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Terra Sancta – Disintegration

Terra Sancta - Disintegration

CD, Malignant Records, 2008

While I am an outspoken fan of accomplished artists within the dark ambient realm, “Disintegration” clumsily stumbles on its intended target, creating fifty-seven minutes of glorified white noise, which fails to build to a crescendo. To give a visual description of this record, if we were to equate this genre to a massive posh country estate and Coph Nia were the mansion itself, Terra Sancta would be the Honda Odyssey parked in the driveway. “Disintegration I,” the opening track, sets the stage for what could potentially be a powerful album as far as soundscapes go. It begins with a soft breath of strings accompanied by a faint pulse to build up what could only be presumed as a climactic peak. Four minutes later the strings become higher while the pulse becomes a pronounced watery grinding noise… “okay, it’s gonna happen pretty soon now -no wait, they’re going to bring in a phasing lead in the background, okay and now they’re about to -nope they’re getting quieter. Quieter? Why on earth would you do tha-wait, what do you mean the song’s over?” This is a pretty accurate description of every piece on this four-track album. It’s a series of ripe and rich sounds that ultimately amount to nothing. I dub this phenomenon: sonic blue balls.
Now before you start labeling me a jaded elitist (or worse, a Cold Meat Industry groupie who does not think that successful dark ambient artists exist outside of Roger Karmanik’s own label), I’ll go on record as saying that I enjoyed “Disintegration” overall. It did leave me devoid of an auditory orgasm, but this is a dark soundscape album and, like it or lump it, this is an acceptable musical route for the artist to take. Acceptable, unfortunately, is not synonymous with memorable. In an aural universe built primarily out of drones and wind sweeps, it is easy to travel the route of convention and fall prey to mediocrity. In Terra Sancta’s case, the addition of epic orchestral tones would transform this musical one night stand into a stand up release. For now it remains a cocktease. Despite some of my harsher criticisms I will keep a tab of this Aussie act’s progress. Like the creepy old pervert outside your window that ogles you while you change on a nightly basis. I will be watching and waiting.


— Bea W.

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