Demo:listen: Temple of Abandonment

Welcome to Demo:listen, your weekly peek into the future of underground metal. Whether it’s death, grind, black, doom, sludge, heavy,  progressive, stoner, retro, post-, etc. we’re here to bring you the latest demos from the newest bands. On this week’s Demo:listen, we pinpoint the location of and investigate, full of wonder and despair, Vancouver’s Temple of Abandonment.

Temple of Abandonment

However protective they are about their identities, the musicians behind Temple of Abandonment have nothing to hide. On the contrary, this new PNW-based funeral doom outfit’s demo, From Outer Spheres . . . Death, has much to offer–for even the most callus metalhead who’s otherwise content never to hear another new metal band as long as he lives. Well heed this, and heed it well, ye jaded and unimpressed warriors of stagnation. In just under thirty-three minutes, with songs that move like the time-lapsed decay of empires, Temple of Abandonment–if not exemplify then–personify ponderous existence itself and the eventual blissful release that comes with death. Indeed, this demo might well have been named The Life and Death of the Riff.

Although they wish to remain semi-anonymous, we were able to track down a few of the priests of this drafty, overgrown Temple. According to ToA’s drummer, after having been asked to join by the founding guitarist/vocalist, From Outer Spheres . . . Death was about two years in the making. That may seem like a long time compared to the prolific nature of some bands, but two years is an astonishingly short amount of time to craft what’s essentially a thirty three minute relentless crawl toward oblivion that remains enthralling throughout, sometimes heart-breakingly so. As for what compelled them to found such a band as Temple of Abandonment, its aforementioned guitarist/vocalists says: “I started this project out of a love for extremes. I play in a few bands, some of which focus more on speed. Temple of Abandonment was formed more or less as a way to explore the other end of the spectrum and to express other aspects of who I am and my contempt for the world, as well as challenge myself as a writer and musician by using chords and melodies that I haven’t had an opportunity to explore otherwise. I also wanted to create something utterly miserable that would be an outlet for my battles with depression; a kind of therapy by manifesting certain emotions.”

Building up from a slow beginning, where every note shudders before the listener, the first third of From Outer Spheres is like a tragically insecure gifted adolescent. One that sees the world as a beautiful and wondrous place, but can see nothing of worth within. The first ten to twelve minutes of the demo are spent in the throes of a measured and mature but self-inflicted restraint and yet what seeps out and blossoms through the necessary minute cracks is of a brilliance you’ve heard before only in the great ones: Thergothon, Worship, Funeral Moth, Loss.

Then around fifteen minutes a metamorphosis, foreshadowed upon its birth, occurs. The monster gains confidence in the form of spite and resentment. Anger replaces self-loathing as summit-cast clean vox beseech the stars for answers and carom back snarling with harsh scorn.

At approximately twenty three minutes comes the . . . Death aspect of From Outer Spheres . . . Death. Devotees of Asphyx, Coffins, Hooded Menace and other leaden-hand death doom will do well to suffer through the band’s funereal tendencies because when Temple of Abandonment are finally ready to crush you they do so with a terminal heaviness that almost seems overzealous and cruel, for haven’t you been getting crushed all along, really, since that first note? After it’s all over give yourself a minute. Reflect on what you’ve just went through. Congratulate yourself because for all its replay value, From Outer Spheres . . . Death is a challenging and devastating endeavor.

Unfortunately the band long sold out of tapes, but From Outer Spheres . . . Death is still available for one puny Canadian dollar on Temple of Abandonment’s Bandcamp. Do yourself a favor and select to download the FLAC version because this is a demo worth giving a proper to listen every listen.

You heard it on Demo:listen. Check this spot next and every Friday for promising new metal bands.