8. JUNE 2021 – The first batch of reviews

Terra Odium "Ne Plus Ultra" reviews

Scream Magazine #256 – 5/6 points, “Album of the month”

Norwegian:
“Det har tatt sin tid, men omsider er dette «superprosjektet» innen techmetall ferdigstilt. Disse gutta er jo ikke kjent for å ha det travelt. «Gutta hvem?» spør du? Her har vi Øyvind Hægeland fra bl.a Spiral Architect og Manitou på vokal og gitar, gitar spiller også Bollie fra samme Manitou, trommis Asgeir kommer fra nevnte Spiral Architect, Steve Di Giorgio fra Testament/Death/whatnot er med og orkestrator/keyboardist Jon Phipps har jobbet med bl.a Amorphis, Dragonforce og Moonspell. Det kan gjettes på hvor det musikalske landskapet ligger og ja, du har rett. I kjernen låter det som et litt oppdatert, men ikke for moderne Manitou med litt av krumspringene og tyngden fra Spiral. Pluss litt ekstra selvfølgelig. Medlemmene får altså utfoldet seg på instrumentene sine, samtidig som det ikke går over alle støvleskaft. Det melodiøse er satt i fokus med vokalen i sentrum, så det tekniske bør ikke skremme bort noen. Øyvind er flink til å variere, både i stemmebruk og ikke minst med at han synger på mange forskjellige måter. Det går i alt fra forholdsvis balleklem, via John Arch-inspirerte passasjer til mer avbalansert, nesten Shakespeare’sk vokal. Han får også støtte fra Kjetil Nordhus som bidrar med koring. Orkestreringen fungerer som et interessant krydder plass-ert litt bak i lydbildet, og det varieres også ift hva låtene trenger, litt som et soundtrack. Noen steder høres det ut som påskekrim iblandet Ringenes Herre, andre steder går det i mer ren klassisk, og det funker flott. Men det er gitarriffingen som er i sentrum for drivet i låtene, og trommingen støtter godt opp om dette drivet mens Steves bass-ing gjerne flyter litt omkring og opp og rundt resten, litt som man er vant til og vil ha det derfra. Skiva har også et par låter med roligere partier – F.eks så låter første halvdel av «Winter» som sløy Faith No More-bassjazz med Geoff Tate på vokal før andre halvdel kicker inn med kjapp og høy metal-faktor (og fortsatt jazzbass). «It Was Not Death» har litt samme oppbygging, bare at jazzen er byttet ut med balladeklimpring og plystring, i ordentlig «The Lady Wore Black»-stil. Her kommer resten av orkesteret inn med full tyngde kun i et kort parti mot slutten. Disse to låtene er derimot litt utypiske, for som nevnt tidligere så er resten av skiva hovedsakelig gitardrevet, bare sjekk f.eks åpningssporet «Crawling» eller mine favoritter «The Road Not Taken» og «The Shadow Lung» som varmer/rister godt i et tech-hue. Heftige, heftige saker, og dette bør absolutt falle i smak hos målgruppen. Det er i hvert fall ingen tvil om at det er godt å endelig få noe nytt å putte i øret fra denne delen av metalscenen igjen, det skjer sannelig ikke for ofte. PS: gutter, når kommer neste Spiral Architect-skive da?”

– Frank Bøkseth

English (translated):
“It has taken its time, but finally this “super project” in tech metal has been completed. These guys are not known for being busy. “Guys who?” you ask? Here we have Øyvind Hægeland from Spiral Architect and Manitou on vocals and guitar, guitarist Bollie from the same band Manitou, drummer Asgeir comes from the mentioned Spiral Architect, Steve Di Giorgio from Testament / Death / whatnot and orchestra / keyboardist Jon Phipps who has worked with Amorphis, Dragonforce and Moonspell, among others. You can guess where the musical landscape is and yes, you are right. At its core, it sounds like a slightly updated, but not too modern Manitou with a bit of the twists and turns of Spiral Architect. Plus a little extra of course. The members thus get to unfold on their instruments, at the same time as it does not go too far. The melodies are in focus with vocals in the center, so the technical aspect should not scare anyone away. Øyvind is great at varying, both in his use of voice and that he sings in many different ways – from relatively ball-squeezing, via John Arch-inspired passages to more balanced, almost Shakespearean vocals. He also receives support from Kjetil Nordhus who contributes with choir. The orchestration is mainly used as spice a little behind in the soundscape, and it also varies according to what the songs need, a bit like a soundtrack. In some places it sounds like Easter crime mixed with The Lord of the Rings, in other places it sounds more pure classic, and it works great. But it’s the guitar riffing that is at the center of the drive in the songs, and the drumming supports this drive well while Steve’s bass often flows a little around and up and around the rest, a bit like we’re used to and what we want from him. The album also has a couple of songs with calmer parts – For example, the first half of “Winter” sounds like sloppy Faith No More bass jazz with Geoff Tate on vocals before the second half kicks in with fast and high metal factor (and still jazz bass) . “It Was Not Death” has a bit of the same structure, only that the jazz has been replaced with ballad strumming and whistling, in proper “The Lady Wore Black” style. Here the rest of the orchestra comes in with full weight only in a short part towards the end. These two songs, on the other hand, are a bit atypical, because as mentioned earlier, the rest of the album is mainly guitar driven, just check for example the opening track “Crawling” or my favourites “The Road Not Taken” and “The Shadow Lung” which warms / shakes well for a tech head. Very hefty, and this should definitely appeal to the target group. It’s good to finally get something new to put in the ear from this part of the metal scene again, it certainly does not happen too often. PS: boys, when’s the next Spiral Architect record coming out?”

