For anyone following a genre like black metal for a while, with all its local scenes spread around the world, one of the most interesting effects is the crossing of influences over time leading to surprising things happening in unexpected places. One such example is Turia, a new Dutch band where you can see the influence of “local” artists like Urfaust as well as completely distinct bands in both sound and origin like Ash Borer or Sortilegia. The result can be streamed below in its entirety. It’s called “Dor” and is yet another item in the ever-growing list of reasons to dig the shit out of the current black metal scene in the Netherlands.
Despite sharing two-thirds of its members with Lubbert Das and writing within the same genre, one quick listen at “Dor” shows clear differences in sound. O describes the differences in approaches by noting that “on Lubbert Das we explore this darker side, while here we’re looking for something else, more expansive instead of oppressive”. Moreover, in Turia there is only T handling vocal duties and the writing mostly stems from O, while drummer J and T then “just find a way to finish the song” as the former tells us.
The band’s origin can be traced back to a hiking trip by O and T to the Alps where they eventually went to the band’s namesake mountain, which O describes as “the most solitary place I’ve ever visited”, adding with regards to a cabin where they stayed for a night that “it was very cold and there were some avalanches going on around us. You have this realisation that you cannot leave this place, you have to stay there even though it’s crazy cold”. Nature as a source of inspiration is not exactly a novel feature in the genre, but looking at the following description by T, it’s hard to argue that it doesn’t provide a good image to the sort of minimalism present on their songs. “It’s a place where there is not much going on, while at the same time it’s very overwhelming but without being all over the place”.
While its namesake certainly serves to inspire or inform the songwriting, it’s not the only source, at least not when it comes to the texts supporting T‘s harrowing screams. When learning about them, we also discover what is meant by the title of the third song “Zuiverheid”, which is Dutch for “purity”. Hint: it’s probably not what you’re thinking it is. “I was doing research on epidemics of cholera in The Netherlands in the 19th century, reading a lot of texts written at that time and it was very much believed that this disease was sent by god as a punishment and that the only way to heal yourself was to turn to god and be less individualistic. It got me to a comparison with nowadays, with how people are still striving to achieve this «purity», and eventually it just turns people mad”. A criticism that couldn’t be more relevant to our times and she doesn’t exactly stop there, adding that people “are very good at destroying” all while “telling themselves they are doing stuff for a greater good”.
As the conversation proceeds, we discuss the cathartic effect of the music from the performer’s point of view and while her bandmates O and J have been in acts like Lubbert Das or Galg for a while now, it is T providing a perhaps unexpected image. “I practice Krav Maga and did some kickboxing before” and screaming reminds her of “the same feeling you get when fighting someone, it’s controlled in a way but it helps you to get rid of stuff inside of you”, an idea she further elaborates upon, “it’s letting go of some negative feelings while also harbouring them, making them grow”. Regardless of the particular fighting comparison, it’s a generalizable idea of embracing “some disruptive behaviour that in normal society you have to hold back and can’t express” as O formulates, adding that “you can with art like this”.
When asked about what the future might hold, the answer is short but clear, with O stating that Turia “is not a one-time thing, we have stuff planned”. With how much songs like “Zuiverheid” and “Halsstarrig de Dood Tegemoet” have been growing on us recently, we’ll certainly be keeping an eye on them.
“Dor” will be released this Wednesday, November 18, via Haeresis Noviomagi in a limited edition of 100 tapes.