Hey there, tech fiends. It's that time of the week again. Before we dive into today's focus, here's the usual weekly reminder that if you're looking for even more sick bands to hear, all prior editions of this series can be perused here.
As someone involved in both music and visual art, I tried to approach 2020's Covid-19 mindfuck the way many of us have, by focusing obsessively on producing some good art out of it these hard times. On a macroscale, that sort of became a worldwide meme, the idea that the art that would come out of this period would be some kind of silver lining from all this shit? Although they may not be the first to deliver on that idea, newcomers Turris Eburnea have certainly made something wild that may not have ever happened if not for this moment in time. Turris Eburnea – Turris Eburnea drops this Friday, March 12th through Everlasting Spew Records. You can scroll below and hit play or read on and learn more about the project and this release first.
To succinctly quote the band about their origins and membership, "Turris Eburnea is an Experimental Death Metal band formed in 2020 by Gabriele Gramaglia (Cosmic Putrefaction, The Clearing Path, Summit) and Nicholas McMaster (Krallice, Gath Smane, Geryon, Edenic Past, ex- Castevet)". With that out of the way, you can probably guess that this is both a dissonant and off-the-beaten-path take on technical death metal based on the kinds of music the duo is drawn to playing or has played prior. As sort of a multiplicity of references to the origins of the project, the group's name itself means "Ivory Tower" and the otherworldly art with a figure dwelling atop a strange formation all point toward this current era.
Now that we've delved into where Turris Eburnea came from and what they're about, the best part is the unreal quality of what they've cooked up! Their self-titled debut EP consists of four incredibly dense and diverse tracks, splitting time between terrain that draws complimentary comparisons to acts like Artificial Brain, Gorguts, Stargazer, and Imperial Triumphant. While also diving into progressive death metal terrain as well with tinges of old school death metal flair and haunting atmospheric passages making their presence known at times.
As usual, I asked the group if I could get some more information about the release and Gabriele Gramaglia kindly shared that “We started Turris Eburnea (that is Latin for Ivory Tower) when the pandemic hit here in Italy, so around March. I live in the same region of Codogno, sadly known to be one of the most important European epicenters, so Italy, in general, has been the first European country to set a hard lockdown regime. The concept, therefore, came out itself, the streets were drowned in sinister silence, the atmosphere was overwhelmed in eerie desolation, like if time froze. All of this kinda reminded Tarkovskij-ian images, the ones you could see in Stalker for example.
The artwork and the graphical aspects needed to mirror all that I said above and it came out to be a stroke of luck, there’s this painter called Babar Moghal of which I had already seen an artwork (that was a painting Ars Magna Umbrae used for his first effort), that some years ago painted this kind of a hermit ascending upon a levitating tower (that is coincidentally the color of ivory), so we asked him if we could use it and he said yes. The logo was made by Simone Strige (known also a STRX), that also made my Cosmic Putrefaction logo along with a shirt illustration (for CP too), so there’s some kind of a trustful relationship between us, he understands my visions very well most of the times improving them, so he got perfectly what Nicholas and I had in mind for Turris Eburnea. Musically speaking it was a really challenging path, but I think we really had fun through it! Nicholas is an awesome bassist (and I’d say musician tout-cour), so he very often enriched my guitar lines with refined counterpoint and extended harmonies. There are cases where he also fucked up some beat measures (this happens at a certain point in Malachite Mountains) and cases where we reversed the writing process, like in a couple of Syncretic Observance’s riffs, where I wrote the guitars upon his bass. For sure a hell of an experience!”
So be sure to check out our full early stream of Turris Eburnea – Turris Eburnea below. If I can leave you with a closing statement that matters, it's that this is more like the John Frum release from a few years ago than any point of reference listed above. That is to say, it's a masterful new entry into an established style by really creative musicians, this is not just a cheap imitation of the bands this could be compared to by any means. If you like what you're hearing, you can pre-order the release through the Everlasting Spew Bandcamp Page. You can also follow the group over on the Turris Eburnea Facebook Page.