Psychedelic doom live-deluge HEAVY TEMPLE have released the first crushing single ‘The Maiden’ taken from their highly-anticipated forthcoming album debut “Lupi amoris”, which will detonate stores on June 18.
HEAVY TEMPLE comment: “This is the second of a pairing of songs, the first of which, The Wolf’, is written from a different perspective”, reveals singer and bass player High Priestess Nighthawk. “There is essentially a call and response between the two songs. It is game of cat and mouse. Or wolf and maiden, if you will. These two songs revolve around the idea of meeting and subsequently falling in love with someone, so it seems appropriate to have both sides of the story. I wrote ‘The Maiden’ first, and the idea for complimentary lyrics came to me one day when I was listening to, oddly enough, ‘Indian Love Call’ by Slim Whitman. I promise that there’s no yodeling on this one. Well, maybe I wild o that on our next record.”
HEAVY TEMPLE crash forth like a roaring mastodon in a thunderstorm with their first official full-length, “Lupi Amoris,” and it has all the markings of a landmark record.
As progressive as BARONESS but unselfconscious, as heavy as FU MANCHU but more adventurous, this Philadelphia trio throw every lever in the riff-metal machine, yet also wield lyrical concepts that register on literary levels.
“Lupi Amoris” offers a one-way trip through wide-open spaces and deep forests. Its songs wind and deposit heavy flotsam like a mighty musical stream, pushing through swirling rapids, cutting through riff-mountains, and swelling with addictive grooves. Riding atop the sonic waves, singer and bass player High Priestess Nighthawk belts powerfully over the roaring din.
When HEAVY TEMPLE came into being on the 2012 winter solstice, the trio were after the pure fun and joy of playing heavy music, illustrated by each founding member’s chosen nom de guerre: High Priestess Nighthawk, Rattlesnake, and Bearadactyl.
At first playing shows locally in Philly, the band quickly gained an excellent live reputation, leading to tours alongside RUBY THE HATCHET, MOTHERSHIP, ROYAL THUNDER and CORROSION OF CONFORMITY. Invitations to notable festivals included The Maryland Doom Fest, Psycho Las Vegas, and Decibel Metal & Beer, among many others. It’s an impressive live showing made even more remarkable when considering that HEAVY TEMPLE have yet to release their debut full-length.
After their first self-released and self-titled EP “Heavy Temple” (2014) was picked up by esteemed German cult label Ván Records, the self-released single ” Love You To Death ” and sophomore EP “Chassit” followed in 2016. Second single “Key & Bone” arrived in 2018, and the split 7″ “From the Black Hole” with WOLFBLOOD materialized in 2020, but it took until 2021 for a full album to appear on the horizon at last. It speaks volumes about HEAVY TEMPLE‘s talent and face-melting live impact that the invitations to attractive tours and prestigious festivals continued to roll in anyway.
Although HEAVY TEMPLE leverage all the trappings of traditionally male-oriented metal (to the point that their sound could proudly sport a full beard), the powerful presence of frontwoman and sole remaining founding member High Priestess Nighthawk merges their glorious heaviness with a strong thematic line of feminine strength.
“Lupi Amoris” is Latin for “Wolves of Love,” and takes strong inspiration from Angela Carter’s story “The Company of Wolves.” In it, the narrative of Red Riding Hood is flipped from a cautionary tale about the dangers of lust and desire, feelings young women were traditionally expected to stifle, to a story of female sexuality and power reclaimed. “Lupi Amoris” finds the Philly outfit aligning with a Red Riding Hood who is freed from the traditional bonds of what’s expected.
Proving that it’s quite possible to hammer out gargantuan stoner doom and still say something about life’s realities, HEAVY TEMPLE make a fierce and much-needed statement with “Lupi Amoris”, and at these volumes, the world is guaranteed to hear it.