20 Dec 2018
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Temples on Mars - Album Review: Temples on Mars

19 Mar 2018 // A review by Alex Moulton

The self-titled album from Temples of Mars starts us off with a light intro, featuring some Aladdin-esque Arabic sounding instrumentation and distorted recorded dialogue; almost coming off like the soundtrack to Brendan Fraser’s The Mummy franchise. Gradually rising in volume and layers it leads straight into Gods & Kings. Gods & Kings starts off as a fast-paced thrashy rock piece, interrupted by slow, low, vocal melodies. The chorus for the track is steeped in producer Paul Matthews’ influence, with the calm, deliberate harmonies in the vocals over the top of the distinctive fast-paced guitar riffs that have been synonymous with Matthews’ own project I Am Giant in their Science and Survival stage of evolution.

Bridging the gap between Alternative and Hard Rock, combining both easy listening and harsh vocals, Temples on Mars are proving themselves capable of creating elaborate soundscapes. James Donaldson’s vocals are soothing, but fresh and passionate when needing to inject energy into the tracks.

The track names provide a hint into the lyrical content and tone of the album, with such names as Afraid of Living, Suicide by Tiger, Death in the Afternoon, and Dining with the Devil. Sombre and contemplative in mood, their latest music video released, So In Love With Your Own Drug, is a track that considers the repercussions of our reliance on social media and technology in this age infested by the immeasurable reach of the never-sleeping internet. A relatable topic without a doubt.

The twelve-track album runs for over an hour in length, and even ignoring the intro and outro, the array of effects, vocal and orchestral/instrumental additions are vast in number. It is amazing how similar to I Am Giant the style is, with hints of New Way Home, The Butterfly Effect, and Mastodon, but the one thing that is really missing is that positive vibe that counteracts the moody feeling of the album. So In Love With Your Own Drug is the closest to an uplifting vibe, but after listening to the whole album for an hour, there is the risk of the tracks coming across as samey. That is with the exception of track 10, When Gods Collide, with such a pace to the riff, it combines the macabre of Muse, with the excitable unpredictable quirkiness of At The Drive-In; it can’t help but remain memorable.

With I Am Giant releasing their final album, and heading out on their final tours, there will definitely be a gap in the market and a large number of fans looking for something new to fill the void. Fingers crossed they do not struggle with the same battles of being stuck in the abyss between what the radios consider pop and heavy, because Temples on Mars have a great maturity and confidence to their sound, and given the chance, they have the ability to break through the monotony of modern day radio playlists.


Review written by Alex Moulton

 

About Temples on Mars

Temples on Mars is a London based progressive rock band. Originally formed in New Zealand (NZ) under the name Agent, the band relocated to London in 2008. Featuring James Donaldson on vocals and guitar, Daz Carikas on bass, Gerald Gill on guitars, and Dean Gibb on drums, Temples on Mars produces accessible, progressive tinged, rock music.

To date, Temples on Mars have headlined their own NZ tours and UK shows, featured at UK Rock festivals, released two EP’s, plus two full length albums: Expand/Contract which was given 5/5 stars by NZ’s leading music magazine Rip It Up and NZ Musician magazine, making a name for them in their native NZ, and their second album Kingdom of Fear, which created a buzz in the prog-rock scene in the UK and Europe earning the band a 2014 UK progressive music award nomination.

After relocating to London, Temples on Mars quickly became regulars on the live music scene and have shared the stage with numerous UK bands including Skindred, Devil Sold His Soul, Black Peaks, InMe and I Am Giant to name a few. Temples on Mars subsequently teamed up with long time friend and producer Paul Matthews of I Am Giant fame (whose production credits also include OpShop, Blindspott, Stylus and Six60). With Matthews, Temples on Mars began work on their second full length album Kingdom of Fear which was released world wide in December 2013. Kingdom of Fear was mastered by Tom Coyne (Karnivool, Dead Letter Circus, I Am Giant) of Sterling Sound in New York.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Temples on Mars

Releases

Temples On Mars
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Kingdom Of Fear
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Expand / Contract
Year: 2006
Type: Album
The Pheng Nom Shakedown
Year: 2003
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Alex Moulton

Paper Cranes - Album Review: Voices
19 Dec 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Due for release January 18, 2019, Voices is the second full-length album from Indie Folk duo Paper Cranes. While comprised of ten tracks, the album has a short overall runtime of just over 35 minutes.
Read More...
This Pale Fire - Single Review: Float Out
17 Dec 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Float Out is about the process of letting things go, moving forward, learning from your past experiences, growing as a result. As such, the track has an intrinsically emotional weight to it.
Read More...
EP Review: Miller Yule Live
17 Dec 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Miller Yule Live is a good length EP, consisting of seven tracks with a total runtime of over 30 minutes. Performing a setlist that is mostly sourced from his 2016 EP Shoot Me In The Heart (reviewed here), Miller Yule has also added in his single Diamonds (released in November 2017 and reviewed here), a stripped down adaptation of Six60's Don't Give It Up, and a new track to spice it up further.
Read More...
Mako Road - EP Review: Local Safari
10 Dec 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Local Safari is the latest release from Christchurch Indie group Mako Road The four-piece provide a very laid-back and relaxed (albeit short) EP as we enter the prime summer road tripping season.The EP begins with its titular track Local Safari, with some pleasant keys and a generally unhurried pace, controlled by a simple hi hat and snare drum combo.
Read More...
Kerretta - Single Review: Chroma Queens
10 Dec 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Chroma Queens is the first single from upcoming LP release Exiscens (due for release on December 14), which is the first release from Auckland experimental rock act Kerretta for over four years. The band are comprised of bass player William Waters; drummer H.
Read More...
Gig Review: Ghost Who Walks @ Anthology Lounge, Auckland - 30/11/2018
06 Dec 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Cheers and squeals are let out around Auckland’s Anthology Lounge as The Rubics take to the stage. The six-piece group have been working on making a name for themselves as the groove-makers of the Auckland scene, and from the sound of the audience, they know exactly what they are in for.
Read More...
Gig Review: 2Cellos @The Civic, Auckland - 3/12/2018
04 Dec 2018 // by Alex Moulton
People were abuzz as they filed into The Civic to get to their seats. Many eyes were enjoying the venue itself as one of Auckland’s last remaining atmospheric theatres, with its soft-top design that floats above the auditorium, with stars and clouds that recreate the Southern Hemisphere sky-scape.
Read More...
Lisa Crawley - Single/Video Review: Baby It's Fine
30 Nov 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Lisa Crawley’s latest single Baby It’s Fine is a delightfully unhurried and soulful pop track. Starting with a slow strum of the guitar and an almost acoustic vibe to the bass, there is a slow melancholic edge to the song.
Read More...
View All Articles By Alex Moulton

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • THANK U, NEXT
    Ariana Grande
  • SHALLOW
    Lady Gaga And Bradley Cooper
  • SWEET BUT PSYCHO
    Ava Max
  • SHOTGUN
    George Ezra
  • WITHOUT ME
    Halsey
  • SUNFLOWER
    Post Malone And Swae Lee
  • SICKO MODE
    Travis Scott feat. Drake
  • BETTER
    Khalid
  • HAPPIER
    Marshmello And Bastille
  • EASTSIDE
    benny blanco feat. Halsey And Khalid
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem