February 9, 2016

Two Way Review - Eucharist - Endarkenment 12" MLP & Temple Below - The Dark Goddess 12" MLP.

Review by Trevor Proctor.

As the year progresses the tide of first rate underground music coming our way thankfully shows no sign of abating with February set to see a host of quality music released from all corners of the globe. To help keep up with this bombardment of music I’ll be concentrating on two and maybe even three way reviews, the first of which covers two excellent releases, one from Iron Bonehead Productions and the other from Iron Bonehead Productions (12" MLP) and Blood Harvest Records. (CD)  

Eucharist - Endarkenment 12" MLP - Iron Bone head Productions.

Last November I had the pleasure of reviewing “Demise Rites” by Eucharist; a collection of demos by this mysterious Australian band that was plucked from the depths of potential obscurity by Iron Bonehead Productions for vinyl release. Demise Rites previously had a very limited run on cassette so this vinyl edition definitely brought the music of Eucharist to a much wider audience – it’s a superb collection of oppressive, blackened death metal initially released between 2011 and 2012. As you can see from my review I was very impressed with Eucharist and hoped it wouldn’t be long before they brought us further music – thankfully this has just happened…

Not to be confused with the Swedish melodic band of the same name, Australia’s Eucharist plays music anything but melodic. Just released the “Endarkenment” MLP is the first new music from Eucharist in over five years and it sees the band further expand their previous blackened death metal sound. Each side lasts just over thirteen minutes so there’s plenty of listening to get into and each  also has a separate sub-title, side A titled “Evocatis Tenebris” and side B “Rituali Mortem.” The good news is Eucharist haven’t diluted the intense sound featured on Demise Rites whatsoever, that primitive bestiality is still there but unlike a lot of bands who play bestial black/death metal, on Endarkenment Eucharist also take time to explore doomier sections. This in turn makes for a more comprehensive, varied listening experience. This is a band not to be missed and it’s very easy to recommend this MLP; if you’re a fan of the likes of Portal etc. this is just what you’re after. Their music is a fog of oppressive death metal bestiality laced with seething vocals that bring further menace to the hostile atmosphere. The music of Eucharist was perfectly summed up by the press release, “Still barbaric and disgusting, Endarkenment offers a more immersive experience, invoking ritualistic possession and nocturnal obeisance; as such, each side of the record is its own unified work, its own equally-ghastly headspace. Mystery and malignancy have become hallmarks of Eucharist, and with Endarkenment their un-comforting white web of death looms larger than ever.” 

Death metal blackness of the highest order. 9/10.

Eucharist - Endarkenment 12" MLP - Iron Bonehead Productions. 


Side A
Evocatis Tenebris: Darkness Part I and II.
Side B
Rituali Mortem: Darkness Part III and IV.

Temple Below - The Dark Goddess 12" MLP - Iron Bonehead Productions (12"MLP) and Blood Harvest Records (CD.) 

Temple Below is a pan-international entity made up of a membership of four spanning South America and Europe. Very little is known about the identity of the band members who use pseudonyms within the group, although it’s rumoured the line-up includes members from Chile’s Slaughtbbath and Sweden’s Bestial Mockery.  

Active from 2007 they released their first demo the following year followed by the “Dies Irae” EP in 2012. Similar to Eucharist, this release will mark their first new music in several years. Temple Below classifies their music as “Black Magic Metal of Death." The artwork for The Dark Goddess is a sublime tri-fold hand painting by Nekronikon and with the release being mastered by the genius that is VK this is most certainly a recipe for success. The vinyl version from Iron Bonehead Productions is now available and limited to 1000 copies – 700 on black vinyl and 300 on purple vinyl. The CD from Blood Harvest Records is available to pre-order and there will be two versions – a limited digifile edition (100) that includes an A3 poster, patch and shaped metal pin, along with a regular digifile CD that will also include the A3 poster from the MLP’s stunning artwork. Act fast if you’re looking the limited CD edition as at the time of writing there were only 15 copies remaining for pre-order – a fitting testimony to the high standard of their music.
Temple Below use effective intros to all songs featured on the MLP and first track, “May Worlds Bleed for Her Honour” sets the scene with an eerie intro laced with demonic chants and whispers. The intro soon disperses and Temple Below unreservedly launch you into their Black Magic Metal of Death. The first thing noticeable on listening is the sheer power and intensity of their sound. This sounds absolutely HUGE, the production is immense and lends itself perfectly to Temple Below’s honed and focused music. Track two “Mahavidya Cchinnamasta” is a nine minute journey and again Temple Below set the scene with an intro before piercing the atmosphere with seven magical minutes of magical black/death metal. They use this longer track length to explore and create further atmosphere, breaking around the five minute mark to further deepen and darken proceedings with more demonic chanting, using this brief lull to further enhance the intensity. Musically this is a very strong release that’s not to be missed, both the music and production play their parts extremely well – this is easily one of the best produced, best sounding releases I’ve listened to in quite a while. 
The Dark Goddess was succinctly summed up N T Birk on the press release “With four years between releases, Temple Below are not ones to rush things, and that patience to their black-magick craft pays off with The Dark Goddess: three tracks of gibbering, pulsing possession occasionally stretched to epic ends and one haunting soundscape of evil entrantment, all as it should be and in demonic harmony, altogether creating a Lovecraftian landscape of nameless horrors and eldritch energy.” 
With the pre-order for this special edition CD almost gone from Blood Harvest Records and the vinyl versions already released by Iron Bonehead Productions it’ll not take long for this to disappear, I suggest you get your act together and get your order in now… 

Outstanding 9/10.

Temple Below - The Dark Goddess 12" MLP - Iron Bonehead Productions (12"MLP) and Blood Harvest Records (CD.)


Side A - Shar-e-Khamosh:
01 - May Worlds Bleed for Her Honour
02 - Mahavidya Cchinnamasta

Side B – Nirvikalpa:
01 - Ave Trivia Ekati
02 - Boszorkányság; A fekete assozny árnyÈka.

Endarkenment by Eucharist has just been released by Iron Bonehead Productions.
The Dark Goddess by Temple Below is available for pre-order on CD from Blood Harvest Records and currently available on 12" MLP from Iron Bonehead Productions.

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