Independent release, 2012


REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


TERRA’s music is unique without being strange. This might sound like a cliché, but this St. John’s, Newfoundland-based outfit is a peculiar blend of many opposites that appear pretty unusual on paper. The predominantly three-to-four minute long, energy-packed, guitar-dominated music on the band’s debut Temples (an album that is strategically named after their former band name, which was changed to TERRA) has a ‘90s modern rock feel, but the musical complexity and sophistication is enough to draw comparisons with progressive rock music. In addition, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Temples is very much an introspective indie rock album at heart. On the outside, though, it has a big and loud arena rock sound that is so not “indie.”

Temples is an album that has punch, and lots of it. One of the main forces behind this is band mastermind and frontman Richard Seypka, who sings with fiery passion. Yes, there are some Richard Patrick/Ed Kowalczyk ‘90s rocker aspects to his singing, but the fierceness of his vocals has a breezy meditative quality rather than an angst-ridden one. This extroverted demeanor coming from what’s essentially an indie frontman (who is supposed to be shy by default) actually sounds very original. Also, Seypka is just an amazing singer. His singing is always lively, almost as if he is meant to sing to stadium-sized crowds.

Another force that makes this such an energetic and foot-tapping album is its general sense of rhythm. Every track is adorned with a beautifully complex rhythmic backbone, sometimes consisting of more than just one layer – the drums – of percussive element, whether it is in the form of glitchy synthesized percussions or even the guitar playing, which has its own beat.

With the name change from Temples to TERRA, Seypka and fellow bandmates took the opportunity to reinvigorate and start anew. Temples certainly seems like the work of a band that deliberately wanted to create a sort of “dream album,” challenging themselves to not only combine all the musical influences that they have ever come across and were curious about but also testing their own musical skills in the process, creating really intricate musical pieces that also sound very pleasing and appealing.

To quote Seypka: “I just wanted the band to sound unlike anything I’d ever heard before.” He certainly has achieved this with Temples, and has done so in great style.

Rating: A-

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