IV.) THE DESOLATE LAND / V.) DESCENT II / 
VI.) VANISHING POINT / VII.) END PATH:

Exile begins with "Empire of Ashes" A dusty breeze rolls in and expands across
a landscape of isolated emptiness.Quiet ambient soon gives way to a beautifully
emotive burst of cinematic synths.Deep and haunting like a choir of mournful spirits
singing in sorrow for a world fallen to apathy.Nihilistic and gorgeous all at once.
The sound is HUGE and captivating.One of the most stunning and emotional minimal
ambient tracks I have ever heard.Windswept tones swirl in thick yet fragile gusts.
Pained passages mingle with currents of air that would fill your lungs with sand
and your heart with grief.So simple and yet this has an intricate effect on the
listeners emotions.Piercing the soul and cutting like blades of sand becoming 
glass.This is the type of music that stirs something deep in your core and grips
you like an iron vice."Kingdom of Dust" continues with the themes presented in the
previous track but this time we go from gentle beauty to stark grimmness..Dreadful
synths and celestial tones paint vivid pictures in the minds eye of fallen empires
and ruined structures.Crisp synths mingle with dense drones that appear and leave
like the ebbing tide.Orchestral passages sooth you while additional layers drag you
into the gloom...Like a tragic incident that you can't take your eyes off of...One
that plays out some scene of striking irony.As much as I hate saying this cause it
seems like every reviewer tosses this description around...There is a very organic
feeling to the composition and structure here.Each layer knows it's purpose and serves
it well.Again we hear light but powerful breezes along with crushing ocean waves.TERRA
SANCTA literally invite you to tread the lost and forgotten paths of a kingdom by the
sea.A lush soundscape that makes me picture secret gardens and broken buildings containing
the remains of countless arcane texts.If the character of Alhazred from the Necronomicon lore
had a soundtrack to accompany his exiled journeys, this could certainly be it..."Celestial
Extinction" sounds massive right from the start.Layer upon layer of deep consuming synth
work and varied and textured chamber ambiance grow until the ground shakes beneath your
feet.Imagine standing on a jagged cliff while being awe struck by the beauty of the horizon.
A silent place where no man lives or groans...Suddenly the earth opens up before you and fills
the air with noxious gas and primeval essence.It is too much for any mortal man to bare and so 
you collapse into a fitful sleep.Dark figures in the form of brooding ambiance surround your
immobile body.The atmosphere is heavy with danger and yet your mind is curious and intrigued by
the sensations the spirits bring to your flesh.Disorienting tones hover like a sickening miasma
and the pressure of it all begins to force the breath from your aching chest.It seems like this
album gets darker and more and more hopeless as it goes on.What started out as inviting now seems
like a cruel trick to get you right where TERRA SANCTA wanted you.At this point you could call this
ritual ambient.Fleeting bursts and strands of synths come in attempts to make things a little prettier
and add a sense of comfort but it does little to make you feel any less threatened by the black mass
moaning in the atmosphere around you."The Desolate Land" starts off a lot calmer with the return of
gentle winds that howl through endless empty landscapes.It still sounds like a storm but one that
you'd have greater chances of surviving...Like listening to the winds from the safety of a stone
cave.With headphones you can almost feel the pressure in your head from the repeating blasts.Like
most releases on Malignant records I would recommend listening to this alone and with the lights 
off.Just crank it up and let your imagination carry you away.There is a reason many people describe
this style of music as transcendent as it will literally transport you somewhere else mentally.In
this case to a place of solitude and harsh conditions.An environment where man was never meant to
exist.As the winds pick up you can almost feel the bitter cold grasping at your bones.There is a
good chance TERRA SANCTA will send chills up your spine so you will probably shiver either way.
I would say that this is the most "isolated" track so far as it makes you feel totally alone.You
can hear the remains of gates creaking in the wind and the turning of rusted gears from long silent
machinery.Distant feedback and humming strings until all comes to an end."Descent II" spirals deeper
down into pitch black pits.Hazy and dizzying.A thick atmosphere washed over you like a fog from the
dust of poison fungi.Claustrophobic and suffocating in heaviness."Heavy" may not be the first word
that typically comes to mind when discussing ambient music but TERRA SANCTA show that it can be a
very fitting description.For an album about realms of emptiness this has a ridiculous amount of
substance.There is a lot of activity playing through your ears at all times.Slow but ever present.
The entire disc sounds like a soundtrack to a documentary about places that man have forgotten.Or
maybe even more fitting...Places that have forgotten man.Again we have wind and waves and though
some may call it repetitive I think it just carries the theme and adds to the flow of the album.
After a while we go into passages that sound closer to Heavy Electronics...More similar to THEOLOGIAN
than SKY BURIAL if you get my point until all slows and spirals down to what feels like a fevered
illusion filled with gentle chimes and celestial voices."Vanishing Point" starts out very minimal.
A few moaning layers of deep synths.We are far into the ether at this point.It almost sounds like
we could be crossing over into Death Industrial at any time but we never quite do.This track seems
to resonate deep into your chest in an attempt to snuff your spirit.Cold but not quite emotionless.
There is something there it is just hard to tell what it is.Whatever it is I doubt it is a positive
feeling.I'd describe this album as Misanthropic but not so much in a hateful way...More so that it
is isolated and devoid of life in a human sense of the word.Not to say that the tracks sound narrow
or tiny in any way as TERRA SANCTA have a huge and expansive sound.Again it feels like we have been
transported to some ancient civilization long dead and destroyed by the elements.And elemental is
the perfect way to describe this album.It sounds like nature running free without the annoyance of
man getting in it's way.Unrestrained but still smart enough to go about things in a calculated and
methodical manner instead of an all out rampage.Damage is done over centuries rather than with atom
bombs or mass genocide.TERRA SANCTA sounds like a film score to Mother Nature slowly ascending the
steps to reclaim her throne.This particular track is a little closer to the first two but with the
added sounds of debris and wreckage a midst a storm to help bring it all full circle."End Path" is
a crawling monstrosity with gleaming tones and shimmering synths.Lurking at first and then rises
from the depths to show it's frightening face...Frightening in a majestic way.A way that instils
fear and respect like coming face to face with a lion on it's turf.Probably the shortest track on
the album but also one of my favorites.Voices sing over the last few gusts of wind and synths hum
to an empty melancholic tune.We started with beauty and we end in a similar fashion...Only now with
insight behind us as to just how vivid ambient music can be:

RECOMMENDED FOR FANS OF: PHELIOS/CAULBEARER/SKORNEG/SKY BURIAL/
FALSE MIRROR/LETUM/ETC:

7/10
-ABATTOIR-

WWW.TERRA-SANCTA.COM
INFO@TERRA-SANCTA.COM
WWW.MALIGNANTRECORDS.COM



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