sabato 22 ottobre 2016

Temple Nightside - "The Hecatomb" (Iron Bonehead Productions, 2016)

Band: Temple Nightside
Title: The Hecatomb
Genre: Black/Death/Doom metal
Year: 2016
Time: 42 min
Rating: 85/100

You can read the review (in Italian) about the "Call of the Maelstrom" split through the following link:

One year ago I met a terrifying Australian band: Temple Nightside. The occasion was their split “Call of the Maelstrom” with the New Zealand veterans Vassafor, a band very similar to the Temple Nightside but playing the same style in a different way. That time I was surprised by the tremendous oppressive aura of the Temple Nightside’s music, weighted by a very dark production. But now the band returns not with another split but directly with their second album, “The Hecatomb” (like the homonym Ancient Greek ritual based on the animals’ sacrifice to honour the Gods), released by the German label Iron Bonehead Productions on 5th August 2016, so in full Summer. But I decided to listen to it only now, in full Autumn!

“The Hecatomb”, whose magnificent cover artwork was made by Daniel Corcuera aka Desecrator (also in the fantastic Slaughtbbath from Chile), confirms the Temple Nightside like a band able to emanate a very malign and oppressive aura. In this case, they have spewed forth 6 long tracks plus 3 totally atmospheric and ambient episodes (these ones have all the subtitle “Commune”) that can lasts also only 23 seconds (“Ossuary (Commune 3.1)”) so to give a little breath to the listeners.
In fact, Temple Nightside plays a claustrophobic black/death/doom metal à la Irkallian Oracle giving a big importance to the (ultra)-slow tempos, as showed by songs especially like “Within the Arms of Nothingness” and, above all, the conclusive “Charnel Winds”, 9 minutes of a tortured and dark funeral doom characterized by a riffing more “melodic” than the usual. Instead, songs like “Adrift in Sepulchral Entropy”  shows the more violent and bestial black/death metal side of the band presenting a riffing closer to Black Witchery and the likes. But, of course, Temple Nightside don’t prefer the pure frontal impact, but the atmosphere.

By the way, it is a kind of atmosphere not only oppressive but also incredibly ritualistic. This is due mainly to various elements of Temple Nightside’s music like: the mantric clean vocals here and there (you can listen to them already with the opening track “Graven”) but the main vocals are very  horrifying spectral growls alternated also with some malevolent whispers; the gloomy and minimalistic (often majestic and purely black metal like in “Within the Arms of Nothingness”) riffing very close to Demoncy of “Joined in Darkness” while other times it’s closer to the darker Beherit of “Drawing Down the Moon” with some noisy or atmospheric guitar solos; and the often tribal drums in occult ritual-style of drummer Mordance. In short, it is not a case that Temple Nightside dubs their music like “Ritualistic Death Metal Necromancy”!
My conclusion is that “The Hecatomb” is an infernal journey that sucks you in an abyss with no return, especially if you aren’t not prepared for a music of this kind. But, sure, it is an album very difficult to digest, so I advise that you must listen to it slowly, if not you can lose some important details. And this is an album full of details, also because Temple Nightside are now a sort of superband composed by some famous names of the more extreme metal scene of Oceania considering that, for example, the new entry V. Kusabs comes from the aforementioned Vassafor, BR from the absurd Grave Upheaval while IV is the mastermind of Ill Omen. For the rest, Temple Nightside have recently released for Nuclear War Now! Productions a 6 bands-split to honour the now defunct dark ambient/Industrial Swedish label Cold Meat Industry.

1 – Graven
2 – Adrift in Sepulchral Entropy
3 – Ossuary (Commune 3.1)
4 – Fortress of Burden and Distress
5 – The Muderous Victor (Commune 3.2)
6 – Within the Arms of Nothingness
7 – Tempest
8 – Burial Adoration (Commune 3.3)
9 - Charnel Winds

IV – vocals/guitars/bass
BR – guitars
V. Kusabs – bass
Mordance – drums

Iron Bonehead Productions:

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