Artist: Tera Melos
Album: Tera Melos
Release Date: 10.04.05
Label: Springman Records
Rating: 3.2 out of 5 stars
The Sacramento, CA 4-piece Tera Melos have just released their self-titled debut, which I now have in my possession. It’s like nothing I’ve ever heard before, but since I know you want some sort of description let me try this:
“Tera Melos is a fucking musical hand grenade.”
The first thing you need to know is that the band’s songs are all instrumental. It takes superhuman effort to hold my interest as an instrumental band if you’re not playing Jazz. Tortoise is the only non-jazz instrumental group to do it until now, but Tera Melos have just joined this exclusive club. What they do is stunningly technical, but unhinged. It got my attention like a boot to the back of the head. A big, smelly, nasty boot with metal cleats in the soles.
If you took the chops and technical know-how of prog rock, the pure aggression and attitude of real punk rock and shoved it all down the throat of an acrobat you might have a general idea of what Tera Melos is. The music on this CD is a new invention.
There is no imitation.
This is Art.
The songs contain some swirling electronic elements, which climb to powerful, jerky and violent beauty. The band will then take a break with a low-key jazzy breath-catcher before exploding into the stratosphere once again. To really appreciate this music though it’s surely best as a live performance. You see, the young guys in Tero Melos (Nick Reinhart, Nate Latona, Jeff Worms and Vince Rogers) have developed a stage show that is completely original and a sight to see. The standing members run (yes run) full speed in all directions on the stage just barely missing each other while they do flips, jumps and cart wheels; all while playing serious heavy and technical stuff. It amazing to see and something I hope they continue to develop.
You really have to see it to believe it. Although this is not a band setting out to create violence they sometime mess up and plow into each other or audience members, so you’ll get the extra excitement of bodily harm at their live shows.
Teras Melos are not a diverse band and the music will wear on you after prolonged listening, but they are doing something that no band has done before and for that I raise my glass.