Terhen - Eyes Unfolded
Firebox Records
Atmospheric Funeral Doom
5 songs (53'48")
Release year: 2007
Firebox Records
Reviewed by Alex

It is an interesting way to get your metal band jumpstarted by making a recording clip for a fashion show in Beijing. Whatever works, I guess, and Terhen’s way was the most unusual. At any rate, this endeavor apparently reenergized this Finnish band and made them to change not only the moniker (from Thamuz), but also the style. They went from something with black/death influences to becoming almost classic these days in Finland, the sound of atmospheric funeral doomdeath. The stuff Skepticism and Shape of Despair made legendary.

Carried by unhurried double bass and rolling drum fills in Six Months, classic minor funeral melody in Last Moments and towering bellows courtesy of Jyri Pylvanainen throughout Eyes Unfolded, Terhen is very adept, for a young band, at capturing a sense of tension and even tragedy (Six Months). Their use of synthesizer and quite prominent keyboards makes their funeral doom not as warm and earthy, but instead gives it this eerie withdrawn coldness. Coupled with mechanical, nails-in-the-coffin, rhythm on the opener Influences, it gives the song, and many other places on the album, a strange sense of stillness, of time frozen here forevermore. The things are a bit different on the closer Wandering, which is heavier, darker, and a lot more guitar driven than anything else on the album, although ghostly synthesizers still do not let go in the end.

Just like Shape of Despair, Terhen has a lot of gaps and spaces in their lengthy tracks, where one is allowed to take a breath and use their own imagination to drift away. Unlike more experienced doomsters, however, Terhen’s song structure is way too predictable. You can tell which part would be coming next. An introduction of a melody or main riff, Jyri’s vocals appearance with the song growing stronger, a gap, another point of rising pressure, and the final letdown. The band would be well advised to work more on the “transitions” not simply butt-ending the parts together. One of Terhen’s way of mixing things up is apparently to add oh-so-popular today female vocals. Not singing in a duet with Jyri’s beast, Elisa Pellinen’s vocals are a little boyish for my taste, and thus fail to click with the sense of Terhen’s music even on their more gothic piece, like Last Moments. Draconian this is not.

A clearer production could also benefit Terhen. The violin is announced, but it fails to make an impact. The drums are a bit depressed and mottled, but that may change as the band has announced an addition of a new drummer lately.

The signing to Firebox is an absolutely positive move in this band’s career. This Finnish label specializes in the genre and could give these young Finns a lot of guidance and promotion. We would be happy to support them with coverage, as the potential is undeniably there.

Killing Songs :
Influences, Six Months
Alex quoted 74 / 100
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