A Requiem For Terra by Black Hole GeneratorRelease date: November 25, 2016
Label: Dark Essence Records
Ten long years have crawled by since this band generated any song, or social media post for that. It’s been an excruciating wait and one of the longest hiatuses in metal, leaving fans of Black Hole Generator‘s then one and only release waiting with bated tongues still lolling from their drooling mouths. 2006’s Black Karma EP was a beautiful blackened treasure torn straight from the maddest, darkest mind. Those familiar with it back in the day will know of its impact, from its ferociously raw shredding and jackhammer drums to the feeling of being obliterated in an industrialised wasteland. Some brief moments conjured up beauty whilst others had you digging your nails into your thighs and gritting your teeth. It was 24 minutes of pure blasting industrialised black metal just the way we beat-heads love it and expectation for an imminent album was high.
Having a ten year gap between albums of course makes it difficult for anyone to guess a band’s genre and core sound, and when you have had Black Karma on permanent rotation on your music player since 2006, A Requiem For Terra‘s first spin of the disc can be clouded by the past if you allow it to be. The blastbeats have been cut down and the prog has been turned up a notch or two, yep definitely feeling a slight prog vibe to this one. Bjørnar E. Nilsen’s Vulture Industries alter ego sneaks onto the album in a few spots too to play his wicked ways. So, is this the album fans were expecting? From this fans point of view it is not the album I was EXPECTING… but instead an album far beyond what I could have ever hummed in my head. The fact is this long awaited album is a masterpiece all of its own making and after one listen you will put this disc on repeat for the rest of the day. It’s catchy, doom-laden and resounding with a maelstrom of unsettling darkness which oozes through the veins of the album. It’s a perfect vision of avant-garde and blackened metal licked with bleak and suffocating themes.
The album twangs into life with title track ‘A Requiem For Terra’ and almost immediately the twisted fun house chimes that were deliciously scattered throughout Black Karma are brought to life again, echoing back to the past, but also reminding fans that Black Hole Generator’s inner machine was simply set to pause. Midway through the track we are rained upon by gorgeous blastbeats only to be returned swiftly back to the majestic and epic core of the song. It’s truly an awe-inspiring track and one of the best this album offers. Next Track ‘Titan’ has many strings to its bow and is a tough one to pin down genre wise, which is one of the stand out facts that makes this album so diverse and listenable along with its many layers and textures. One moment we are having a chilled out sing along with Nilsen’s Vulture Industries ego playing the starring role, next comes a more bitter and scathing vocal attack all leading into the final half of the track, which more frantically nails the listener.
‘Moloch’ is another gem carved from the album. A doom-laden End of Days style track with a bone crushing second half that takes the listener on such a cataclysmic journey you will end the song in a daze before relaxing in your seat and enjoying the more chilled out catchiness of what ‘Beneath a Chemical Sky’ has to offer. ‘Emerging Pantheon’ pummels you with a blasting and rockin’ as hell intro intercut with strikes of the skins to further crush and destroy, and the fire continues with ‘Earth Eater’ and its beautifully restrained black metal ride along with Nilsen’s vocals on top form again. The album closes with the uncomplicated beauty of ‘Spiritual Blight’, a mostly instrumental song that is kept alive by Nilsen’s vocals towards mid point. It’s a thoroughly decent track though I would have liked to have seen it go in another direction, perhaps leading into a more darkened atmosphere. It’s safe to say what came before this track are the inks that should paint this albums picture.
So what makes this album so special? From the moment you press play you are introduced to a somewhat terrifying vision of bleakness and a torn ruined future that was started in 2006 with their highly praised Black Karma EP, and a vision that continues to play out so darkly with each track on this album. Both pulsating with excitement and overwhelming darkness and yet claustrophobic with fear of an unknowing and foreboding future, A Requiem For Terra hammers home its meaning with every note played. More doom and gloom, but with every bit as much fire fuelling their themes. Ten years of waiting all culminated in this immensely enjoyable and diverse album that feeds fans with new hope and expectation. Black Karma was then and this is now and if this is the Black Hole Generator of the future then long may their mayhemic dystopian machine keep running. Welcome back Black Hole Generator! Just not another 10 years please!