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Heavy Temple - Chassit Award winner

Heavy Temple
by Lauren Fonto at 22 February 2017, 11:04 PM

This mysterious bunch of doom merchants draw inspiration from the “Dark Tower” series by Stephen King on “Chassit”, their latest EP. Swirling atmosphere and soul-aching vocals transport the listener to another realm. Fuzzy blues, psychedelic rock and space rock are the other ingredients in this offering.

The band is fronted by the talented High Priestess NightHawk, who gives a superb vocal performance. On “Key and Bone”, she produces mysterious, wraithlike vocals, and there are some interesting vocal counter-melodies as well.  NightHawk is powerful on “Ursa Machina”, and soars on “Pink Glass”. She makes an impact whether in soft or harder territory. And on the final track “In the Court of the Bastard King”, subtle vocal harmonies add to the creepy feel of the song.

NightHawk joins drummer Siren Tempestas in creating a rock-solid rhythm section. The low end is satisfyingly thick, and Tempestas’ drumming is solid enough to ground the at-times meandering guitar riffs while still remaining interesting. I particularly enjoyed the drum fills on “Key and Bone”, as well as those on “Pink Glass”. The bassline on “In the Court of the Bastard King” is catchy, and mixed in just the right spot. I’d say the same about the mixing of the drum parts; they’re crisp without being overwhelming.

Arch Bishop Barghest produces fuzzy blues-like riffs that work well. Fuzzed-out blues has been done before, but Barghest – and the rest of the band – manage to keep things fresh and entertaining.  He does the sludgy, doomy notes well, which are balanced by faster passages. The faster section in “Ursa Machina” has an irresistible groove which got my head banging. Supple riffs weave in between the lower-pitched counter-melodies on “Pink Glass”. The quiet interlude of introspective riffs, interspersed with wah-wah-drenched ringing notes here and there, adds a counterbalance to the heavy sections. The faraway solo on “In the Court of the Bastard King” end the EP on a euphoric note.

“Chassit” is a powerful offering from HEAVY TEMPLE. This is a literary concept without pretension, and psychedelia without getting lost in a haze of musical tangents. And of course this is doom metal with enough heaviness to satisfy established fans, and enough musical textures to engage those who might usually shy away from the genre.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9


4 Star Rating

1. Key and Bone
2. Ursa Machina
3. Pink Glass
4. In the Court of the Bastard King
Siren Tempestas – Drums
Arch Bishop Barghest – Guitars
High Priestess NightHawk – Bass, vocals 
Record Label: Tridroid Records


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Edited 08 June 2023

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