Seven! Sirens! To A Lost Archetype by Temple Koludra
As heavy, intense, and seemingly yet unfortunately sometimes truthfully; exclusive, as metal and its unholy sibling subgenres of the more extreme nature tend to be, a band like Temple Koludra come along to once again prove just the opposite is true. Metal at its core is, if not it should be, inclusive. Metal has always brought communities, cultures, races, sexual orientations, and backgrounds together while celebrating it with utmost passion and fury. More importantly, those ideas and feelings are expressed whilst having a damn good and therapeutic time during the process Calling for a celebration, although the celebration may be that of apparitions and severed limb ritual processes; the intent is pure and the music speaks for itself - it is amazing. A band from Germany playing a genuinely unique blend of atmospheric black metal? Color me intrigued. The “concept” driving the band is that of ancient Indian civilizations and all the madness that comes along with that, and rest assured there’s more than plenty of it, all of which are brought to light in the triumphant music and sacred yet profane lyricism. Not to mention, more than a few of other-worldly instruments are used beautifully to spice up life a little bit more. Now, that’s more intriguing than most things I’ve come across in recent western history, let alone extreme metal records. Speaking of, ;eave it to one of the most special underground record labels to unleash this ancient curse upon us, Transcending Obscurity; whom do nothing short of a phenomenal job choosing their releases and I couldn’t think of a better fit in their diverse roster than this. In a world full of instant music and media seeping from the overwhelming & bubbling- over underground, records that truly stand out with a concept, purpose, and something to say are either rarer than I like my humans cooked or simply lost in the polluted shuffle. That is why a record like this, a purposefully constructed tribal ritual celebration and an ode to a fascinatingly haunting culture, is of the utmost importance… and is one I simply couldn’t resist, almost as if I was under some sort of spell. Just maybe I am… Further proving the point that metal is blind to color, and culture as Temple of Koludra is orchestrated by one main composer hailing from Germany (hence white), only known as the haunting “M.W.” whom pays powerful respects to and serve the apparitions of primal Indian civilizations via blistering blackened death metal. Ah, yes, the fact that this is essentially a solo-project does admittedly enhance the music and it’s powerful metaphor, celebrating ancient cultures in the coolest of ways perhaps with a metamorphosis-inducing extreme metal record like Seven! Sirens! To A Lost Archetype, but the true art lies within the artist whom so happens to have a burning obsession with Indian mythology and spirituality; whom also so happens to let his passions shine - or uh - burn in the darkness as a celebration of heavy metal. Perhaps way more importantly, it aims at a deeper purpose echoed through these ideologies that is creation of a connection, a portal, be it a necromantic ritual or otherwise. A connection from the music to the listener, absolutely, but it is far deeper than that if you will allow it to be. Attempting to spawn a connection to our current post-modern and ironic spirits to the raw, intense, nature-equalizing, blood-drinking and flesh-ripping, primal one the we all have buried within our souls. Hence, the “lost archetype” buried within the obtuse title of this record. And if you think that’s deep just WAIT. Not only is that what she said but if you think that sounds heavy (figuratively and literally) uh, you’re right. Both times. So stick around… you might just learn a thing or 3 from this as well. Anyway, enough with all the metaphysical philosophy school shit for now. Let’s talk about RIFFS.
Temple Koludra at their core are a black metal band, and a pretty traditional one at that. Read: old school influenced at their core, and awesome. Excuse me while I carefully trot around the terms experimental, ambient, and/or atmospheric, as it really sounds like nothing else that those terms bring to mind - as this is truly a musical journey through darkness, magic, history, mythology, exploration of unknown cultures, and sonic fusion of the music associated with it. A truly epic endeavor into uncharted sonic depths.. and I still can’t decide wether it’s appropriate to blast this in an unknown cave at the witching hour inviting all the bats and hieroglyphics to dance in the moonlight, at a tropical location in the jungle snorting fire ants like Ozzy (shirt off of course) and/or excavating treasury. Ah, i’ll just keep it spinning in The Crypt, thinking about the true purpose of life and the spiritual reams and beings beyond our own vision or control. Nonetheless, any music that invokes all of those feelings simultaneously has more than done its job in my book. REGARDLESS, anyway, yeah, RIFFS! There is no shortage of them, but this is a record that goes far beyond the shredding. These are the sounds of a tomb-tight, experienced band of which builds their epic sound upon a base that is strong as the Mayan structures themselves ; and they can rip traditional extreme metal as they they chief a warriors pipe without batting their blood & warpaint covered eyelashes. Only then do they call in the artillery which are layered with pipes, bongos, horns, skull rattlings, and whatever tribal instruments they could dig up.. make this a band a lost gem amongst a sea of gold imitations. Having that solid base, songwriting ability, and musicianship is probably due to the fact that members in this band are experienced in their own endeavors with the master songwriter at helm. Their forces come together to produce savage melodic fury… AND what I believe separates the good “new” / “experimental” bands from ones that are simply “eh.” You can only dress up a song or drench it in your selected gimmick so much before any listener’s senses become less convoluted, and the music speaks for itself. If I may quote my father Mr. Alice Cooper, you can’t put makeup on record. It doesn’t make two shits of a difference at the end of the day how cool you look, how unique your concept is, or how interesting that choice of said flute is layered amongst death metal blast beats (but is is though), the music speaks for itself. In this particular instances, this music fucking rules.
