Progenie Terrestre Pura - oltreLuna
Avantgarde Music
Progressive Black Metal
5 songs (55:30)
Release year: 2017
Avantgarde Music
Reviewed by Goat

Following up their radical and entertaining debut in 2013, Italian trio Progenie Terrestre Pura (q[T]p in the band’s styling) have returned, and shifted their sound enough to ensure that they remain as radical and entertaining as before. Moving away from the spacey ambience of before, oltreLuna is immediately louder, heavier, and earthier, often replacing those interstellar beeps and boops with Middle Eastern percussion and ethnic instrumentation, joined to particularly relentless blastbeats and fiery, snarled vocals. It’s an interesting shift; the title art and song titles alone suggest that the space focus remains, and little elements like the electronically-infused vocals in [.subLuce.] add to that. The second half of the album does return somewhat to that electronic sound but even earlier, the more you look, the more partially-buried evidence you find.

The band are fond of using particularly forward-thinking riffs that are, weirdly, both discordant and melodic when mixed in with the morass of electronics, female and male vocals and synths – not black metal at all in the traditional fashion, but effective enough to fit in even with the blastbeats. And the more you hear moments like the throat-singing and percussion that open the title track, the more it seems q[T]p’s ambition to build their sound onwards and outwards without repeating themselves is rewarded, particularly since that song ends in bleeps and boops half-smothering the vocals, turning to outright dupstep by the end. It’s as if the band toyed with the genre for half a moment, before jettisoning it in search of new worlds.

If these genre interactions were any less smooth, this would be a jagged-edged, avant-garde record, but q[T]p are good enough songwriters to avoid that. From jazz to techno, there are many moments where sounds are explored thoroughly enough to be interesting but not outstaying their welcome, before turning back towards the black metal that underpins everything. The twelve-minute [.Deus.Est.Machina.] is probably the most electronically-infused and closest to the debut album here, switching between the optimistic pro-space agenda of before and something newer and more sinister. Yet fifteen-minute finale [.Proxima:B.] explores a darker, equally atmospheric territory, going further into industrial metal territory than ever before and feeling almost like a remix track as it drops the black metal structure entirely for minutes at a time.

You could conclude that it’s as if U.M.A. was the band travelling in space, and oltreLuna is the alien planet that was the destination – strange, otherworldly, and almost jarring. Yet compare and contrast the two and nothing comes to mind quite so much as the differences in Star Trek between the clean, sterile greys of the spaceship environment and the explosions of colour from whenever Kirk gets beamed to the surface of a new planet. There is a danger in giving a band a little too much credit based on a reviewer’s imagination filling in the gaps, and indeed I predict some of those who liked U.M.A. for its uniqueness will struggle a little with oltreLuna. Like the debut, it feels like I’m missing part of the story, and that some of the bloat could have been cut out - also the production really could be improved upon. Yet I can’t really criticise a band who are so successful with their ambitions, and there’s no denying that oltreLuna is a fascinating album with all its flaws. Like some massive thousand-page sci-fi novel, there’s much to explore here, and fans of extreme music that pushes past all boundaries will love what they discover.

Killing Songs :
All, especially [.Pianeta.Zero.] and [.oltreLuna.]
Goat quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Progenie Terrestre Pura that we have reviewed:
Progenie Terrestre Pura - U.M.A. reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
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