Nowadays, musicians from different bands only need to come together to record an album and a “supergroup” is created.
Kind recently released their sophomore album Mental Nudge. The band consists of (ex) members of Elder and Black Pyramid. And Hexandagger’s debut EP has just been released on Rise Above Records, consisting of members of Fu Manchu, Fireball and Ministry.
Is the Swedish Temple, with members of Surfing in Hell and Silver Devil, also such a “supergroup”? I don’t think it rings a bell by a lot of people, but both bands know how to make excellent stoner metal. Whether Temple is a supergroup just because of that, I will not discuss it here. In any case, it is easy PR language.
What matters most is whether Temple, supergroup or not, made a good record. The answer to that is simple: “Yes!” When you listen to the first notes, you can clearly hear that this is not a starting band and that the gentlemen put fat doom metal on their their tunnbröd in the morning. Because that’s what Temple sound like, Funeral Planet oozes doom. Both musically as thematically. Actually, Funeral Planet is an excellent summary of this Covid-hit year.
The record opens with Sea of Grief. A tight drumbeat and distorted guitar sound immediately blast into my living room. Otto Molin’s vocals reminds me a bit like Ozzy’s at first. Fortunately, it stays with “reminds”. The vocals during the seven songs are clean, intense, but above all it is his own sound. Funeral Planet’s second song, Magma, is the real opener for me. Also, here heavily distorted guitar sound, a few steps lower and slower than the previous song. While listening, a sentimental feeling creeps up on me: it sucks that the lockdown (The Netherlands, early December 2020) is still in effect. I wonder how this band sound like live? A loud, heavy, unwieldy, heavier and even louder sound I suspect. Fortunately, my imagination still works very well and can hear and see them play with my eyes closed.
Magma mainly relies on the unwieldy riffs and drumming. The vocals are sparse and in the background. After four minutes there is a break and a speed acceleration. The riffs are of goosebumps category. Changes, no, no cover of Black Sabbath, starts with a very recognizable tune played on the bass. It is on the tip of my tongue and it will stay there, I fear. The song is the most dynamic of the record. Good tempo, the tune keeps coming back in the guitar riff and the vocals sound less monotonous than in the rest of the songs. The last track is also the title track and with more than seven minutes also the longest track. Again, all heavy riffing, heavy pounding, heavily distorted guitar sound and the intense vocals of Molin. After three minutes there is a short breather, well pause…. The pounding continues quickly until chirping birds take over at the end of the song. The length and intensity make this my favorite of the record.
I don’t dare to say whether Funeral Planet is my record for 2020. What is certain is that it provides a very good and concise summary of 2020, including hopeful bird tweeting at the end.