Hey Terra Deep, what did you do?
This has been my first thought when I played Part of This World, Part of Another for the first time. I knew this one-man act from Springfield, Oregon by his album Inamorata. I loved that record and now I find myself a bit disappointed at first with this newest one. Maybe because it is so different from what I expected it to be, maybe because the production doesn’t sound so clear as it should. But…
Despite this crappy introduction I really did enjoy the album afterwards. It took me a shit-ton of listens but I finally understood it. One more time the vocal lines of M.Edward (mastermind and sole member of this project) are the brightest treasure out of this record. Whether he choose to go for clean singing or deep growls the end result is the same, outstanding. In my opinion, he also managed to improve his singing skills delivering amazing and yet complex melodies that gather around the whole songs, if not the entire album.
Terra Deep has also the great ability of sewing complex acoustic guitar arpeggios, they remind me of Opeth, but in a more edgy way. As you can hear in Portrait of Winter the elements I praised just before work together just fine. Drawing a pattern of “winter-sadness” feelings along with the nice sing-along/chorus moment, while the smell of the band from Stockholm still lingers all over the place. This song is probably the best one out of this record, but it has been hard to choose against the final tune, Harvestide. Another exquisite example of technical complexity blended together with easy passages and highly proggy riffs. Another thing that always get me excited about the act from Oregon is the occasional inclusion of synth instruments that spice his albums up with a pretty nice early ’70s prog rock flavor. (King Crimson anyone?)
But I have a couple of big complains to make.
1. The whole production sounds way too muddy and messed up. It cuts off too many important elements of these precious compositions. That’s a shame, some moments can seem weak just because the mixing work isn’t appropriate.
2. This could have been included in the previous point, but I actually preferred to keep it alone to highlight it. Why do the (programmed) drums sound like a piece of plastic?
I think that in 2015 even a drum machine can sound better than that. Basically, also his previous album had a better working synth drum.
So, we’re at the end of this record, I must say that I’ve been partly convinced and partly unconvinced by the latest Terra Deep‘s fatigue. Thumbs up for songwriting, arrangements and the extraordinary skills that M.Edwards owns. Thumbs down for the things I mentioned just a few lines above. But, all in all I see this album as a part of the evolution of this promising act from the USA, the next one, with a couple of improvements, could be The One.
1. Et Lux In Tenebris Lucet: I. Wax Photonic
2. Et Lux In Tenebris Lucet: II. Venus Adumbrant
3. The Navigator
4. Portrait of Winter
Websites: Bandcamp | Facebook
Release Date: 15th September 2015
Reviewed by Teo