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Temple of the Smoke: ...Against Human Race

Mix Ozric Tentacles with Monster Magnet and Mastodon and what do you get? Probably something like Temple of the Smoke, a new band from Serbia and recently signed to R.A.I.G. Records. Can't really call this prog, or metal for that matter, as the band melds those two styles with stoner, doom, reggae, fusion, surf, and space rock for a sound that is quite unique.

Take "Unnatural Regression" for instance, which has a healthy reggae beat to go along with blipping synth lines, or the sizzling space rock excursions of "Naked Sun", which features lengthy guitar & synth solos that wouldn't be out of place on an Ozric Tentacles album. When the band brings the doom, which they do quite well I might add, it's pretty heavy, like on "Deadly Skies", as massive Black Sabbath styled riffs play off some trippy chord progressions and soundscapes. Prog fans will probably like the more atmospheric "Autumn World", the tasty keyboard driven "Into the storm", or the quirky "Tortoise Du Mars", but for these ears the band is most interesting when attempting their brand of instrumental sludge as on "South of Heaven", where crushing doom metal guitar riffs meet distorted blues rock solos and space rock synth jams.

As an instrumental act, you have to give Temple of the Smoke credit for trying music of this nature. It doesn't always work out perfectly, as sometimes they seem to lost focus a bit and stretch out a bit too far, but for the most part their style of sludge ridden space rock is pretty cool and enjoyable.

Track Listing
1. Illudium Q-36 Explosive Modulator 6:32
2. Unnatural Regression 4:39
3. Naked SUn 10:57
4. Deadly Skies 6:29
5. Autumn World 7:16
6. South Of Heaven 5:47
7. Into The Storm 6:50
8. Tortoise Du Mars 9:22

Added: February 27th 2012
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band MySpace Page
Hits: 3318
Language: english

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Temple of the Smoke: ...Against Human Race
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-02-27 22:46:33
My Score:

Temple Of The Smoke, one of the stranger names for a rock band I have heard, are a stoner/space rock outfit from Belgrade, Serbia. Just like the band's name the music is quite varied and interesting. The band consists of Dragan Mirković (drums, percussion), Marko Ilić (bass), Dušan Žica (guitar, synthesizers, dubs) and Janko Stojanović (guitar, vocals). If you are in the mood for early '70s stoner and space rock their debut Against Human Race should satisfy your palette.

Although there is a science fiction theme running through the album's eight tracks each song can stand alone and be listened to separately. There is over fifty-seven minutes of mostly instrumental music to seek your teeth into and the songs are varied enough to ensure boredom will not be a problem.

Heavy riffs inundate the opening track "Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator" bringing to mind the space rock goodness of Hawkwind. It is a heavy tune but still allows for a mellow interlude of shimmering guitar chords and pulsating bass. The band's unorthodox approach can be heard in the next track "Unnatural Regression" combining space rock and dub reggae. It is an unlikely combination that actually works quite well. In "Naked Sun" trippy effects add to the band's space rock leanings and the guitar riffs recall Echoes' area Pink Floyd. With "Deadly Skies" and "South Of Heaven" the band's stoner side shines through exposing doomy guitar riffs that slowly plod through the soundscape recalling Black Sabbath at their heaviest. In the quieter "Autumn World" the moody riffs and slow builds again recall early '70s Floyd. The album ends with "Tortoise Du Mars", a slow build of riffs and swelling synths eventually turning into a cacophony of psychedelic madness. My only complaint is the nine minutes of silence at the end of the track. It's a bit of a pet peeve of mine and I never understood the reason for it.

If you are remotely interested in psychedelic/space/stoner rock give Temple Of The Smoke a listen. It is a fine album.

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