1. Purification By Fire
2. Bury Me Standing
3. Toward The Sands
1. The Black Stone
2. Sativan Harvest
The concept of “skate-rock” has been around for many years, but it has never been embodied as well as on Temples, the new album by Holy Serpent. Typically, the term has defined bands with members who skateboard, or with lyrics about the culture. And, the genre is inexorably tied to 70s hard rock culture crossed with punk values and energy. But, not only does Temples exemplify that sound, the music itself is like a soundtrack to the experience: slow grooving passages can shift on a dime into fast thrill-ride riffs. There’s an exhilarating freedom of movement to the sound, as there is to skating.
In the short time since their self-titled RidingEasy debut in mid-2015, Melbourne, Australia’s Holy Serpent have gained a lot of attention for their rather punk version of heavy psych and metal. Fittingly, there’s a strong vibe of early Soundgarden, Saint Vitus and Kyuss to Temples in that it’s undeniably heavy, but also clever in its experimentation with subtle tempo shifts, multiple vocal effects and other production techniques. But it’s still more Sabotage than Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.
Temples is heavier in tone than the first album, and also more sonically rich and aggressive. The 5-song, 44-minute album finds vocalist/guitarist Scott Penberthy, guitarist Nick Donoughue, bassist Diamond Dave and drummer Danny Leo (new drummer Lance Leembrugen has replaced Leo since recording to complete the live lineup) expanding the hooks while simultaneously taking listeners on a rigorous ride.