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Tera Melos - Tera Melos CD (album) cover


Tera Melos


Post Rock/Math rock

3.95 | 16 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars

Tera Melos-

My Formal introduction to Math Rock

After attending a camp at University of Michigan over the summer, I made a few friends, and one of them introduced me to Tera Melos. I hadn't actually had a chance to hear anything by them before I left, but I remember going onto a myspace and listening to short samples, and subsequently was blown away by the musicianship: it was nothing like I had heard before. Granted, being a little more familiar with Math Rock, I understand where some of the influence comes from, but to this day Tera Melos remains a favorite. While sharing some similarities with Don Caballero, Tera Melos is indeed its own entity.Four guys (now three) recording progressively styled music, but with a punk attitude. The sense of contrast is something to speak of: their "heavy" parts, while not exactly bone crushing, provide stark contrast for their mellow (yet many times equally frantic) sections. Another distinguishing characteristic is their high usage of finger tapping, but not in the conventional "Eruption" sort of way, so it doesn't grow stale. They implement vocals on occasion, but it is an extremely background instrument, and not present in every single song even. What I like about the band is their attitude: they play their music with the attitude of just that, with no pretenses. Their live shows are apparently something to behold (I've yet to have the privelege to see them): they play this music while doing cartwheels, flips, and all sorts of wild acrobatics, and don't miss a beat. Anyway, onto the album.

Melody 1: more or less of an intro to the rest of the album, shows them utilizing several effects already, and is somewhat reminiscent of Squarepusher, with jazzy sounding chords and electronic drumming

Melody 2: this is where things kick into really high gear, exploding right off the bat into a schizophrenic groove! This song is quite unpredictable, not quite in a Behold...the Arctopus way (far less abrasive) but in every way just as repetitive (or complete lack thereof). The more aggressive sections come without warning, and yet somehow it still doesn't feel forced like many bands who attempt this (the Miss Machine album comes to mind). Excellent musicianship from everyone in the band on this track. The latter half sort of sounds like they are rummaging through silverware in the background, which is sort of odd, but not annoying. It really becomes almost post-rock like in the last third or so.

Melody 3: a similar guitar line to the beginning of the previous track fades in, and now its the drummer's turn to show off, and it isn't a double bass "hit every tom" blitz, it's actually quite tastefully done. The drums really do carry this song.

Melody 4: now into yet another impossible to count section...into a punk section? it does for a short time, but it's sans the whiny vocals that accompony most actual punk songs, and somehow works in context...this band also has a habit of lulling the listener into a false sense of security, then blasting them with a completely unexpected section (don't let it scare you away though, its part of the fun)

Melody 5: the monster track out of all of them, this one's quite a ride. I won't go into too much detail, its in line with the rest of the songs on the album, more of the same and yet not. It's interesting to note that the album itself works more as one massive song rather than a collection of 8, probably why they chose to label each song as a "Melody" rather than with an actual title. This song actually gets quite noisy in the middle, but not for too long. Some of the electronic scapes used remind me vaguely of Kid A- era Radiohead, especially in the latter section with the electronic drumming.

Melody 6: this returns the listener from the almost dreamlike former section back into the world of "math rock". I can't really elaborate too much here because all that's needed to be said has already been said.

Melody 7: A nice way to round out the end of the album

Melody 8: I really don't quite know what to make of this track....this is where the actual "music" ends and they spiral into a sort of noise scape...a 28 minute one at that. It's definitely interesting to hear what they can do with their equipment, but ....not for 28 minutes. Perhaps this is in line with their whole "punk" mentality, a sort of finger in the air to any sort of semblance of convention. Either way, its up to you to judge this one.

Overall, one of the stronger debuts from a band I've heard, definitely recommended for anyone who's interested in math rock and perhaps even fans of Technical prog metal (though it ain't metal, sorry)...has a few obvious flaws (the last track comes to mind) but overall rounds out to a very solid 4 stars.

heyitsthatguy | 4/5 |


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