Heavy Temple | photo by Gene Smirnov | @smirnovphoto // High Reaper | photo by Drew Wiedemann | @dwphoto11211
Get loud with new releases by Philly-area doomsayers Heavy Temple and High Reeper
If your Bandcamp Friday energy is more in need of something raucous enough to smash the windows and startle the neighbors, let’s set our sights on the heavy music scene of the Delaware Valley region. There’s a rich lineage of bands taking cues from metal and metal-adjacent torch-bearers from Sabbath to Mastodon, and two of them just announced killer new releases this week.
Boasting wailing guitar leads and wiry bass grooves, Philly’s Heavy Temple has been making formidable power trio noise for the past seven years, and this week announced Lupi Amoris, their latest project and first release since 2017, out June 18th on Magnetic Eye Records. Bassist and vocalist High Priestess Nighthawk told Brooklyn Vegan that the album’s narrative unfolds through two pairings of songs, each delivering a different point of view, as well as one standalone song that meets in the middle (“The Maiden,” streaming below). “This collection of songs is about meeting and subsequently falling in love with someone, so it seems appropriate to have both sides of the story,” she says. The track was inspired by Slim Whitman’s “Indian Love Song,” and while Nighthawk jokes that there’s no yodeling, there are crushing riffs, speedy tempos, and a soaring guitar solo in the spirit of Baroness.
Eqally pummeling, but a bit more raw, is the latest from Philly / Wilmington four piece High Reeper, who over the past four years went from basement jams to two LPs released on Heavy Psych Sounds Records, and placement this week on the label’s split series Doom Sessions Vol. 5. Their half of the single, which is available for vinyl-ordering from Bandcamp and streaming below via YouTube, is a song called “Winter King / Devil’s Grip” that roars and races in a Red Fang / High On Fire vein, though beyond those ferocious riffs and shimmering solos, you’ll pick up an undeniable Sabbath influence vocally.
For more on Heavy Temple, check out their Bandcamp back-catalog here, and explore High Reeper’s first two LPs here.