I saw Tephra live more than a year ago in Hamburg as support for A Light In The Attic and I was really overwhelmed by the pressure they produced and the pure energy that lay in their performance. After that the other band stinked completely and I went home with Tephra's demo cd with its beautiful d.i.y. artwork and wore the attached button quite frequently.
And now I have their full length cd in the stereo and feel once again impressed by their intensity. With this proper studio sound they sound even better as the nuances come out better and the dynamics are more lively. The songs on this one are really epic as you can imagine with only six songs in 45 minutes. The band is giving itself a good amount of time to develope their songs and sometimes really bathe in the single parts. The repepetive is the major momentum of this record. Another thing worth mentioning is the very warm, bass leaning sound. This gives the music a totally different aura than other epic bands have. It is absolutely unclinical. It is personal, intimate and absorbing. The guitars too are really good and have a good stereo effect that makes the sound even more lively and real and the growls of singer Ercüment are really beasty. If that guy would turn into a werewolf in front of my eyes I would not be as surprised as this spectacle would deserve.
The genre of bands influenced by Neurosis and their fellows (I prefer the term n-beat) seems to be kind of on the rise at the moment with bands like Isis, Cult of Luna or Ira. And like all the bands of this genre or at least the better ones Tephra work mainly through an enormous wall of sound produced by heavily distorted yet still cutting like a knife guitars and their wall is really an impressive one. But the question that simply has to be asked now is wether there is anything that sets this band apart from its collegues and the answer is that I don't know. I only know that this band is good and that they touched me way more than Cult of Luna f.e. when I saw them live. To me they are just a bit more intense and direct which means simply a bit better in this case. And I also like the fact that the band has members with an immigrant background which is kinda rare in the hc/punk scene in this country (and I guess anywhere). Of course this says nothing about the music but you know what I mean, don't you? The only thing that pisses me off is that the info says the 12" is sold out the bloody fool that I am thought "well, i can still by it later" when i saw it at the riptide stand earlier this year. Nevermind...
And don't miss them live when they come anywhere near you! [jan]