TEMPLE BELOW - The Dark Goddess (IRON BONEHEAD LP 2016)
I cannot believe what is going on in the extreme metal scene these days. One after another, killer bands are coming up, and there’s no week, when I am not crushed with another new stuff that causes a serious neck damage and drop a jaw with big fuckin bang. And these bands are coming from everywhere; it’s not like in the old days, when there were just few European countries plus USA in the spotlight. Now bands can even come from every country you can imagine. Here’s another name that I was not familiar before, but which recently delivered some unbelievably good death / black metal and immediately became one of my best discoveries of this year. This act is called Temple Below and is sort of Chilean / Greek alliance. We don’t know exactly who’s behind it, but I’ve read in interview for Voices from the Darkside that P. Skullshredder and D. Desecrator, both also in Slaughtbbath, are involved in Temple Below. They did one EP before “The Dark Goddess” – it was called “Dies Irae” and it was released by Blood Harvest. No idea then how did it happen I have no recollection ever seeing this EP or ever hearing anything from it. Shame, but I will try to find a copy of it one day. Now it’s “The Dark Goddess” time only and yes, this new EP is simply fantastic and sensational, in my opinion.
I like how this EP is built, with a short intro, then three truly heavy tracks and finishing with a lengthy outro, which kind of sets the mood perfectly and increases the overwhelming aura of obscurity and horrifying ritual. These intros are something that completes such music perfectly, in my opinion. Some of you may find such “Boszorkanysag; A fekete assozny arnyéka” boring, because it is 06:11 minutes long, but for me it’s good way to finish an album. The atmosphere couldn’t get more dark and morbid than that and these sounds are like a soundtrack to your journey into deep, frightening complete darkness.
As for the proper songs, Temple Below style is comfortably set between death and black metal. It’s one of those bestial sounding, vicious and obscure styles, which can be placed aside to such bands as Embrace of Thorns, Doombringer, Grave Miasma, Cruciamentum, Irkallian Oracle, Katechon and so on. But obviously the influences reach as far back as to the earliest extreme metal records, including early Morbid Angel, Necrovore and so on. The riffage is super fast, heavy and thick, it is brutal and almost chaotic, but the wall of sound that it created is just massive and it shall crush every piece of bone within you. The pace is mostly fast, but the band always knows when it’s a right time for super heavy slower part. And you can be sure that the music will always sound extremely powerful and energetic, with vocals ranging from the vicious, harsh growl to almost sort of chanting. I love the production and basically everything about “The Dark Goddess” is super awesome.
The whole concept for this album also stands out, being based on the figures of Three Goddesses of Evil. The presentation of the vinyl will simply be a feast for your eyes. The triple gatefold unfolds some amazing artwork of the Trinity, and the package includes also a small booklet with the lyrics, poster and inner sleeve. That’s enough to raise interest, but the music stands out also, so I can only recommend “The Dark Goddess”. It’s a killer release of Iron Bonehead (and Blood Harvest who released it on CD).
Standout track: “Ave Trivia Ekati” (which actually is a second song on side A, not first one on side B… at least according to the lyrics)
Final rate: 85/100