Many bands from the underground never make it as far as the cemetery gates. So, trust Iron Bonehead Productions to choose what’s good from what’s not, and you’ll find that you’ll be playing some worthwhile music more often. Iron Bonehead Productions issues another release worth plunging into the doldrums, with Temple Below’s The Dark Goddess.
Temple Below is a mysterious entity part Greek, part Chilean. What they are is one hundred percent Cvlt Nation certified good. They are rumored to be comprised of bands Slaughtbbath and Bestial Mockery, which are two respected underground acts. Temple Below has only released two EPs and a demo, and the band is an obvious outlet for blackened death metal and a dose of experimentation. The first track has ambient music to start things off, then the band end proceedings with some experimental noise, both of which are dark and hypnotic. Fans of blackened death metal will definitely like tracks one to three. The noise track leaves some substance to be desired, playing for over six minutes worth of a ride into the darkside.
The EP is a ritualesque celebration. Think underground heathens paying tribute to Satan. It’s not quite a temple full of Buddhists experiencing some mystical rapture. Whatever inspiration has dawned upon the band members is perhaps hinted in the album cover. Who exactly is The Dark Goddess? That identity sees fitting tribute in the form of dark mystical music not quite as blatantly commercial as that of most mainstream bands.
So, some of you underground crusaders might like a trip into a cavern, or a subterrenean archeological site to find some fitting venue for The Dark Goddess. Those of you who can’t venture further than your own bedroom can listen to this fine music on analog, turn the lights out, and send the heavy, blackened riffs crawling through the house looking for an exit. Really, what’s a record store full of pop albums when you can order your records from a creditable source? Track three, “Ave Trivia Ekati,” wins for best riff to start off the song. Track one, “May Worlds Bleed For Her Honour,” wins best highlight track. Track two, “Mahavidya Cchinnamasta,” is opened by what sounds like Central Asian-inspired instrumental music. There’re even some dripping water samples if you’ve ever liked those sound effects.
Temple Below doesn’t blast end-to-end. The vocals can sound quite bestial, and there are plenty of hoarse whispers to start tracks two and three. The guitar tone will sound familiar for most fans of blackened death metal, sounding downtuned all while having a razor’s edge sharpness to the tremolo riffs. The vocals need some deciphering, but the undertaking is made easy by the vocalist’s chanting harmoniously to the riffs. There’s a live drummer on record, and that is always a plus for fans of live drums. As expected, the cymbal crashes resonate much more than the snare and bass drums do, which isn’t altogether a bad thing for fans of necro production.
So, I don’t seek to challenge Cvlt Nation readers with arguments over what’s more kvlt. I won’t waste your time. All I’ll tell you is that the underground is where it’s at, and Iron Bonehead Productions can’t get much better at screening what’s what. Adventure seekers might want to spend their flexible spending account money on hospital procedures, but those few who dare to decipher underground records for the pleasure of it should tune in to this for some obscure music worth the money and attention. Acquire this album, find a dark clearing in the woods and may The Dark Goddess be with you.