Thursday 13 June 2024

Heavy Temple - Garden Of Heathens (Album Review)

Release Date: April 12th 2024. Record Label: Magnetic Eye Records. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Garden Of Heathens: Tracklisting

1.Extreme Indifference to Life 05:48

2.Hiraeth 03:58

3.Divine Indiscretion 07:09

4.House of Warship 05:29

5.Snake Oil (and Other Remedies) 08:49

6.In the Garden of Heathens 03:23

7.Jesus Wept 06:24

8.Psychomanteum 04:22

Band Members

High Priestess NightHawk - Bass/Vocals

Baron Lycan - Drums

Lord Paisley - Guitars


I’m late to the party reviewing Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metallers Heavy Temple fantastically heavy new album Garden Of Heathens which sees the band continue developing their Occult Rock obsessed sound that becomes quite seedy with heavy Blues Rock energy within the subtle Doomed Out tones of the whole album.

The album is unashamedly retro whilst having a certain modern theme within the heavier Stoner Rock passages that elevates the album to the deeper levels of Fuzzed Out Doom and Hard Rock. HIgh Priestess NightHawk once again is in full control with sublime vocals that have the right amount of Classic Rock dominance and Psych Doom swagger that can be quite ethereal and mysterious at the same time.

Garden Of Heathens is filled with organic based grooves that have a slight Organic vibe which allows Heavy Temple to demonstrate a keen ear for deep levels of Trippy and Sonic delivery being played within the more outlandish and down-right HEAVY ROCK aspects of the album especially on tracks such as Extreme Indifference To Life, Divine Indiscretion, House Of Worship, Snake Oil (And Other Remedies) and Jesus Wept. The songs are all full of classic sounding lyrics that are perhaps inspired by the 70’s Proto Doom and 80’s Heavy Metal scene but there’s a soulful movement on how High Priestess Nighthawk delivers the creative story of the whole track and album.

With the added bonus of Psychedelic Rock freak-outs and Space Rock guitars which transform into extended passages of Distorted Sludge Rock grooves with high amounts of Amplifier Feedback and Fuzz Pedals being played to maximum volume. Heavy Temple are a more vital Doomed Out presence when they play with a more obsessive style of OCCULT ROCK or GOTHIC ROCK on the later stages of the record. 

You can see why Heavy Temple have reached great heights within the scene already thanks to their widely celebrated debut album released back in 2021. Garden Of Heathens is the type of album that has the power to elevate Heavy Temple onto bigger and better things within the Doom/Stoner Metal scene.

Garden Of Heathens is a statement of intent from Heavy Temple for everyone to take notice and witness the “true arrival” of a wonderfully gifted and highly original band that will become major players within the scene over the next few years.

Words by Steve Howe

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