By Kelly M. Hudson
The other day I was listening to some Power Metal and it was bright and ringing like I’d just stepped into Rivendell and Elrond himself had come to say hello. And then I put this “new” Temple Nightside record on and it was like I was plucked from those hallowed halls and thrown into the pits of Mordor, where Elves were being twisted and tortured and born anew as Goblin warriors. And in a way, that’s kind of what this album is doing, although I wouldn’t say the original recording was anywhere near bright and ringing, but this version…Jesus, it will drown you in bog of maggots with wet woolen pillows and pure malice.
Release date: Nov 1st / Label: Iron Bonehead
In 2013, Australia’s Temple Nightside released Condemnation and now, here in 2018, we get a re-recording of that effort, named now Recondemnation. The band feels no need to conform to any norm and they’ve always tread their own path, working at the fringes but with power and guts and gusto. This is the face of a corpse that’s been ripped off and sewn back on. Everything fits and works, but it’s uglier than the original, and the stench of its new layers of rot will choke you to death in seconds. This is blackened, deathly doom that sounds like it was recorded in the basement of an abandoned insane asylum. The vocals are guttural and yet still haunting because there’s a ghostly quality to them I can’t quit put my finger on. The music is grinding and muffled and very lo-fi. Lots of buzzing riffs and thudding drums and the low end is so bottomed that I’d call it sub-basement fuzz. Let’s not forget the layers of crusty atmosphere because this album lives in a land where there’s no light, just perpetual twilight. There’s slow and there’s fast and plenty of plod in-between but never once is it boring. I wouldn’t say it chugs but it definitely rolls. This isn’t an easy listen and it doesn’t go down well. I think repeated revolutions will bring out more and more of the nuances, but really, it’s so blanketed in this evil menace that it’s hard to really say for sure.
So is it worth getting? Is this worth plunking down money for if you already have the first incarnation? I can’t really say. The first one is good but I prefer this one. If you don’t have either, then this is the release to get. But if you like Condemnation, you know you’re going to go ahead and get this version for completion’s sake, so who are we kidding here? As for newcomers to this band…Well, I can’t wholeheartedly embrace Temple Nightside. They’re good at what they do and if any of the above descriptions sound like your cup of tea, than I say pour yourself a cup and take a sip. If not, then stay far away. This is the kind of music that salts the earth and kills the crops.