Terra’s Challenging Black Metal Defies Perception: “Für Dich Existiert Das Alles Nicht” (Track-By-Track Rundown)
Abstraction involves distancing meaning from the objective characteristics of a piece, such that the emotive core remains while the technical aspects recede to the background. However, the Cambridge-based black metal trio Terra invert that formula on their third release Für Dich Existiert Das Alles Nicht. The atmospheric album emphasizes skill and composition to assert that it’s from their technicality that one can derive meaning. You can decide on its meaning for yourself by streaming the album here (it's out today) and reading the track-by-track breakdown the band provided us as well.
The difficulty in describing Für Dich Existiert Das Alles Nicht comes from selecting which piece is the most vital at any given point in time. It’s an intentionally difficult album to pierce. Though the production is clean and the progressions are logical, there’s an opacity that prevents easy dissection. The sheer density on tracks like “The Beginning,” which coils and recoils as if guided by an imperceptible metronome display Terra’s vision for the project: to test the black metal’s limits through musicality alone.
What this means is that Für Dich Existiert Das Alles Nicht is prickly towards the impatient. Look at it this way; out of the four tracks here, only one is under 15 minutes. Vocals are rather sparse, and the crater they leave behind isn’t filled with solos or earworm drum breaks. Terra deliver the entire four-course meal - dessert included - in one sitting rather than giving your brain’s gastric juices time to break everything down. A full-frontal approach like this could’ve come off clumsily if Terra weren’t such adept songwriters. Despite Für Dich Existiert Das Alles Nicht’s deterrence from being deciphered, it’s easily enjoyable. The subtle dynamic shifts and tempo changes provide a shapely arc to every track that’s deep enough to bathe in.
The other aspect in which Terra excel is their technicality. Technical black metal has been crossing over into more abstract pastures over the past few years, and Für Dich Existiert Das Alles Nicht continues that trend as the trio behind it applies their technical skills to a complete package. Rather than leaning on mesmerizing time signatures, Terra hone in on crushing and oh-so-satisfying tones that serve as rewards along the incredibly twisted journey. Thus, Für Dich Existiert Das Alles Nicht is a head trip that requires a map to navigate, but it’s one wherein you’ll want to chart the map yourself.
The band provided the following track-by-track rundown:
#1: The Beginning.
The genesis of all things are violent in nature. So intimately linked to destruction is creation that all elements are suddenly experienced at once, in an overwhelming supernova of becoming that it is also undoing. The relentless cycle that which all things are bound to, at its purest and most absurd point of being.
Within the maelstrom of this chaotic duality, comes compromise. The inertia and energies are reformed into a shape of self-recognition. Concepts and forms are manifested, not from truth. But from rudimentary perception of the unfathomable.
The tentative, illusory state of balance and order seamlessly descends into doldrums. In stillness, menace walks freely and the established constructs begin to fray at the edges. Tried and trusted formulas are exercised ad nauseum and stagnation bleeds into the fabric like oil until nothing is sustainable.
#4: The end, my end.
As the final season sets in, and the last moments of being, fully weighed in on comprehension. Liberation is awarded in the comfort and understanding there never was any existence from the beginning. There is no end. Just the finality of the self. Energies of the universe trying to perceive and see itself through available means. But even ultimate truths must fray for they are a stagnation, so the cycle repeats, somewhat recognisable and also not.
Für Dich Existiert Das Alles Nicht releases today via code666.