on 11 January 2014
Last year, Hexvessel blew my mind with their debut album 'Dawnbearer'. To produce a follow up less than a year later is virtually unheard of, but No Holier Temple has shown that the creative marriage between Mat McNerney and the musicians of Dark Buddah Rising is an immensely fruitful one!
This album does everything a successful follow up should, with an introduction of extra ideas. There's a fair bit of overdriven guitar growling away on this one, challenging the 'Neo Folk' element to the 'Occult Rock' of the debut with what can only be described as a sort of 'pagan doom'. All the while, not straying far from the mystical, new-age, spiritual and gypsy references at the music's core.
Imagine my glee. Late at night, loud in my headphones this album is private transportation for the spirit. A glorious commute to a land where the inanimate becomes animate and the structural occultation which is the veil we call 'reality' is challenged.
I think this album is stronger than Dawnbearer but I can't score it higher and the 'why' is simply that the debut earned superlative points purely based on my initial reaction, which was of ecstasy, surprise and wonderment.
on 21 January 2014
I listened to the album before this by Hexvessel, Dawnbringer, and that had some good moments on it but nothing worth lauding or recommending. However this album really brings something interesting to the table. It has much of same feel that was present on the previous album but there's something different, namely, one song in particular called Sacred Marriage. This song is one of the most moving pieces of music I have ever heard and right away its ritualistic chanting, reminiscent of Europe's prehistory, caught my imagination. I first heard this song on Youtube with its accompanying video which I must say is incredible. As soon as I heard it I had to buy this album and now it receives many regular plays. Overall a folky and mysterious vibe but with a certain darkness to it, as one would expect from a main man who used to play in a Black Metal band. Listen to Woods to Conjure if you want to know what I mean. All in all, a worthwhile purchase!