By now, TEMPLE NIGHTSIDE require little to no introduction. Begun in 2010 by mainman IV – whose experience in the fertile Australian black metal underground is vast in itself – to explore a more blackened version of ancient death metal, the band’s initially self-described “Ritualistic Death Metal Necromancy” eventually morphed into more atmospheric and more deeply cavernous shapes, culminating in 2016’s critically acclaimed The Hecatomb. But such acclaim matters not to TEMPLE NIGHTSIDE, and the now-quartet next explored their past with the foul ‘n’ fascinating Recondemnation in 2018, which was a reimagining of their 2013 Condemnation debut album.
Their vision still boundless (and boundlessly BLACK), TEMPLE NIGHTSIDE return with the all-new Pillars of Damnation. Not for nothing is it titled as such: dense foundations of eldritch dread are both built around the listener and crushed by their hulking onslaught of sepulchral decibels. It’s immediately and irrevocably TEMPLE NIGHTSIDE in their purest, most punishing form – bestial pulses evaporating into a smokestack-sized fog of frightening, palpable evil – but here rendered in a dexterously taut manner, and one even deceptively “anthemic” if you will. For where so much nowadays “cavernous death metal” slathers on lazy glazes of half-formed riff masquerading as “atmosphere,” this Oz cult instead write RIFFS and their intensity has subsequently sharpened to a stultifying degree, lending a certain clarity to that evil that’s even more intimidating. We’d be loathe to qualify this attack on Pillars of Damnation as “tighter” lest one think of popcorn-triggered “death metal,” but it does give pause for reflection on this subtle-yet-radical development. Which is to say nothing of the closing 10-minute monolith “Damnation,” which will BURY you…
In short, TEMPLE NIGHTSIDE are death metal necromancy of the highest order, more so now than ever – and forever shall they reign. Behold their Pillars of Damnation and pay fealty before your inevitable burial.
Iron Bonehead (Germany), 2020.