Archetype of mid-tempo death metal
Harry Potter is full of stories that have been told for generations, but JK Rowling has found a way to organize them in a way that feels new and fresh. Dark Meditation’s debut album Polluted Temples does the same by combining elements from classic rock, death metal and goth bands of the past decade, but the resulting fusion is far from innovative or exciting. Every track on Polluted Temples conjures up thoughts of, “Haven’t I heard this before?” but an answer never comes, creating a plague of anxiety. Then again, maybe this internal angst is the dark meditation they’ve been looking for.
Dark Meditation was formed in 2017 in Seattle, WA. Along with Will Klintberg on drums, percussion and backing vocals, Dark Meditation features the vocal styles of frontman AD Vick, guitarist Rane, guitarist and synthesizer Ian and bassist JW Mullett. In an interview with dirty metal dogsthe band previewed the title of their 4-year catharsis project saying, “The title Polluted Temples represents the biblical concept of body and spirit being a living temple and how life in the modern world can be a challenge to stay true to heart and mind. »
However, one would be hard-pressed to find this hidden meaning in Polluted Temple’ difficult words. In contrast, the album artwork, designed by Vick, is worthy of a vinyl purchase based on visual aesthetics alone. Even their logo is cleverly tormented as it features a set of chains sticking out of the eyes of an unfortunate skull.
The album opens with a cheesy twenty-six-second intro titled “Horus Rising” that mimics the rise and fall of something sinister that draws closer and then pulls away. The momentum is extended by changing to fast, rumbling eight notes from the toms combined with continuous up and down strokes on the guitar on the track “BABALON.MONEY.MAGICK”. The intensity wants so badly to be there, but it fails until the chorus, which incorporates a fun chant of “Hey Babylon…Die Babylon.” This track feels out of place as it has more glam metal overtones than the other tracks on the album. The song ends with a few uses of the whammy bar and an electrifying glissando, which is honestly the real gem of this track.
The second track “Haunt of Fear” can be commended for its austere chord progression that breaks the rules of Western music theory. Plus, Klintberg’s menacing drum breaks stand out in a good way. If the cartoon Regular show is looking for background music, “Haunt of Fear” would be a great addition.
“Desolation Days” is a slower track that relies on alternating ride cymbals and open hi-hats to maintain interest. Single atmospheric notes stretched across the barline during the chorus create a thick flow of consciousness before returning to a similar state of affairs at the soft tempo. With a track like “Desolation Days,” one would expect more than low-impact dueling guitar solos. But then again, maybe the lust and the drag of the song could be where that meditation part comes in.
“Nocturnal Forever” is another track that can be skipped when rotating because the low recorded vocals are hard to hear and Vick’s strumming voice squeezes his chest.
Apart from unexplained spelling and grammatical errors, Polluted temples brings little new to the table. Novelty aside, the songs on the album are well-structured and the band plays well together, so kudos to them for pursuing their passion and doing their thing. Polluted Temples laid a solid foundation, so hopefully their future albums will be a bit bolder and bolder. And here is the listener’s attempt to figure out where he heard it before.