Terzij de Horde is a band that I became aware of in the past couple of years, especially as I dove into the world of black metal and tried to find something I enjoyed within this ever-growing subgenre. It was during this time that I found myself listening to Self, Terzij de Horde’s debut, and slowly became invested into both what the band would do next and what my own perceptions about the genre would be further down the line. Now, almost seven years later, Terzij de Horde have broken away from their own confines with the brilliantly bleak In One of These, I Am Your Enemy.
Unlike Self, which emphasized its themes of mind-body dualism using some atmospheric and post-black metal tones that took the edge and bite off their crusted black metal, …I Am Your Enemy pulls no punches when it comes to asking the important questions. The music is an onslaught of rapid drumming, harsh vocals, and angry guitars that hits like a semi-truck veering off a cliff. It also tends to leave you breathless, especially when tempos shift and cries of men start to hammering your ears. It also cuts deep, as if asking you, the listener, whether you acknowledge that something is not right and whether you should be angry about it. Terzij de Horde make no qualms about their feelings: they are vitriolic about the current state of affairs and they show it by mixing hardcore elements into their music, giving it this lethal feel that cuts like a knife. However, not everything can be fast and angry all the time, as the band also embeds melody and elements of post-metal to slow things down at times. This becomes evident on the last track “Precipice,” where the band takes a more atmospheric, sludgier approach, creating a sense of being untethered to everything else. While melodic, the atmosphere feels bleak and dark, making you realize that those very sharp tones that crackled like fire were a lie – you are back in the pit of despair, back in the rage, back within the confines of what has been dictated to you.
You lie at the heart of making your choices, and yet you have no choices at all, because everything that has led you to this moment is not because of you, but because of what others have done and influenced you to do. And aren’t you tired of it all?
Now, I have sat with this album for a while, and the more I listen to it, the more I am in awe of what this album does. Considering the question at the heart of the record – who has the right to decide our fate? – …I Am Your Enemy takes you by the scruff of your neck and deposits you in the middle of several realities, making you watch as all of these realities make choices that will impact their future generations. I can’t help but be reminded of Plato’s allegory of the cave, how humans live in the world depends on the interpretation of their reality, and how that is heavily contrasted with what reality actually looks like. Terzij de Horde wants you to live outside that cave, where everything and nothing can happen all at once, and yet you have the autonomy to choose how to interpret reality and how it can potentially affect everything that surrounds you.
All in all, …I Am Your Enemy is an album whose core themes stay with you long after the closing notes. Despite its 30-minute runtime, it is one of the densest albums I have heard in some time, and you will find yourself in awe of what the band has accomplished on this release. I have a feeling that …I Am Your Enemy will continue to haunt me, and I can’t wait to see what the band will do next. Terzij de Horde are back and they are here to wreck you.