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Tesa - Heartbeatsfromthesky CD (album) cover

HEARTBEATSFROMTHESKY

Tesa

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.30 | 8 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars TESA formed in the Latvian capital city Riga in 2005 from members of the bands In.Stora, Kriegopfer and Les Corte before mastering the fine art of the progressive post-metal / atmospheric sludge metal that found them on the top of the European scene. This power trio consists of Dāvis Burmeisters (guitars), Kārlis Tone (bass guitar, vocals) and Jānis Burmeisters (drums, vocals) who have been quite successful over the last decade at European and Russian tours and festivals with the most famous gigs playing with the US sludge metal pioneers Neurosis as well as the more drone oriented Canadian band Nadja.

The band released two EPs in the form of 2006 combo pack "Depo" and the eponymously titled release. Two years later found the debut full-length HEARTBEATSFROMTHESKY (alternatively written as HEART BEATS FROM THE SKY) which consists of six untitled tracks that conspire to create a larger than life atmospheric sludge metal experience. The band's main influences include not only Neurosis but also Shora, Grails, Nadja, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and even Converge. While categorized as metal, the band seems to spend as much time in post-rock territory as with the more energetic metal bombast. For the most part this debut album is instrumental with a few subdued screamed vocal parts emerging from the ruckus.

While not dissimilar to bands like Isis, Russian Circles and other post-metal bands, TESA dishes out lengthy soundscapes that plod along at mid-tempo and offer sublime mixes of textures, darkened melodies, ambient soundscapes, hypnotic repetitive loops and touches of noise all dressed up in a stellar production. What makes HEARTBEATSFROMTHESKY stand out from the post-metal pack is the unique mix of the destructive riffs that contrast with a ridiculous amount of layers of guitar sounds and atmospheric soundscapes that offer a slight doom metal touch. While the pure metal parts are rare, when they do emerge the guitars erupt into a pyroclastic flow of distorted head banging riffage that eclipses the mostly dominant ambience of the album's 32 minute run.

TESA dish out the kind of post-rock that would surely please in a live setting as the cyclical grooves reverberate across a packed stadium however in the creativity department they implement the status quo of a post-rock album in a metal context and don't actually stand out from the many other bands ranging from Cult of Luna and Rosetta to Jesu. In fact they are probably less diverse than any of the aforementioned as the formula sticks to the playbook. The biggest draw on HEARTBEATSFROMTHESKY is surely the impeccable production and mixing job that makes this a real treat to listen to. While the vocals are subdued under the sheer magnitude of the fiery instrumental section, they can be heard creating interesting counterpoint harmonies when used. Overall this is a decent slice of post-metal but one i'd hardly call overly essential either.

3.5 rounded down

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |

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