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Progenie Terrestre Pura- U.M.A. - 65%

stenchofishtar, December 17th, 2013

Progenie Terrestre Pura are an Italian two-piece that take on a black metal framework and whose themes, like Swiss band Darkspace, take on a heavy science fiction concept.

As opposed to a lo-fi, cavernous aesthetic, PTP’s sound is a thoroughly polished and digital production that rare for its style succeeds in creating a desired atmosphere rather than quelling it. The black metal influence is often prevalent throughout and is often used as a narrative by which the vocals can find convenient space.

A Norse-style sense of technique is present at times in guitar playing, though it is often saccharine, and not unlike Agalloch pertains to post-rock, tremolo picked and shrouded in a vortex of metallic percussion that often helps to make the music appear more externally aggressive. Riffs occasionally rely on heavy punctuated, palm muted power chord strums amidst syncopated, mechanized drum machine. It’s hard not to think of the Norwegian band Red Harvest, albeit treading a less ‘dystopian’ ground.

Vocals are also of the black metal technique, well done, and suitable to the aesthetic uses a sufficient amount of echo, pitch-shifter and vocoder, the result being similar to tracks such as ‘Dead Inside’ from Beherit’s ‘Electric Doom Synthesis’ album.

There is a strong emphasis on electronics and synthesisers. Rather organic, the ethereal textures and soundscapes of Jean Michel Jarre are brought to mind. Interweaving the more aggressive sectors of each composition the more subtle areas of ‘U.M.A.’ are interspersed with textural guitar playing that is like 70′s Pink Floyd but sans the blues influence.

This combination of ideas makes for an interesting listen, but barely digs beneath the surface. Whilst there is no lack of atmosphere and immersion here, the meandering nature of songs leaves the album lacking in a sense of punch and counterpoint which one feels should be present. Those who aren’t overly contemplative of finding anything deeper beyond the stylistic and like something on the basis that it is different may enjoy this, but in terms of substance it falls short of what could otherwise be promising work.