From unimaginable and terrifying depths emerges the debut full length by Australian Black/Death metal outfit, Temple Nightside. While the band remains rather obscure they’ve put out two prior releases. The first of these releases was the “Prophecies of Malevolence” MLP followed shortly by a split with the much praised Antediluvian.
Mixed by none other than VK of New Zealand’s juggernaut, Vassafor, who also makes an appearance on lead guitars for the song “Dagger of Necromantic Decay…” Several other noteworthy appearances include ‘B.’ of Grave Upheaval on guest vocals for the track “Ascension of Decaying Forms” and the by now obvious cover art by Haasiophis of Antediluvian.
The scope of this album is monumental. I must say I had been anticipating this release for quite awhile now. I can also say it far exceeds my expectations. Those familiar with previous work by Temple Nightside should have a general idea of what to expect. Heed these words however; Temple Nightside has taken things to even further extremes with “Condemnation.” It feels as if the MLP and the Antediluvian split were simply harbingers of this monstrous work.
IV’s vocal style is evocative of the vocals that were present on Demoncy’s “Joined in Darkness” and earlier Beherit. Even some of the riffs at time seem to carry a similar sound. Though the resemblance can be almost unmistakable at times I think that “Condemnation” carries its own distinct vibe. The droning guitars compliment the vocal style so well but I did have to make some minor adjustments to my speakers in order to get a better sound from the drums. This is not a major issue as it’s possible my speaker settings may have been set improperly for the album.
There are two ambient pieces. The first is right at the midpoint with the second being right before the epic closing track, “Miasma.” The ambient pieces are outstanding. While the music itself is the lifeblood of the album the ambient tracks are still some of the best I’ve heard and collectively manage to conjure an atmosphere unlike anything heard within recent years.
“Dagger of Necromantic Decay (Eater of Hearts)” is one of the tracks that stood out the most to me. For the first minute and a half or so it crawls at a slow doom ridden pace. It continues to build up steam until around the 3-minute mark before collapsing into a sea of fiery pandemonium. While it rushes forward with sheer intensity it doesn’t throw away the atmosphere it took the time to build either. As stated before, the instrumentals move up and down quite often. It’s neither a fast album nor a slow album in its entirety but instead a perfect balance and execution of both.
“Condemnation” emanates desolate vibes and horrifying vocals backed by nothing short of earth shattering instrumentals. This album is another Dark Descent essential.