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ZEGEMA BEACH RECORDS

Sunday, 19 March 2017

TERRAFORMER

BandTERRAFORMER
GenresInstru-metal / Punk / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Doom / Sludge / Prog
Related artistsKokomo.
CountryLiège BELGIUM
Years Active: 2009-present
Song: "Aegan"
Album: "Mineral"
Year: 2017
For fans ofTomydeepestego, Finger Of God, Pelican, Ornaments, Glasir, Black Clouds, (early) Disappearer, Explosions In The Sky, Mogwai, Town Portal, If These Trees Could Talk, Tides From Nebula, Goonies Never Say Die, Red SparowesGrand Détour, Maserati, This City Called Earth, Omega Massif, Mono, Watered, Carved Up, Gifts From Enola and Russian Circles.
Label(s): Self Released / Time As A Color / Dunk!Records / Revolvermann Records / Emotionally Unstable Records / Wolves And Vibrancy Records / Hackebeil Records / Puzzle Records / icorrupt Records / Salsifis Conspiracy
This post's artist is from the March 2017 Mix. This is track #10.
You can download: the March 2017 Mix#3 right here or get the new April 2017 Mix#4 here.

I'm reviewing this 3-piece instru-metal monster that is TERRAFORMER because my friend Daniel of Time As A Color sent it to me to review. He actually sent me 'Mineral' which more than surpassed my requirements for getting posted on this blog, but then I nabbed the rest of the discography and I have certainly found my new post-metal instrumental love for the next few months, having recently dabbled quite heavily into Grand Détour, Tomydeepestego, Town Portal and Ornaments. I find instru-metal bands to have lulls and relatively boring parts due to their length, but TERRAFORMER sidesteps this common pitfall and brings it on every track at every moment. Let's go through their discography, which begins a year after their 2009 inception.

Assuming my math holds up, the 'Terraformer' EP came out in 2010 and houses six songs are fantastic, especially for a debut release. The latter half of "Zephyr" is unreal, spouting riffs galore, while "Crusade" and "Leave the Ship" are very mathy and bring This City Called Earth to mind, save that dank-ass explosion that rocks the final 30 seconds of the former track. Most of these songs don't even end up hitting the four-minute mark and were likely influenced heavily by the first Russian Circles full length 'Enter', as the chug vs. math-taps sound nearly identical, especially in "Leave the Ship", the last bit of "Bot" and most of "Highway Rabbit Versus Darwin". I'll say it again, great fucking record!

In 2012 'The Sea Shaper' was released and, for the most part, it moves away from the math-taps and heads toward heavier, brooding instru-metal along the lines of Pelican and Omega Massif. The most obvious bangers are track 4 "Whale" (imagine the audio equivalent of a Moby Dick death match), track 9 "R'lyeh" (a very groovy time) and track 11 "Anacharsis" (the hardest and most demonic song they have written to date, and quite possibly the best). There are also some short one-minute tracks that aren't just straight up noise, which is nice. Those shorts songs are opener "Ahab", "Trail of Lena" and "Dragon Poulpe". Although not as gripping as their debut, this is still an excellent release that shows much growth.

In 2013 the band released a single song on the 'dunk!sampler #1' compilation called "Lupa". It's a very good track and worth checking out, as it permeates from the speakers with massive riffs and the sinking feeling that you are floating in space, not unlike Rosetta. TERRAFORMER was busy in 2014, releasing another LP titled 'Creatures' which takes later Russian Circles and mashes it together with Tomydeepestego, creating a very mature yet volatile beast, best exemplified on the aptly titled opener "Beast", the soaring and majestic "Kelpie" as well as the epic "Géants". "Alecta" concludes the album and even includes some well placed vocals just before the three-minute mark, which give the entire thing a very Fall Of Efrafa feel. Also in 2014, they released a collaboration project titled 'Euryale' with members of the band Kokomo with varying degrees of success, as the sound takes on a deeper, Mono-esque feel which both helps and hurts the general TERRAFORMER sound. Regardless, this is a good listen and one for when you are in need of more relaxation than TERRAFORMER normally gives you.

