Turning on Dutch black metal group Turia’s latest album feels a bit like stepping out into a pitch black night while frigid, howling wind immediately envelops you. The album, called Degen van Licht and out now via Eisenwald, is not a subtle or understated experience at just about any point. Instead, the group’s music packs fierce lashes from psychologically disorienting riffs that ring out through the haze of their avalanche of blast beats and energy. All of their tones prove thick and meaty, aptly amplifying that avalanche metaphor. Across the record, Turia always maintain a sense of devilish control behind the chaos thanks to the relentless consistence of their energetic melody, but wow do they pile the mountainous, crushing guitar and drum attacks atop that foundation.
They never really feature any extended ambiance or a similar element, although some moments, like the slow electric guitar strums and apparent trumpet blasts on the title track feel decidedly somber. Overall, Turia dial into using their contorted, sweeping riffs themselves as an entry point for a startlingly psychedelic experience. For instance, their track “Merode” kicks off with a torrential, swaggering onslaught of blast beats and furiously intense guitar performances — and gasps of a gripping melody also emerge. The experience of that juxtaposition, combined with the relentless frigidity of the band’s performances, makes the otherwise already physically grueling music into an also psychologically gripping ride, like some kind of ecstatic determination to keep pushing through a blindingly intense blizzard — which is pretty much exactly what much of the music sounds like.
Lots of the piercing guitar performances themselves sound like they’re shrieking right alongside the menacingly echoing, bloodcurdling vocals. The band aptly utilize dynamic swings to give their maelstrom a kind of dark personality. On “Met Sterven Beboet,” for example, repeatedly intensifying drum attacks give the listening experience a sense of falling right off the edge of a cliff, perhaps. Turia dial further into the specifically psychedelic and startlingly catchy elements of their often soul-crushing tunes on album closer “Ossifrage,” which opens with a jarringly alluring, comparatively slow drum rhythm that rings out through the noise like final gasps for breath. The final minute or so features a drawn out, icy tone like the sting of the wintry experience settling in, which permeates this solemnly menacing album and lingers long after its conclusion.
Check out the music below!
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