Artist: The Skull Defekts
Title: The Temple
Label: Important Records
Genre: Progressive Rock / Experimental
01 Knives, Birds, Stones & Pyramids
03 Six Sixes
04 Hydrophobic Baptism
05 Unholy Drums For Psychedelic Africa
07 Skull & Tongue
08 Urban Ritual
The Temple, despite its penchant for the Egyptian ornamentation has less to do with that ancient culture than psychedelia as keenly tripped out on their cover. Not that this is a spiritual journey of drifting and introspective vistas beyond the ken of mortal imaginings, for The Skull Defekts drop their noise for a return to more rock-based origins and dare it be said: riffing, though thankfully it is not purely a crossbreed of Tool and Incubus all the time, but you could be easily forgiven for such comparisons with the first two tracks that gorge their guitars on uninspired hooks for today’s easily fed youth.
The album is an odd mix of dichotomous tracks. Power chords smudge out riffs best suited for unwashed black t-shirt masses and fist pumping with spoken swagger in the first salvo, with the metal fusillade bombarding once again in the next track. The cliché breaks apart with a curious double-time chorus revealing a yolk of feedback and edgy percussive stomp when after two choruses, The Skull Defekts finally find tractive ground from the metal yawn with Six Sixes. Chimes striate sedimentary to hypnotic tribal toms, lightly crumpled in distortion and brackish guitars squeal feedback while suave descant ritualises a lyrical mantra in homage of god and drum. For some reason The Skull Defekts find necessity to inject this eleven minute track with four minutes of crescendo with none other than... dirty guitars stealing what was a dark simmer into vacant rock.
Unholy Drums for Psychedelic Africa limns what Skull Defekts could have further detailed on this album with expansive tribal rhythms wallowing in puddles of filthy feedback, loud and unsettling. It unduly expresses an almost split quality to this album rather than anything cohesive. The rock does not gel against the experimental parts, especially the last menacing ambient track, Urban Ritual, whose cloying atmosphere is expressed with their instruments in misshapen and interesting forms.
The album comes in two versions, this the shorter in length.
Packaged in a spined digifile, gatefold with inserted slip-card as per many Important Records releases (featuring a mosaic of their other artists), The Temple features agglomerative composites of Egyptian design in watercolour on front and crosses two emblems of the Pharaoh, crook and flail within. Symmetrical kaleidoscope stars eight points on rear.