I initially set out to write only a review for 2017's 'Mineral', but the entirety of TERRAFORMER's catalogue was sick that this became a much more involved review than I had set out to do, but hey, now I know about a really awesome band because of it. So, the new LP opens with "Aegan", a pummeling onslaught of palm-muted guitars from the self titled EP era of Pelican and gets pretty head-bobby at 1:40 or so but doesn't let up its gravitational grip until the 8:26 conclusion. "Adamantine" follows with beautiful, sweeping movements that share many qualities with early Russian Circles, hidden gem Finger Of God as well as Gifts From Enola with astronaut-ready sounding swirls captured from six minutes onwards. Third is "Amethyst", a relatively quick look into the TERRAFORMER sound at a mere 4:55, and is likely heavily inspired by Pelican's 'City of Echoes' material. There are playful guitars on "Penelope" after the first minute, followed by a splattering of both chugs and eternal reverb riffs. The song weaves in and out of different branches of post-rock, post-hardcore and post-metal which settles itself over the final four minutes with cool palm muting, and expansive/spacey guitars that again bring to mend 'City of Echoes'. "Epoch" has the allure of Red Sparowes as the song traverses the audio equivalent of massive and stunning canyons, capturing both the dark and violent shifts of time as well as the smooth, polished elegance of weathered stone. Closer "The Ether Shell" brings wave after wave of dreamy, instrumental, sonic europhia in instru-metal form. Truly an excellent LP.

Also released in 2017 is the recently premiered 'Watered split' 12" (stream here) that has TERRAFORMER at their densest, manifesting some seriously subterranean sludge with occasional glimmers of hope. "The Sierpinski Triangle" is a perfect example of this while "Antennapedia" is a droning mirror of the German masters Omega Massif.

I noticed that the band is going on tour starting in April 2017 so be sure to check their Facebook page to get caught up on exactly where they are playing. Until it's finalized, I last saw this:

1/04 : Strasbourg (F), Diamant d'Or // + [IntoTheTide]
http://www.facebook.com/events/433862373629683/

2/04 : Hannover, Glocksee // + Binoculers + RADARE
https://www.facebook.com/events/977331489064139/

3/04 : Berlin, Schokoladen
https://www.facebook.com/events/239050913190908/

4/04 : Göttingen, Juzi

5/04 : Münster, Baracke
https://www.facebook.com/events/1639169043044929/

6/04 : Hengelo (NL), Innocent
https://www.facebook.com/events/173652126472063/

7/04: Karlsruhe, P8 // + NYOS
https://www.facebook.com/events/1134060576716261/

8/04 : Liege (B), Insert Name Festival // + Mars Red Sky + more
https://www.facebook.com/events/729064360592597/

9/04 : Wiesbaden, Sabot // + Syberia

https://www.facebook.com/events/1794962607491937/

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DISCOGRAPHY

2010 - Terraformer cassette/cdEP (stream/donate/download here)

2012 - The Sea Shaper cassette/cd/12"LP (stream/donate/download here)

2013 - dunk!sampler #1 (stream/donate/download here)

2014 - Creatures cd/12"LP (stream/donate/download here)
2014 - Euryale collaboration project w/Kokomo 12"EP (stream/donate/download here)

2017 - Mineral 12"LP (stream/buy here)
2017 - Watered split 12"EP (stream here)
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(2017) TERRAFORMER - "Adamantine" (from 'Mineral')

(2017) TERRAFORMER - "Aegan" (from 'Mineral') official music video

(2017) TERRAFORMER - "Amethyst" (from 'Mineral')

(2014) TERRAFORMER - "Géants" (from 'Creatures')

(2014) TERRAFORMER - "Beast" (from 'Creatures')

(2014) TERRAFORMER - "Generation Noir" (from 'Euryale')

(2013) TERRAFORMER - "Lupa" (from 'dunk!sampler #1')

(2012) TERRAFORMER - "Anacharsis" (from 'The Sea Shaper')

(2012) TERRAFORMER - "Whale" (from 'The Sea Shaper')

(2010) TERRAFORMER - "Zephyr" (from 'Terraformer')

(2010) TERRAFORMER - "Leave the Ship" (from 'Terraformer')

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TERRAFORMER additional links

Bandcamp

Facebook

Order 'Mineral' 12" from Time As A Color / Dunk!Records
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