2016 saw the release of a deeply unsettling and bone-chillingly brilliant opus entitled A Requiem for Terra by the Norwegian black metal/industrial metal entity known as Black Hole Generator. While yours truly was blown away by its thick, massive soundscapes of pessimism and its pulsating sense of impending doom from the very first time I spun the disc, the whole cursed affair has also grown immensely on me over the years, and I now consider it one of the finest musical creations to ever emerge from the murky depths of Scandinavia. Why is that? What makes it so riveting and darkly appealing? Let us briefly discuss the matter below, shall we?
Masterminded by multi-instrumentalist Bjørnar Erevik Nilsen (Vulture Industries) and featuring appearances by such highly skilled musicians as Ice Dale (Enslaved, Audrey Horne) and Gjermund Fredheim (Orkan, Taake), the sinister opus is a tight, vicious, and professional-sounding affair with just the right number of rough edges. Containing seven punishing compositions and a total runtime of thirty-eight minutes, A Requiem for Terra retains its momentum at all times from beginning to end and seamlessly conjures up a claustrophobic, unnerving aura that is as unique as it is efficient. Although aggressive and quite harsh to a certain extent, it is also riddled with wicked twists and turns that will throw you for a loop and keep you on your toes when immersing yourself in it. In addition, there is a myriad of shades and nuances to the LP, which is to say that the disc is a musically varied offering that strikes the perfect balance between the accessible and the challenging. It immediately sucks you in by means of its intriguing atmosphere and yet countless subtle details abound throughout – many of which refuse to reveal themselves to you unless you pay close attention to what is going on and allow yourself to be swallowed up whole by the slithering mass of doomsday madness that is A Requiem for Terra.
With respect to its lyrical content and overall theme, I asked Mr. Nilsen about this a few years ago when I interviewed him for Eternal Terror Live in Norway and he stated that “The theme is very much centered on apocalyptic thoughts, impending doom, judgment day, and the end of it all as we know it. It is about the greed of mankind and as such is slightly darker than what my lyrics usually focus on in Vulture Industries.” As evocative song titles ala ‘Beneath a Chemical Sky’ and ‘Earth Eater’ suggest, this desolate output is an infinitely dark and frightening piece of work from both a musical and lyrical point of view.
The first output by Black Hole Generator, more specifically the 5-track EP entitled Black Karma, came out in 2006 and ten years passed before A Requiem for Terra eventually saw the light of day, but given that the whole thing reeks of quality and substance through and through, it is safe to say that it was worth the wait. As Bjørnar once told me when I complimented him on the hypnotic vibe and vertigo-inducing feel of this exceptionally lethal slab of well-crafted industrial darkness, he somewhat humbly mentioned that “It does have trance-like quality to it, I think.” That is quite the understatement and what I would very much like to add to that is that A Requiem for Terra is also pretty damn near-flawless and a modern classic that you ought to devote some serious time and attention to – and the sooner you do so, the better. It is the perfect soundtrack to this day and age as it mirrors the present state of the world and our surroundings quite nicely.
- A Requiem for Terra
- Beneath a Chemical Sky
- Emerging Pantheon
- Earth Eater
- Spiritual Blight
A Requiem for Terra was unleashed by Dark Essence Records in November 2016.
Nepper, Jens. “To a Thunderous Beat of Impending Doom – Part Two”. Published online April 10, 2017, https://eternal-terror.com/articles/index.php?id=1769&type=B