On their new album Terra, the Australian post-rock group Iiah deliver a deeply stirring, even subtly awe-inspiring portrait of the expanse that encompasses the earth in a tangible sense and our lives in a more ethereal, metaphorical sense. The group takes their time building up their melodies and frequently quite beautiful crescendos throughout this piece, and there’s never a dull moment. Terra feels defined by a rich emotional poignancy; thanks to the repeatedly quite soft and slowed down melodies, that musical poignancy feels like it captures moments of self-reflecting, emotionally illuminating contemplation, as if throughout the album, light slowly but surely grows on the soundscape’s horizon.
Listening to the album feels a bit like floating deeper and deeper into the recesses of space. On track one, called “From Nothing,” this feeling gets expressed as a repeating, gently poignant melody that gradually fades behind a haze of gentle ambiance as the track proceeds. As the shoegazey, ambiance-oriented sensibilities kick in here and elsewhere on the album like in the gently shimmering melodies of “Sleep,” there’s a real sense of reaching for the upward depths of the universe.
Track two, called “Eclipse,” kicks off the carefully building traditional rock instrumentation parts of the album, but even in these components, which get thunderously heavy in the closing crescendos, that clear sense remains of some kind of forward musical push up into the heavens. The crisp melodies, dramatic as they are, remain focused-feeling, like a space or seafaring vessel has run into tumult but is still proceeding.
The frequently percussion-driven, dramatic surges laid against the hazy backdrop across Terra really feel like a perfectly calculated soundtrack to some upending but magnanimous event. Really, this new album from Iiah feels like it could quite easily serve as the soundtrack to some dramatic space exploration film, but there’s plenty of richness even without any actual accompanying visuals besides the cover art. The band’s key elements seem to come together very poignantly on the penultimate track, called “Displacement,” which features a backbone of piano melody. Here, when the heavy but precise guitar and drums come in, the same piano-esque sense of melodies beautifully floating along remains firmly in place. There’s a real beauty in the expanse, and the band capture some of it here with captivating precision.
Check out the album below!