Stygian Temple – In The Sign Of The Five Angels

[Reviewed by stark]

Can’t say much about this band, except for that they hail from Germany. They don’t give a shit about the publicity or being recognized and focus on their music solely. Underground spirit never dies. And when I listen to “In The Sign Of The Five Angels” I feel like I could repeat my words from the “Pazuzu” review, the album by Norns I wrote about a few months ago. You grab a hipster music magazine and find out that black metal is cool, that there’s some sort of pleasure they have from dealing with something dangerous and mysterious, but from a safe haven perspective. And that this kind of artistic expression is to a certain degree quite naive though it opens space for interesting and innovative explorations using the black metal forms as a ground base.

But when it comes to classic black metal, the kind that was played 20 years ago, it is often treated with leniency. Apart from the bands like Mayhem, Darkthrone or Burzum, which – for various reasons – are considered as classics (after all Varg is more a popculture figure rather than a musician these days), I feel the younger generations treat many bands with mild contempt. Kind of “look at them, they act like they’re frozen in the 90s and don’t see that the world is going forward” attitude. I also noticed such trend among some older people, also journalists, who’s roots are in those times: “I don’t understand, how could I treat all this seriously. Ok, we were young, but now I feel ashamed of what I was saying or doing back then”. You grow up, the priorities are changing, that’s understandable, it is human nature. But there are still bands like Stygian Temple who’s music is like the world ended many years ago and nothing new has been revealed since then. I wonder if they’re a bunch of young guys who somehow feel the spirit of that era or – more possible in my opinion – these are the musicians who are constantly active over two or three decades, deep in the underground, playing in various bands of which only several people have ever heard, but don’t give a fuck about it, because this is what they believe in. Mid-tempos, old Satyricon or Gorgoroth influences, Dissection maybe, and the truly cold and diabolical atmosphere. If you look for something original and refreshing, simply forget about this album, it’s not for you. But if you want to feel like it’s 1995 again, then check “In The Sign Of The Five Angels”, and other Sol Records releases as well. I hardly listen to black metal these days, but if I do, from time to time, I prefer these kind of albums which give me a few moments of a truly unholy pleasure.

Stygian Temple – In The Sign Of The Five Angels
Sol Records, SOLCD008
CD/MC 2017

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