One decade since the band’s inauguration, Australia’s blackened death metal formation Temple Nightside presents its fourth studio album ‘Pillars of Damnation‘ released via Iron Bonehead Productions. Musically the newest album feels more concise and offers a slew of murky atmosphere of cavernous death metal. Yet Temple Nightside continue to build their sound without straying from the obscure standards of modern death metal. With these sonic transitions they incorporate into the thick territories, they set up condensed layers of guitar riffs and deep guttural reverberations. From the first opening track ‘Contagion of Heresy‘ the listener will begin to grasp the changes from the off-speed paces to crushing motions. As the major change in song direction, this album brings a fine degree of brutality that clearly shows the whole sound has somehow departed from the slow oozing sections. These noticeable changes are boasted with the ability to interact with blazing riffs. Many riffs the band wields have so much weight in them.
The newer songs are fired up at tremendous drum paces as they pitch into many fast tempos. The transition between these paces is characterized by the effect of rhythm guitars that manage to approach the ghostly atmosphere of primordial death metal. ‘Death Eucharist‘ for example throws these qualities into song structure and they seem to imply more cavernous and murky pitches.
‘Pillars of Damnation‘ particularly modulates song structure from its core therefore the newest album differentiates its craft from its predecessors. While not entirely, the band keep a steady balance between the cavernous style of death metal and often focus on the tonality of black metal. The band combines their music with the elements of the first wave of black metal as you will hear some direct influences from early Beherit. Guitar arrangements feature many tremolo sections and they are remarkably strengthened by the powerful riffs that keep flowing like molten lava.
Temple Nightside plunges into the deep dense reverberations with obscure tracks such as ‘Morose Triumphalis‘. The listener will immediately be drawn to overwhelming blasts beats. The foggy production of the album provides great depth to the songs and reveals the harsh tonality of black metal. While other tracks like ‘The Carrion Veil‘ are slightly slower than previous ones, Temple Nightside manage to achieve a multi-dimensional sound. The aural elements on this track mainly interrelate with the band’s early principles of a densely packed atmosphere. The focus on slower moments is also brought by varieties of sepulchral tones of the growls. Whereas ‘Wreathed in Agony‘ is driven by fast blast beats and hammering drums ‘Pillars of Damnation‘ is mainly dense but somewhat skewed towards fast sections. The vocals are configured in a way that they become somehow pushed to the foreground.
Although there isn’t much change from the previous albums Temple Nightside pursues to expand their music to newer heights. ‘Blood Cathedral‘ transitions smoothly into sheer brutality for the most part of this track. Guitars generate a massive amount of fiery riffs. The band display some interesting range of cavernous death metal by adding an unwavering atmosphere. ‘Pillars of Damnation‘ is dark and brooding at times, especially during slower sections. The album displays a convincing interpretation of style with full energy being blasted by drums. These frequently alter between death and black metal. Most of the tracks are provided by the brutal tone of the guitars that match the effect of the growls.
‘In Absentia‘ sounds more or less like the previous entry without adding any variation. Temple Nightside churn out a bleak and dense atmosphere by adding menacing tones of inhuman growls. The final track is perhaps the most varied song on the whole album. ‘Damnation‘ presents a sophisticated blend of death/doom as it focuses on slower tempos. This monolithic doom-laden track descends slowly into deep darkness.
While maintaining the overall quality throughout the album Temple Nightside emphasizes the brooding tone with spoken words ghastly uttered. The guitars imbue the song texture with a gloomy sense of mystery. ‘Pillars of Damnation‘ is likely to attract fans of Grave Upheaval, Grave Miasma, and Incantation. If you like cavernous death metal with an extra dose of blackened death metal then look no further!
Release Date: August 7th, 2020
Label: Iron Bonehead Productions
- Contagion of Heresy
- Death Eucharist
- Morose Triumphalis
- The Carrion Veil
- Wreathed in Agony
- Blood Cathedral
- In Absentia