Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Dark Temple - Dark Temple

I suppose I could write something like; on a hazy moonlit night a dark temple slowly emerged out of the depths of the Australian terrain and beamed its ethereal melodies like a prism to all corners of the universe for all to hear.  The truth of the matter is, a couple of guys from Melbourne, one in particular named Ryan Brown on a mission to start a stoner rock band, came together to jam and within one year had recorded an incredibly decent Sci-Fi Stoner album under the name Dark Temple.

Self-titled and released on bandcamp July 22nd, Dark Temple have laced our atmosphere with their very special blend of 70’s style progressive rock, old school synthesizers all with that stoner rock vibe that I know you love. It’s spacey without being overdone, mildly apocalyptic, and more importantly full of riffs that send your brainwaves to thoughts of classic Australian rock traditions and how all these things have come together so smoothly and seamlessly.  With just five tracks, Dark Temple made a fan girl out of me.

‘Gods of the Sky’ is the opener and quickly builds into a good feeling with its marching beat and fat fuzzy bass lines that dominate the track more than actual riffs.  Brown’s vocals are friendly and easy to listen to as he introduces the interstellar beings that have landed to reign over us.  The strong, but not over powering, synthesizers are one of the biggest elements in the song and carry the track wonderfully.  One of my favorites is ‘No Return’, a groove heavy multi-component jam that forces you to come to the realization that Dark Temple know what they’re doing.  The first half of the song is catchy with easy to follows lyrics.  Then it changes into a smoky break down of slow crushing synths with vaporizing riffs and picks itself up and continues marching towards its relentless mission. 

‘False Prophets’ is the main jam on the record, the mission itself.  It’s the mothership, airborne and radiating high levels of space rock offering spiritual and musical refuge from our self-inflicted doom.  With a pleasantly pulsating rhythm it hovers and takes over like an anthem.  It finishes grounded, like the occupants have traded in their cosmic gear for motorbikes and are now heading down the highway on a Space Truckin’ enterprise.  Next is ‘Hell’s Closing In’, your favorite thanks to the no-bull-shitting-around riffs that immediately want me to crack a beer and lovingly remind myself that Bon Scott’s spirit is still with us all.  It’s the stoner rock cut on the record and is a fantastic demonstration of what Dark Temple can offer us now and in the future. 

Finally we have ‘Black Planet’, initially a dense organ heavy finale that quickly retracts the record back to where it came from; a spectacularly churning black hole of sparkling synthesizers, percussion and riffs.  Dark Temple clearly have a great time in the studio and bring the goods in peace.  I reached out to Brown who told me in the not too distant future a new EP will be recorded, meanwhile the boys will be going interstate with shows and I’m more than happy to follow their moves on Facebook. 

Dark Temple’s debut is a 32 minute ride to the stars and back.  Were it an actual strain it’d be a euphoric sativa stimulating your imagination and have you wiggling with groove.  Buy it on bandcamp.

-Miss Melissa

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