Rishloo are a modern progressive band from Seattle who frequently draw comparisons with bands like Tool and A Perfect Circle for vocal similarities and Dredg, Amplifier, The Mars Volta, Coheed And Cambria or The Dear Hunter basically just by virtue of them playing modern progressive music without sounding too much like any of the 1970s Prog bands.
Terras Frames is the band’s debut full length studio album, released in 2004, and obviously being the debut of a relatively unknown band doesn’t have the most amazing production job in the world, at least compared to their later work or the releases of bigger, richer bands.
Compared to the two releases which would follow it, Terra Fames is a lot more restrained and normal sounding both in terms of progressive moments and metal sounding moments; the band don’t use as complicated structures or as many guitar effects or experimental tracks and generally write comparatively quite straight forward music throughout.
The album also doesn’t flirt with heavy moments and screaming in the same way as those that followed it as a general rule, and while there are a few big moments such as on ‘Seven Rings Left,’ they don’t have the same explosive power and ferocity as the biggest moments on their later work have.
Despite the fact that their later work took things much farther, and are some of the genuinely best and most exciting records out there, that does not in anyway mean that Terras Fames is in any way even approaching being a bad record. Tracks like the powerful ‘The Water Is Fine,’ with its impressive drumming, as well as the fabulous ‘Illumination,’ and the album closer ‘Fames,’ are well worth the time of any listener and illustrate the vast potential of the band even at this early stage in their career.
The band’s very strong talent shines through on Terra Fames and the lyrics are just as perfectly formed and impressive as on all their later work. The record is very pleasant to play from beginning to end and nothing on it seems particularly weak or out of place, there are lots of interesting musical ideas on offer and impressive musicianship throughout. Anything from this record would sound great on a compilation or live set amongst their later work as importantly it all still feels like Rishloo.
Overall; Terras Fames is something you should definitely pick up once you are a fan of Rishloo, perhaps not the best choice for your first Rishloo album, but still absolutely worth trying. The only criticism one could fairly level at the record at all is that the albums that would follow are better, but that is more of a compliment in favor of those records rather than a problem with Terra Fames.