Progenie Terrestre Pura - U.M.A.
Avantgarde Music
Atmospheric Black Metal, Ambient
5 songs (51:20)
Release year: 2013
Avantgarde Music
Reviewed by Goat
Surprise of the month

Hailing from Italy and focusing its blackened attention on the interface between man, machine, and space, Progenie Terrestre Pura has the sort of unique style that many a lesser band would kill for. Something like a lighter, ‘nicer’ Darkspace with a hint of Arcturus’s progressive outlook, this is music that is the very essence of that ‘spacey’ sound that so many grasp at but fail to achieve. The artwork, depicting a strange yet beautiful sci-fi world and bettering much I’ve seen on novels, probably sums the music up best, and it’s one of the few albums that I’ve found myself listening to while staring at the cover, drawing you in as uncannily as the music does. U.M.A. (standing for Uomini, Macchine, Anime or ‘Men, Machines, Souls’) is one of those albums that are all about focusing, becoming sucked into the band’s world. With the shortest track over seven minutes long, it’s not hard. And Progenie Terrestre Pura (hereafter PTP) makes it especially easy for you in the songwriting, showing surprising skill despite only having been around for four years.

Opener Progenie Terrestre Pura is probably the most ambient piece present, opening with blissful synth waves and friendly satellite bleeps and building as layers are added and electronic percussion begins. Yes, programmed drums feature, but the band being so space-focused means that they actually work rather well, and given the room for embarrassment elsewhere, such as the breathy effects-laden vocals that start to whisper a moment later, it’s hardly noticeable. Kicking off properly into black metal nearly four minutes in, albeit still very pretty and laced with electronics, the band hints at an older Blut Aus Nord influence with a touch of dissonance to the riffing, although it’s hard to tell as the drums dominate. The following Sovrarobotizzazione shows a bit more robotic muscle beneath the spaceyness, turning ominous and foreboding. Ramping up the speed, PTP becomes more proggy and focused on riffs, although the atmospheric effect is still paramount.

La terra rossa di Marte is the runt of the litter at just over seven minutes in length, but it’s an excellent instrumental that builds up and releases perfectly, moving into almost stoner territory with its blissed-out sounds and percussion. It flows seamlessly into the following Droni, which continues the peaceful sound before slowly hardening and becoming almost warlike, turning to sorrowful towards the end with mournful lead guitar. The closing Sinapsi Divelte is the most conventionally metal on show, focusing on the riffs and pushing the atmospheric electronics into the background – there are a couple of sudden builds to heaviness and a hint of a darker, nastier, wall-of-noise sound for the band that is quickly quashed by clean vocals and a return to mournfulness.

U.M.A. isn’t perfect. There’s a vague sense that this is a concept album, that a story is being told, and despite the language barrier this can feel a little vague and ill-defined, as if PTP is still finding its sound. There could definitely have been flab cut from some of the songs, allowing them to meander just a little less, yet it’s hard to decide where exactly this should have been. Yet with such an impressive debut the following releases can only get better, and although this isn’t quite a masterpiece, it is an excellent album that fans of black metal and ambient will be fascinated by.

Killing Songs :
Progenie Terrestre Pura, La terra rossa di Marte, Droni
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