Tersivel - Far Away In The Distant Skies
Original Author: The Uncreator
Album: Far Away In The Distant Skies
Genre: Extreme Folk Metal
I was sent a generous offer by our very own Lian Gerbino, to do a review of Tersivel's EP, "Far Away In The Distant Skies". From the second the first song played, I knew this was not the average Folk Metal album. The sound is very precise, and well produced, while still retaining the big atmospheric feel of traditional a Folk Metal sound. The drums are bombastic, the vocals are fierce, and the low end monstrously powerful.
Production and Tone: 8/10
For an EP, This could easily pass as album quality. And in that sense I really look forward to the Full Length. Everything is very tightly constructed, with thought and purpose, and a fine attention to detail. The opening is a bombardment on all its own, and you really get absorbed in the tone, Beefy and thick - Yet with enough room for the melodies to shine through perfectly. The title track is perhaps the most ferocious of the three, The guitars have an immense, and gigantic presence - Even more so for a Folk Metal band, which is why you must add the "Extreme" in the beginning, Or else it doesn't do it justice.
Technique and Composition: 8.5/10
Tersivel really do add a strong element of "Extreme" in there music. The opening track has influences from every direction, Thrash, Death, Power, and Black Metal even. All melded into a tight, and often catchy mixture of violent and melodic riffs and soaring melodies. The guitars keep on there vigorous attack throughout the second song, "We Are The Fading Sun". With a great blend of heavy riffs, and atmospheric elements. What I like most about the Lian and Nargrath's guitar playing is the room they leave for the music to take over as whole when its needed, to allow the ambiance of the song to really come out. The solos are epic and bring out a fine mixture of catchy hooks, If you aren't completely sold by the end of the first song, after the second you will be anxiously awaiting a full length from them.
Production and Tone: 8/10
I always love it when a band has a bass player with knowledge beyond that of root notes. The tone is very creamy, especially in the solo bit in the song, "Far Away In The Distant Skies" - And it has the perfect amount of presence. Always enough so you never forget about it, and with a mix that lets you feel the thunderous low end. Technique and Composition: 8/10
Doug Bethencourt definitely has the balance and equilibrium that a lot of bass player don't have. He knows the value of when to display technique, and when to display power - when the two aren't already complimenting each other. His solo/ lead section in the title track was what probably made me love this EP this much, it was something I wasn't expecting - And it was something that became a number one highlight of the album. He does this throughout the EP, You'll find yourself listening in on the bass more than you normally would for music such as this, Which reinforces there diversity and creativity yet again.
Production and Tone: 7.5/10
Another violently powerful aspect of Tersivel, the war like drums are a powerhouse from start to end. My only wish is that there were a bit more drums in the quieter, more subtle areas of the song. Thats just a little peeve of mine though. The sound is great, the snare is big and tight, lending power and atmosphere, and toms are fantastic, Love the tone the give off.
Technique and Composition: 9/10
I think whats most important when rating aspects of music, is to really consider how the individual instrument effects the song - And in that sense - The drums are the general for the army. Especially in the title track, the drums are varied throughout the entire song, fills are mixed up, and the beats are catchy and will leave your neck hurting. "We Are The Fading Sun" is no different. Catchy little hooks scattered throughout, with the heavy galloping double bass here and there, and the full on speed bursts used just enough to make it a great little touch. Also, the violent bursts of blast beats are also used with perfect discretion. The whole song is not scattered with them, and there appearances are noteworthy sections of the song.
Production/ Tones/ Composition: 8/10
Tersivel have a very clear and defined picture when it comes to there music, and a large part of that picture is contained in the Keys I think. From the epic choruses to the quiet interludes, The are the main atmospheric element in Tersivel - And they are always coming out beautifully. Little touches like the note bending in "We Are The Fading Sun" (You'll know it when you hear it) and the to subtle background emissions in the title track. Not to mention "Cruzart Beer House Song", Which is an epic medieval tavern song scattered with the coolest little keyboard tones and tricks.
My favorite part of the EP though, is the soft interlude in "We Are The Fading Sun", Where we are greeted with a soft piano tone soaring back and forth with a melody that reminds me of Nobuo Uematsu - Any one who has played Final Fantasy VII will hear the influences there - And Franco Robert's playing in general. He keeps it varied, using horns, folk instruments, all the way down to video game style noises, with great technique, and musical mind.
Production and Sound: 8/10
I like the contrast between Lian and Nargrath. The black metal esque vocals provide the evil, dark, atmospheres and the overall seriousness of the songs. While the clean vocals feel like a narrator at times, a distant observer in the song who emphasizes the point with melody, and that classic exotic feel from Folk Metal vocalists. The vocals sit well within the song, and once again - The production and mix are fine enough to be considered album quality.
To summarize this, its exactly what you would want. Epicly sung choruses, and violent and melodic verses.
Overall Impression: 8/10
For an EP, "Far Away In The Distant Skies" is a brief glimpse into the power, strength, melody, and ferocity of Tersivel. Far from EP quality, and easily passable as album quality, Its something that you just cant pass up - Get it now!