Dark Meditation, Polluted Temples (Satanik Royalty Records 2022)

Polluted Temples is the perfect title for the new Dark Meditation album as it takes no prisoners and preserves no icons.

Seattle metal mongers Dark Meditation started their band in 2019. They released a demo that year and a second the following year. Polluted Temples is their first full-length album. The band is J. W. Mullett (bass), Will Klintberg (drums), Rane (guitar), Ian (guitar, Synth), and A. D. Vick (vocals).

There is an intro piece and nine tracks on the new album. “Babalon.Money.Magick” gets the show going with a catchy rolling riff and medium-coarse vocals walking together on a city street that seems to be changing into something else as the song goes along. The twin guitar leads has superb punches and nice overlaps. This is a mid-tempo warm-up. “Haunt Of Fear” follows and it is more severe, more pressing.

“Strange Caress (Of The Night)” takes a different chop at heavy – the opening salvo reminded me a touch of Thin Lizzy but departed after that toward a pseudo-melodic Misfits-inspired pugilism. And then “Masters Coil” is off in a slightly different direction, more solemn and darkly yearning.

There are flat-out dashes like “The Howling Wild,” and more measured and reflective tracks such as “Nocturnal Forever.” It all comes to a close with the title track, a brooding tale of woe that casts doubt on our understanding of ourselves. Surprisingly sentimental, the final song unerringly delivers the needful metal. The expansive lead work is as credibly thoughtful as it is headbanging. I got the feeling listening to this album that the band has a lot more to say and other landscapes to explore. I am looking forward to the journey. Recommended.

Polluted Temples is out on Friday, January 28th from Satanik Royalty Records. Make your offerings and take your blessings.

Band photo by Sarah Hammel.


Bandcamp, https://darkmeditation.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Darkmeditation

Satanik Royalty Records, https://www.satanikroyaltyrecords.com/

Dark Meditation, Polluted Temples (Satanik Royalty Records 2022)

deathCAVE, Smoking Mountain review (Satanik Royalty 2020)

Seattle Doom Metal trio deathCAVE unleash their first full length album, Smoking Mountain, to remind us that nothing is permanent.

The musicians are Freiburger (bass, vocals), Benny Koslosky (drums), and Tony Muñoz (guitars, vocals). Last year the band released an impressive three-song demo and now they have opened up and broadened their musical scope with Smoking Mountain. The title refers to a volcano (there is a famous one just south of the Seattle area we might all remember), literally and as a symbol of the geologic evolution of the planet that takes everything with, animals, land, and sea.

The set opens with great foreboding and drama, the sinister feel of the tone and notes wraps you like a shroud: “Death Cave.” The song breaks into speed blasts now and then and remains grim throughout. “Last Breath” follows and it is full-on doom. “The Road” has a strong Black Sabbath homage elements, and on “The Seer” venom verily drips from the opening voice while the guitars and percussion carry you along like a rumbling river. “Poison Wizard” wraps it all up, and offers a sharp guitar dalliance in a dense layer of smoke that is the distorted bass line. The acerbic tantrum of the principal instruments challenges the direction of the vocals but in the end they come together as a conquering force. There are three guests on the album, all singing: Dave Verellen, Andrea Vidal, and Neil McAdams. These additional voices deepen the impact of the album and expand its reach. It is the right kind of heavy. Recommended.

Out now, Bandcamp is the fast lane to grab up Smoking Mountain. There were even a couple cassettes remaining of the band’s demo when I checked a minute ago, but I don’t know about now – get there quick to see if you can grab one of the last few instances of this rarity.

Band photo by Onyx Wolf Gang Aerial.



deathCAVE, Smoking Mountain review (Satanik Royalty 2020)