|Label:||Zuul Records / Salsify Conspiracy Records|
It's always great to discover new bands that have something to say, especially when they show their own character in scenes often perceived as quite static, such as the way the post-rock environment sometimes feels. The Belgian band Terraformer debuted in 2010 with a digital EP, gathered some following thanks to their next works, up to the release of "Mineral" in early 2017.
Let's start from the sci-fi comic book style of the cover artwork, once again created by illustrator Fabrice Bovy (aka Fafou), with whom the trio had already worked in the past. This somewhat cosmic approach is actually conveyed very successfully right from the start. Terraformer play entirely instrumental music and describe themselves pretty much like this on their Bandcamp page: «Cheesy layers. Rash looping. Evil patterns. Semi mosh. Catchy tappings.» and other similarly odd and at the same time coherent definitions.
Belgian school sludge is an important influence in Terraformer's post-metal/rock, emerging already in the solid and heavy pace of the opening track "Aegean". There is a change of scenery with the more pelicanesque and meditative intro of "Adamantine", showing elements of that variety boasted in the band's description. Terraformer are at ease both with the canonical eight-minute tracks and the shorter and faster-paced ones such as "Ametyst". In general, the trio moves around these territories with great awareness thanks to interesting melodic lines and a very competent rhythm section, while their songs succeed at entering our minds even without too many listens.
"Mineral" was no doubt one of the most positive surprises in post-rock/metal for my personal 2017, after Russian Circles had contributed to stir my interest in this specific area of instrumental music. This band is ready for a qualitative leap after several years (well) spent in the underground, as also proven by the many places they have performed at around Europe in the spring and summer, including the widely appreciated Dunk!festival this past May.