Temple Below - The Dark Goddess - (8.5/10)
Published on February 3, 2016
The Dark Goddess is Temple Below’s latest offering, and their first for Iron Bonehead Productions. An EP featuring twenty-six minutes of writhing and miasmic black/death metal, the German label is a fine place for this mysterious four piece to practice their craft. While Temple Below is another in a long line of mysterious acts surrounded in nothing but shadow and speculation, something the metal community seems to show a growing disdain for, the band delivers the goods in terms of destructive, occult ruminations from the abyss.
Rumored to feature members of Sweden’s prime chainsaw wielding miscreants Bestial Mockery and Chile’s primal, festering black metal trio Slaughtbbath, Temple Below channels a bit of both, yet has a sound that is undeniably their own. The band describes their music as “black magic metal of death”, and after immersing your senses in the foul, writhing blackness they present, you’ll find that to be an apt description. A barrage of blasts and crushingly thick, razor sharp trem riffs lead the charge as the vocals are deep and scraping growls, wrapped in the darkness the band promotes. That being said, the band frequently embraces the slow and pulsing traits of the first wave, with slow moving power chords and stomping percussion, which brings a primal and completely stripped down sound.
Moments of ruminating, noisy soundscapes adorn the edges of the release, offering the listener false hope of rescue from the chaotic din surrounding. These moments enhance the rabid blasting and primordial death metal, allowing its sound to grow more feral as the moments go by. The squirming, unhinged swath of destruction sound almost Lovecraftian in its dedication to horrifying the senses. The Dark Goddess is a rather crushing, heavy handed affair, but it’s potent in its delivery of black/death metal. Hopefully the band doesn’t wait another four years to unleash hell, because things are really getting interesting in the Temple Below camp.