– Frank Bøkseth

STREETCLIP.DE – 10/10 points, “Album of the month”

“Majestic masterpieces, these songs. All of them. So here it is, the album, which in 2021 will cause me tears of nostalgia and bursts of euphoria due to its outstanding unrivaledness and unearthly progmetallic harmony. Amazing. I am now musically vaccinated, move to TERRA ODIUM and would like to buy a “K”, as in “Klassiker”. …” Read the whole review in German or English (Google Translate).

– Less Leßmeister & Michael Haifl

Terra Odium, Sweden-Rock Magazine review

Sweden Rock Magazine #5, 2021 – 7/10 points

Swedish:
“Terra Odiums största förtjänst är dock att de inte har lockats att överpolera sin produktion. Bara en sådan sak som att orkestern håller sig bakom basgitarren förtjänar applauder i en plastig tidsålder. Trots all pamp stoltserar “Ne Plus Ultra” med innehåll snarare än yta, och även om några ännu vassare riff ock krokar hade suttit fint är det ett sound som tål att njutas av hela vägen. …”

– Jesper Robild

English (translated):
“Terra Odium’s biggest merit, however, is that they have not been tempted to overpolate their production. Just such a thing as the orchestra staying behind the bass guitar deserves applause in a plastic age. Despite all the pomp, “Ne Plus Ultra” prides itself on content rather than surface, and even if some even sharper riffs and hooks had sat nicely, it is a sound that can be enjoyed all the way. …”

– Jesper Robild

Read the complete review and interview in Sweden Rock Magazine no. 5.

MMH The Home Of Rock Radio logo

MMH The Home of Rock Radio – 4.5/5 points

“While Prog Metal began back in the 1980s, the sub genres are now a list as long as your arm and there is way too much diversity to go into detail here. However, it’s amazing how the music is still evolving and pouring into other territory. Terra Odium are quite extreme even for the Prog/Tech Metal world and this is mainly down to the input being from differing sources. What a brilliant way of combining one genre with another, yes it’s been done before, but Terra Odium take on the challenge with gusto. Full credit to Øyvind for having the insight, to create this mega force of a band. …” Read the complete review here.

– Diane Davies

Get Ready to ROCK! logo

Get Ready to ROCK! – 4/5 points

“It’s densely constructed material, with guitars constantly swirling overhead or shredding right in your face. Every track is a pocket progrock symphony on this closely packed, unselfconscious slice of art rock – ‘Crawling’, ‘Winter’ and the poetic ‘The Clouded Morning’ in particular stand out initially. In true Progrock tradition, all 3 extend to a satisfying 7 minutes or more. …” Read the complete review here.

– Brian McGowan

Dargedik logo

Dargedik rock metal webzine, Peru – 9.3/10 points

“”Winter” is a more ambitious song playing wise as it demands a lot of details from the musicians, in harmonizations, guitar solos, pompous symphonic, tempos in the drums at half time, changes of contexts in seconds and from there the voice begins to have more variations, where the timbre is not for everyone. But the most interesting detail of the whole song is when you listen to the virtuosity from four minutes and forty seconds where a whole sample of musical elegance is within the progressive. And with this same idea arriving at “The Shadow Lung”, with higher notes, and more dissonant moments that are the best in the band, and when that mix between Atheist and Spiral Architect with keyboards in the background comes in, it is the best. . …” Read the whole review in Spanish or English (Google Translate).

– Sercifer