Temples Of Transcendent Evolution
Siege Of Amida
7 February 2011
by Tom Dare
Ageless Oblivion are it. This is what makes metal great. This is the sound of a band emerging from the shadows and kicking the unholy shit out of everything in its path. This is a band willing to do new things, to take risks. That the result is as buttock-clenchingly brilliant as Temples Of Transcendent Evolution is just reward for one of the best new bands these shores have seen in fuck-knows how long.
Ageless Oblivion’s sound is an unusual blend. The songs progress through different moods of violence, sprinkled with some softer moments of hideous evil that Jason Mendonca would be proud of. Technicality and out-and-out brutality mix in a thunderous brew that totally avoids the chin-stroking realm of the impressive but uninspiring. That riff you just heard may have tied the fingers of most guitarists in knots, but it doesn’t for so much as a second sound like an attempt to show off- they’re too busy trying to smash your teeth in to worry about what you think of their chops.
What propels Temples… beyond the merely very good and into the excellent is the addition of slabs of crushing, Neurosis-inspired atmospherics. At moments you least expect, the barbaric assault fades away and a gaping void of distortion opens up before you punctuated by doom-laden riffs of gargantuan heaviness, and at the point you are beginning to cope with the sheer weight of the fucking thing, the brutality kicks back in and snaps your head back on your shoulders.
The superb clarity of the production leaves absolutely nowhere to hide from this relentless attack without sacrificing an ounce of the grit and dirt this kind of destruction demands. Temples… should (and does) scare you witless and leave you thoroughly battered, bruised and buggered, dumping you in the detritus as quickly as it picked you up. The cathartic monstrosity that closes proceedings provides a stupendous climax is the most satisfying of endings, not lessening the impact of what came before in the slightest but making the experience one you can survive- and more importantly, want to repeat.
British death metal may have been strengthening rapidly over the last few years, but this represents a new high-water mark, and it is done with a thoroughly modern flair. You haven’t heard an album like this before, and it’s a fucking long time since you heard one this good too. A cataclysmic soundtrack to the end of days, Temples… propels you violently across its landscape, compelling you with a belligerent hostility that a pathetic number of their peers could even vaguely fantasise about creating. For all its ferocity and total absence of fucking around, there is a surprising complexity and intelligence underneath.
Sounds like: Nile, Akercocke, Cult Of Luna
Top tracks: Reclamation, Unhallowed Domain, Temples
Ageless Oblivion – Temples Of Transcendent Evolution tracklisting:
Time Of The Empty Throne
Drone Of The Nychomist