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TEMPLE NIGHTSIDE: "Prophecies of Malevolence" - 70%

skaven, January 13th, 2013

Ambient and black metal often walk hand in hand, and how could that not be true when we consider something like Temple Nightside's debut EP Prophecies of Malovelence that is so lush in atmosphere that the actual metal instrumentation gets very blurred in the highly ambient soundscape. No, this isn't the kind of beautiful black metal ambient á la ColdWorld or Vinterriket, this is something from the depths of the underworld where all sinister resides.

Lo-fi production, richly atmospheric sound and utter evilness isn't, however, a new thing to many of these late Australian black metal groups that the country has spawned lately, such as Atra and Ill Omen – the latter project being responsible of Temple Nightside as well. The only major difference between those acts and Temple Nightside is that this is a more deathened effort: although I'd say this is still prominently black metal with all the tremolo work and discordant pluckings, the vocal pitch is way lower, resulting in some sort of whispered grunts, plus there's plenty of death metal esque, palm muted riffing within the mix.

But I do not believe that any review of Prophecies of Malevolence should focus solely on the metal because around half of the EP's length comprises the harrowing, droning ambient. It's harsh and distant as the other tracks, and very evocative and malignant. It's rare to come by this well done 'interludes' but these Australians are definitely on the right track when it comes good blackened ambient.

27 minutes pass fast, but in a way it is only good that the EP isn't prolonged. This is just about the right length for a style in which the musical style doesn't much vary and where the echoing, blurry sound might dull the listener after a half an hour. Adorned with a great looking cover art, I find Prophecies of Malevolence a worthy experience. It is not quite extraordinary, as there's not much personality in the actual riffs, but any fan of deep atmosphere in their evil black metal better check this one out.

3.5 / 5
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