Released: 2014, Nightmare Records
Two years after Teramaze’s comeback album, the Australian Power/Prog band is about to release (at time of writing) their fourth album called ESOTERIC SYMBOLISM.
There have been some changes with Dean joining as drummer and the addition of a new guitarist, John Zambelis. The band is still on Nightmare Records and they have quite an odd cover depicting a giant cube in the desert. What is it? A UFO? The cube from the horror movies of the same name, or maybe it is the puzzlebox from the Hellraiser horror movies? Maybe it is a Borg ship or just the Rubik cube from hell... who knows? You will have lots of time to stare at the album cover (or your computer screen) and try to figure it out because the 13 song album is a whopping 78-minutes long.
Teramaze were apparently a bit of a technical thrash band and despite having evolved they still has thrashy parts, such as the middle section of the song, ‘Parallels-Dual Reality…that is just straight up thrash drumming. With the progressive touches, complicated guitar work and musical technicality, I’m reminded maybe of Mekong Delta or Coroner or for a more contemporary example, Hexen. ‘Punishment By Design’ is another really heavy track but with a melodic vocal line, that quickly became one of my favourites on the album. All the members are very proficient and talented, lots of notes, lots of playing but never quite over-playing. There is are some keyboards floating in the background as well adding to an already full sound. The guitar tone is thick and powerful and there is some really nice soloing as well. The lyrics are intelligent and discernable as they are well sung by Brett Rerkura in a nice mid-range tone. He can still hit some really goo high notes like those half-way through ‘The Divulgence Act’. It may be a cliché to suggest that this is intelligent Metal for intelligent people but ESOTERIC SYMBOLISM is certainly not an album that instantly grabs you and goes for the instant gratification of simple choruses and hooks. There is much more going on in respect to how the songs are written. They have found a nice balance between the heavy parts and the progressive parts which is not always easy to do.
As this is my first experience with Teramaze I think it will worth my while to go discover the first trio of albums, even if the mid-90’s ones are hard to find. Until then ESOTERIC SYMBOLISM is a fine work and I hope this album brings them more recognition.