Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Review: Progenie Terrestre Pura - 'U.M.A.'


Coming from a black metal background, Progenie Terrestre Pura's taste for psychedelic ambience is a refreshing curve-ball. There is still a gritty guitar-driven underbelly to their formula, but the layers of ambient electronics give them a sound that feels more than comfortable with the ambient and even idm tags.

'U.M.A.' (Uomini, Macchine, Animi) is the band's début full-length outing, and it is immediately evident that they have spent plenty of time refining their sound. At the heart of which is more recognisable influences from the likes of DHG, Shining, Code and even the progy breakdowns of Tesseract. But the band's almost religious use of ambient elements recalls the soundtracks to films like Bladerunner, Dune and even Moroder's soundtrack for Metropolis. It may sound like it could all veer into well-troden territory on the surface, but it's a combination that works incredibly well for them.

However the band tend to favour using the stronger electronics as lengthy intros to the more black metal oriented bulk of the songs. Which is a shame as the right balance of the two could really turn Progenie Terrestre Pura into something special.

The band's sonic ambitions are perhaps realised most on the opening song 'Progenie Terrestre Pura' as well as the sumptuous centrepiece that is 'La Terra Rosa Di Marte'. However for the open-minded listener the blend is still a rewarding one throughout the five tracks included on 'U.M.A.', particularly on the closing piece, 'Sinapsi Divelte'.

In terms of production the album is pretty much faultless. The electronics provide a nice futuristic counterpoint to the raw, organic guitar style, but neither feel alien to each other. Best of all the half-whispered vocals are able to move seamlessly between the two opposing forces without getting buried in the mix.

This is a very promising début from a talented band. They do feel like they have for the most part stuck to a specific formula. But if they were to mix the construction of the songs up a bit and really get the two halves of their sound to interact with each other, then they would really be on to something unique.

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