A sea of complex arrangements, letting the howling winds and glowing moon force the tide of grandiose tempo changes set amongst shamanic-poetic lyricism & thundering black metal tone is your guide on this journey through the most twisted of temples. Opening up the metric ton stone doors to this ancient artifact is “Trimunti.” Not only the title of a killer opening track but for those not so privy to eastern religion, that refers only to the trilogy of Hindu gods; one of each representing creation, maintenance, and destruction. King Ghidorah style. Or something like that. I literally lift weights for a living so bear with me motherfuckers. If by chance I’m not mistaken, this 9 minute jingle dabbles in light thematic elements such as detailing a necromantic rebirth via dance ritual, laid down over simply breathtaking instrumentation. Juxtaposed to it only is “Vaja” which appropriately is an instrumental number (and is insidiously becoming my favorite track on the entire record) that goes balls-to-the-actual-pyramid-wall with the greatest of hypnotic drum patterns that are as if a black magic induced rain dance is being performed on the cymbals, heavy riff work, bumping bass, set amongst cavernous howls, tribal strings reminiscent of a cello, gongs, and certainly a host of other elements that mere mortals are not smart enough to pick up on. Point being, it is a masterwork. But.. can the rest of the album hold up without sounding more of the same?
Seven sirens, seven tracks. They all pull on the proverbial limbs of this lost archetype with a different vision, focus, and intent; and they all call to a unique primal urge within the chaotic creative consciousness. Temple of Koludra continue to provide a dose of teeth-spitting black metal savagery balanced with infectiously orchestrated exotic instrumentation that gives each song its own purpose or identity, while all relating back to it’s core message; all with a sick production, I may add. As threatening as the metal moments can feel and transient as the droning riffs, chants, and seer on a mountain-style-plucking at strings and firing up the flute type vibes can be; their true strength lies in the music’s balance. Which could be another metaphor for life in spirituality totally but we’ll avoid that can of woke worms for now. Woke Worms is a good name for a magazine or band something why don’t you remember that one for me alright sweet thank you. The mid-tempo is where Koludra’s ancient magic lies, the ability to restrain and adequately articulate one’s power reveals true power, Young Skywalkers. Their ability to lock into perfect grooves and use the crazy instrumentation as only to serve and highlight the core song, not oversaturate it, is key to the value of the record. Along with lyrics such as “cutting my deaf ears and hush the sirens of plethora, absorbing my smell and vanquish this, fetid lies stabbing my blind eyes and the truth of the third expands and grows..” amongst the slower paced and slightly mediative metal is also quite delectable. SO, going back to my original proposition… will the music begin to sound winded by the end of 7 daunting compositions? That was a semi-smart long-winded attempt to say not in the absolute slightest. From the opening chants, through the Gnostic Mass quotes (I’ll leave it to you to find that one) and ritual visions… through the spheres of ancient magic and rapture, to the closing hymns and wailing guitars… Seven! Sirens! To A Lost Archetype is a record the ancient spirits will fondly approve of. And probably blast throughout their cosmic afterlife bangers.
Well, that may have been a little more intensive content than the usual boobs, gore, and guillotines found within the crypt.. but we all need a little does of cultural education and spirituality every now and again, don’t we? Isn’t metal education FUCKING FUN? If I am the only one who learned about British literature from Iron Maiden PLEASE. Especially when said education comes in the form of beautiful black metal like this. It’s all for the children. Blast this record, crush the weights, fuck up some yoga, incite an Indic war dance around your suburban neighborhood; You won’t be sorry. Thanks again to Transcending Obscurity for their content and allowing us to give this a review. It was fun.
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Gym Rating: 5/5