The Skull Defekts - The Temple [Important Records - 2009]The Temple sees The Skull Defekts refocusing their droning, hypnotic, often weighty and noisy sound into more muscular and tribal rhythmic noise rock form thatís laced with occultic undertones and dense creative flare; with a liberal use of vocals and a high dependence on doomed metallic meets punked riff matter.
The sound here is certainly quite different from the droning noise meets industrial sound of their past albums, so much so as when I first played the album on my MP3 player I had to double check quite what I was listening to and it took more than a few plays for it to sit right with me. But ultimately the band have managed to pull off a very daring and shocking shifting into a more approachable muscular guitar based sound - thatís still entertaining and true to their circling and repetitive origins. There is still the deep, clever use of primal and tribal rhythms, there are still noise textures here too- itís just presented in a different format thatís more about the worship of the guitar riff. The track lengths are cut a lot shorter here too for the most part, with often a more traditional chorus/ verse format in place- but it really works with each of the tracks been heady, primal and wonderful slices of repetitive riff worship thatís layered with creative percussive detail, noise slides and general muscular yet experimental vigour. Through the albums has a more rock based noise focus the last two track see a move back towards the more looped based, longer track length, vocal-less sound of the past albums with the slow war drum march and building atmospheric feedback, and windswept noise grain of the last track Urban Ritual been particularly effective.
All told The Temple is a stunning reinvention and refreshing of the bands sound- pushing their looped based sound down new and surprising avenues. Certainly one of the records of the bands prolific career and one of the highlights of this yearRoger Batty