Well, that’s a good start to the new year! Dark Meditation is a band from Seattle, Washington, which has been around since 2019 and has two demos released. The full-length debut Polluted Temples, which is the object of observation here, will be released on January 28th, by Satanik Royalty Records, and it absolutely lives up to the high expectations following the demos.
The style of the band is dark (obviously) heavy metal, witch touches of goth and not too far away from what Unto Others did early in their career, when still called Idle Hands. But we will come to than later in the review. Lyrically, as the band describes in their own words, “most of our songs deal with personal consequences of our actions and how it effects the world around us. But there is also the looming specter of evangelical Christianity that I was brought up in and trying to break away from the dogmatic concepts that were pushed upon me in childhood.”
Opening track (after an intro) Babalon.Money.Magick is a bit cautious in delivery and feels like a starter “meal”, in comparison with the excellent, forceful follower Haunt Of Fear, which you can see the video of below. It presents heavy old school riffs, with a hint of classic Celtic Frost darkness and the song is topped with a wonderful guitar solo. Strange Caress (Of The Night), as well as the following Masters Coil are a touch more mellow, throwing in more goth and even new wave influences, while still retaining a metallic foundation. The vocals of A.D. Vick add depth and emotion to the album and sometimes remind me of the work of Pelle Åhman on In Solitude’s third album Sister. The Howling Wild accelerates the tempo again, building upon a Jon Schaffer-y riff work and adding tons of atmosphere and emotion to create something uniquely in the style of Dark Meditation. Again – the solo is phenomenal.
The album is closed by the title track, which, fittingly, epitomizes all the strengths in Dark Meditation’s sound, proving that we have a new force in metal to be reckoned with. I am sure this is a band we will talk a lot more in the future. In fact, Polluted Temples rewarded me with the satisfaction that Unto Others’ Strength failed to deliver last year. If you like your metal vivid, dynamic and fresh, but still honoring the old school titans of the 80s, then look no further, because we already have it. You just have to wait until the 28th.
Polluted Temples can be pre-ordered from HERE