Special thanks to Carcassbomb (of ye olde Noob Heavy and Black Lodge PR) for the words! If you're looking for top-notch music writing, I highly recommend adding Noob Heavy to your blog rotation. You should also check out Black Lodge PR if you need, well, PR (the sheer quality of which I'll happily vouch for!) - Ed.
Guest post written by: Carcassbomb
Australia has been coming in strong lately with bands under the genre tag “dark metal,” which is well suited here with a sound that is difficult to nail down, it takes a bit of everything with the emphasis on darkness. Be that a brooding kind of darkness or menacing darkness depends on the album, but with Spire there’s a perfect balance of both. This is my introduction to the band and it left quite the impression!
A pleasurable barrage of doomy genre-hopping can be found on Temple of Khronos. They have a powerful way of building up to really epic moments that come with a lot of added flourish. There’s a great black metal influence with shrieking that reminds me of Silencer as well as growls on the doom end of the death spectrum--both of which blend in well with the clean variations of singing and BIG HUMMMMS. There’s a lot of thickness to the overall production, utilizing vocal modulation and repetition to great effect. The density could be compared to fellow Australian’s Portal or more recent, The Amenta, and the BIG HUMMMMS might sound freshly familiar to those who dug into that Sutrah EP last year.
I love the guitar tones on the track “Hymn 1 – Tyrant”, it’s really moody but it doesn’t have a sense of dwelling, it’s a very motivated constantly progressing kind of melancholy. The vocal performances really drive the point home hard with strong energetic lyrical deliveries. Moments like “Dictator!” and following it up with throat singing chanting of “Absolute tyrant/Absolute dark” are very impactful. I love this track. The rest of the album packs just as much of a punch but as the real opening track of the album it absolutely sets up the right expectations. When the music ramps up, the lyrics and vocals pay off in a huge way, there’s always a satisfying stand out moment on each track.
The vibe is often very hostile despite the melodious nature and cleaner singing elements, towards whom the hostility is pointed is not always clear as I cannot find lyrics, but I can definitely hear good old fashion black metal blasphemy and a sense of being at odds with the religious establishment. The way this aggression is presented is palpable, it’s like those good bits of beef in a stew that you really appreciate amongst the veggie water. It’s not a constant hammering like in a lot of black or death metal, it rears its head in the mist of a sprawling sonic miasma. I’m assuming the album title is a reference to Chronos which may be a good place to start googling for more insight into the philosophical nature of the themes.
I know I’ve basically only mentioned the vocals here but fuck, it's powerful stuff. I often get the “stink face” seal of approval listening to dumb riffs or a blast beat but on this occasion, I experienced being floored by the vocal majesty on this album. The guitars and drums on this are great too, they serve their duty to the music admirably and ensure there are no weak moments across the record.
Pick it up and give your ears a good pricking.
Spire - Temple of Khronos was released Feb. 19th, 2021 via Sentient Ruin Laboratories (Worldwide) & Brilliant Emperor Records (AUS/NZ)
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!