Don’t you just love when you get a new record and after hearing it more than a dozen times it still feels like you’re just scratching its surface? “Self”, the debut full length of Terzij De Horde – the first with Nihill‘s Jelle Agema on guitars – is one of those records. The Utrecht-based band has been playing songs from “Self” live for a while now and upon seeing them on those occasions, we remember thinking that if they’d manage to capture that urgency in the studio, then we’d be in for quite the treat. They have done just that with a record that is black metal as black metal should be, a transgressive artform.
It’s not only that the rhythmic section is tight and creative – it is, with a stellar performance by drummer Richard Japenga – nor does it suffice to highlight the barrage of great riffs that manages to be intricate without bordering on the self-indulgent, a trap where so many have fallen. It’s one of those cases where it’s clear just how much care was had for every single facet, from the rather interesting concept – “six tracks explore different ways to live, or fail to live, with self and world” – to its lyrical execution which is well worth the read, including artwork, songwriting and even track ordering, one that creates a seemingly constant tension build up whose climax at the massive album closer “Sacrifice – A Final Paroxysm” will leave you stunned and instinctively reaching for the play button for another trip ’round “Self”. One could mention the influx of creative elements from outside of black metal that permeate these six songs but it’s all irrelevant. It’s Terzij De Horde sounding like Terzij De Horde and that’s all there should be to it.
With “A Rage Of Rapture Against The Dying Of The Light”, “Chosen Hollow” and a constant stream of high quality live performances, Terzij De Horde have been one of those well kept treasures for some years already. With “Self”, that should be about to change.