Here) as well as getting expressions of appreciation from web and fans for their self-produced debut 2011 demo. The 2011 Demo neatly, or I should say, filthily depicted the style of this band devoted to some occult and tortured, hellish and suffering, in any case very heavy and sick, funereal blackened sludge doom metal blend deeply inspired by Celtic Frost, some SunnO))) and Hell maybe, as well as HP Lovecraft. I may be wrong but it seems to me that there is a, let’s say, “new wave” of very gloomy Italian doom-inspired metal that has been somehow building up as of late by a circle of nasty italian bands and musicians. This trend is like a black blood-filled menacing stream flowing side by side with the groove-laden, and definitely more mellow, psychedelic desert/stoner-doom river in the lively, braided Italian undeground scene. Black Temple Below are definitely part of this circle of Italian gloomy bands to which nasty lady-fronted SaturninE and the newly converted doom band Fuoco Fatuo belong.
Beside the common passion for heaviness, darkness, distortion, the filthiest roars and the darkest possible sounds and atmospheres, a common link, and possible a dark, valuable source of inspiration, is experimental multi-instrumentalist Adam van Maledict a.k.a. Adamennon. Adamennon is involved in this awesome stream of darkness either as musician or as sound magician in his recording/mastering laboratory SFR Studio located in the mountains in Central Italy. SFR Studio is actually becoming a reference for a growing number of bands which want to impart a certain, chilling “old” raw sound to their releases, and where rawness is not meaning poor managing of sound but the result of a skillful elaboration aiming to pristine metal sounds taking you back in the 80’s/early 90’s. Black Temple Below’s line-up includes Ipsissimus Magister on vocals/invocations, Sectarian Of The Sewer Realm on guitar/vocals, Sieg Julli Tenebrarum on drums and Brother Humbler on bass in the demo, further replaced by Adam Van Maledict on bass in addition to his performances with synths/noise & ambience. In addition to Adam’s musical background, the other band’s members are related to cult underground entities like the death metal/crust act Cancer Spreading and the grindcore act Jesus Ain't in Poland, among others.
Black Temple Below’s substantial 2011 demo was out as limited to 66 copies in early 2011. Some fine DIY skills were involved in a new self-produced release, called Promo MMXII, that the band shared on Bandcamp since July 2012.
The new output includes 9 tracks, three of which are re-recorded and remastered versions of tracks from the 2011 demo (The Feast of Eihort, Rise of the Putrid Moon and Lysergic Sacred Dimension). Four tracksof the new release are bound to be part of the split with Fuoco Fatuo (just shared on Bandcamp). Another split is expected with SaturninE. Raw, sinister, distorted, slow, killer riffs, equally indebted to both Black Sabbath and Celtic Frost for the load of groove and darkness, are going to assault you from the very first seconds of this collection of tunes. The viscous dark riffage and Ipsissimus Magister’s impressive filthy growl sound as if they were seeping through the stones of an old tomb, whereas the production often renders the drums and cymbals as if sharply bitten inside an echoing cave. Try these great effects, for example, in the opening track, Nocturnal Congregation Through Forgotten Woods, or in the splendid funereal ballad Morbid Dreams Of The Unknown.
Adamennon’s direct input is not limited to the pulsating and deeply distorted bass lines. Adam also provided some highly atmospheric and quite uncomfortable black ambient/electronic passages both as intervals into the tracks and as independent tracks, e.g. Desperate Restless Souls and Magnum Innominandum. He should also be behind the occasional steering of the band towards funeral doom as well as in some contamination with extreme dark progressive, like for example in the onset of the track Morbid Dreams Of The Unknown. The three remastered old tracks from the previous demo remind of the relatively more dynamic and groovy version of the sound by the band. There an explosive combination of tight and extremely heavy riffing and overly sick growls get periodically accelerated with the effect of a huge mass of boiling mud suddenly sliding downslope (and you are right downhill …). In spite of being slightly more funeral doom-oriented in the new release, the band did not dismiss the use of those impressive accelerations. Tracks like Under the Pyramids and the suite Pentagram Burning On The Master's Throne are devastating. Such powerful “slow” accelerations make a cool contrast with the occult, almost ritualistic development of the funeral doom parts, where even the insane dull growls contribute to the sick hallucinating atmospheres instead of disrupting them.
The vocal parts in this band are impressive and dreadful, loaded with human pain but so furious and deep that sound hardly human. In Black Temple Below singer Ipsissimus Magister gets the best out of his experience with cult band Cancer Spreading. However it is the coupling of Ipsissimus’ fierce bestial inging style with the suffocating ambience created by heaviest groove-laden sludge/doom poisoned by raw black metal and calibrated use of blackened ambient drone/prog electronics that makes Black Temple Below’s style quite original and infectious like a mortal virus. The best thing to do is to get hold of the digital version of the 2011 Demo from Bandcamp or, even better, from the few copies left (if any) of the demo directly from the band, go into it, and then plunge into the nightmare with the tracks of the new Promo MMXII with the aid of Bandcamp only, while the band is looking for a label for decently releasing such sick stuff. And, for those who have the chance, catch the band in a live exhibition ...
SaturninE, Black Temple Below, Fuoco Fatuo, … and Adamennon’s darkening mantle … watch out, something obscure, vicious, slow and sickening is growing in the rotten bell of sunny Italy! And it is so disgustingly cool …
Words: Marilena Moroni
Link to the 2011 Demo on Bandcamp: