Teramaze are a progressive metal band from Australia whose unique style is built on intricate yet accessible melodies, lush, clean, lead and harmony vocals, crushing riffs, and sophisticated rhythms. Teramaze's lyrics combine philosophical and sociological ideas with Christian ideals. Founded as a thrash metal outfit, they released Doxology in 1995. By the time they issued their sophomore effort Tears to Dust in 1998, their more melodic tendencies began to emerge and they drew critical comparisons to bands such as Queensrÿche, Symphony X, and Dream Theater. Founding guitarist Dean Wells enlisted a new lineup in 2006. After the death of their drummer in 2009 they eventually completed 2012's Anhedonia, the first of their albums to display Teramaze's mature style. Aside from wowing live audiences in Australia and New Zealand, the band kept rehearsing and writing. Personnel continued to evolve as revealed by 2014's globally acclaimed Esoteric Symbolism. In 2019, the band released its highest-profile date, Are We Soldiers. The set balanced Teramaze's harder progressive vision with increasingly sophisticated compositional and harmonic sensibilities.
Teen guitarist Dean Wells founded thrash metal band Terrormaze in 1993 with some schoolmates; the rest of the original lineup included bassist Matt Ritchie, guitarist Adam Burnell, vocalist Brett Rerekura, and drummer Tony Paulo. After some woodshedding, they renamed themselves Teramaze and sent a demo to Poland's now-defunct Empire Records. The label signed them and issued their debut long-player, Doxology, in 1995. Winning critical notice in Australia, they were invited by Rowe Productions to contribute three album tracks to Falling on Deaf Ears: Australian Metal Compilation, No. 4. By the time the band issued 1995's Tears to Dust, Rerekura and Burnell had left. Wells enlisted lead vocalist and keyboardist Clinton Johannes. His addition allowed Teramaze to introduce more progressive tenets into their sound, although thrash was still the band's primary M.O. While they played out as often as possible, Australia itself proved too small for the band to be able to pursue music as a vocation full-time. After releasing Not the Criminal, a 2001 nine-song combination live and studio EP, for CMC International, the band split. Five years later, Wells reactivated the band with Brett Rerekura returning on vocals, new drummer Julian Percy, and a rotating cast of bassists and guitarists. They issued a three-song demo in 2008 followed by Anthology on their own Jellyfish Music label. They immediately began working on a studio album that would showcase their progressive evolution, but Percy died unexpectedly in 2009. Teramaze slowly recorded their 2012 prog metal breakthrough Anhedonia, for Nightmare Records. The lineup included Wells, Rerekura, bassist Tijon Lolis, and guitarist Mathew Dawson. All of Percy's drum parts that were recorded during the writing stage were used. In support of the album's release, Teramaze toured Australia and New Zealand and played select European festivals. After a break, their personnel evolved once more. Only Wells and Rerekura remained with new recruits Dave Holley on keyboards and strings, Dean Kennedy on drums, and John Zambelis on guitars. This lineup cut 2014's Esoteric Symbolism, their best-reviewed outing to date. Its critical and commercial success helped Teramaze tour Europe.
After the tour, Rerekura left the band for a second time. He was replaced by singer Nathan Peachy. Holley and Zambelis departed as well, and bassist Luis Enrique Eguren signed on. The band was reduced to a quartet once again. This edition of Teramaze recorded 2015's Her Halo, their debut outing for the large independent metal label Music Theories Recordings (part of the Mascot Label Group). The album's sound evolved further, revealing the band at its most progressive, melodic, and lyrical. Its reception by the metal press was mostly positive, resulting in not only more and better touring opportunities, but greater sales and digital streams as well. Teramaze toured the U.S. and Asia for the first time, playing festivals and supporting bigger names. In 2017, Wells assembled yet another lineup to work on the next Teramaze album. Rerekura returned for the third time as lead vocalist. On Are We Soldiers, the band restored elements of their harder-edged sound and pushed newcomer Jonah Weingarten's keyboards up near the front of the mix. Bassist Andrew Cameron and drummer Nick Ross rounded out the roster. Issued in the fall of 2019 while the band were on tour, the set drew favorable comparisons to recordings by bands such as Pineapple Thief, TesseracT, Voyager, and Riverside. ~ Thom Jurek
ORIGINVictoria, Queensland, Australia