Terska (interviewed here)is a Finnish solo-project that makes rather unconventional hardcore punk, and this is the band's second album. The thing that really sets a difference between Terska and most hardcore acts are the chosen sounds; the guitar- and bass tracks have been edited so that they sound like a really distorted, gritty and static mush, something that might make the songs sound even computer-generated to one's ears. Despite this, the riffs are very well audible. The soundscape consists of a higher, gritty and very distorted guitar buzz, and a lower and more clear but still somewhat drony bass sound. These two are pretty much tied together due to the bass repeating the guitar's riffs for most of the time, which creates a really intriquing soundscape. One more noteworthy thing is the vocal work, as the vocals are somewhere between raspy growling and shouting instead of the usual high shouts and screams.
This album relies a surprisingly lot on mid-tempo instead of the usual hardcore-speed, whereas the previous album was fast most of the time. The slow-ish tempo is highlighted by the programmed drums, as their impact is based on simplisticity; in the slower parts there's not too many beats or fills to make things interesting. It's fitting, but surely something that could've been worked on more. Luckily the drum sounds are realistic and fitting. It's a shame that the bass guitar repeats the guitar's riffs for most of the time, as even though the created soundscape is interesting, I believe that the bass guitar would've had a lot more to give.
The actual riffs are rather simple, but they're fitting and interesting. The soundscape might be difficult to grasp at first, but when you listen to this album more it'll be revealed that the riffs are really catchy. The sounds give more impact to the riffs, especially to the simpler ones, due to the droning and occasional irregular "waving" of the string instruments keeping things interesting. There's a good amount of variation between the songs, be it the tempo or the style of the riffs, and there's also some surprises included; for example the deranged higher guitar notes in "Liimapullon Henki" or the five-minute outro track "Kysymys" which could be labelled as noise. The song structure also varies a pleasing amount from the usual here and there. The three cover songs fit in well with the band's original material, and them being such aggressive pieces they really give the record more impact amidst the slower songs.
Lyrically the album revolves around criticism towards politicians, the military, christianity, destruction of nature, and so forth. The lyrics are very straight-forward, but there's room for the reader to "continue thinking from where the lyrics left off", so to say. There's also english translations added to the booklet, which I see as a very good thing. Visually the release is pleasing, and it's simplistic black&white booklet with a few images fits really well together with the release's theme and the band's DIY-nature. The release looks a lot better than I've used to expect from self-releasing bands.
It's true that the sounds and all the instruments can be pushed further and more unconventional solutions can be made with them, and that they could be used more effectively to create a tighter and more captivating experience. But even now, I see this album and the band as a really noteworthy one amidst all the unoriginal hardcore out there, and the release really seems like a lot of care has gone into making it into such a working whole. So, if you're seeking for something new, try this out. You can currently download this album from the band's homepage.