Terra Deep is a raw black metal solo project from Srpingfield, Oregon, USA, active since 2007; before this split, Terra Deep had released a number of demos, splits and two full-lengths, the second of which dates back to 2014 and is titled Inamorata (title that reminds me vaguely of Anathema: “When my inamorato died”, refrain from “Restless Oblivion” from the wonderful album The Silent Enigma, 1996; it is black metal we are talking about, right?). The side A of the cassette is anyway dedicated to Terra Deep that contributes two songs for a total playtime of nine minutes. Too little to judge; it is also difficult to get an idea due to the poor production and the inexistent sound. It becomes difficult even to grasp the riffs and their effectiveness; from what I can hear Terra Deep does not excel at originality. The first song “I Worship the Earth That Awaits Your Grave” can be a kind of interesting, with relatively obscure and eerie riffs; there is also an interesting use of keyboards towards the end of it. The second song “We All Deserve to Die” repeats stereotypes, with riffs that sound taken rather from death metal. Naturally the modest production does not help, but penalizes; devoid of all the strength that a black metal band should have.
The side B is dedicated to Hyperborean Skies, an act active since 2013; according to reliable sources, such as the band’s official Facebook, this solo project is from Ocklahoma City, Ocklahoma, USA, not Ohio as the press release states... Well , let us not be too meticulous. Hyperborean Skies is more interesting; what we have is a kind of Cascadian black metal and a point in favor of this act is that it offers more to listen to: four songs for a total playtime of 20 minutes. Hyperborean Skies proves to have good ideas, and a style of its own; the ingredients are arpeggios, keyboards, melodies, all arranged in order to create the evocative and ethereal atmosphere typical of Cascadian, even sometimes it may sound a bit cloying. Unfortunately also in this case the bad production affects strongly the rendering of the music. Another issue is a completely wrong mixing of the instruments, with a synthetic-sounding bass that unwontedly covers all other instruments and you have it right in your face. Incomprehensible solution. What's more, clinkers and technical errors here and there.
In short, Mariposa does not even attain the mediocrity level; considering the revived interest in the cassette of the last few years, this split could be of interest only to those who collect cassettes just for the sake of the cassette. I understand raw productions, but raw production is not synonymous with bad production. Raw production does not mean to simply plug the guitar in the amplifier and record, whatever the outcome. Even a raw production should have a minimum of study. Moral of the story: good ideas are not always enough and a band should work in a professional way to get results.
Release date: October 24 2014 as cassette and digitally; the digital release is available for download here.
1. Terra Deep - I Worship the Earth That Awaits Your Grave
2. Terra Deep - We All Deserve to Die
3. Hyperborean Skies - Dawn
4. Hyperborean Skies - Drought
5. Hyperborean Skies - Harvester's Lament
6. Hyperborean Skies - Cascade
M. Edwards: All Instruments, Vocals
Ben Stire: Everything
Text by Herjann