Album Review: Templos by Culto Al Qondor

I’ve listened to this album a few times now and the two words that keep coming to mind are ‘deep’ and ‘dark’:

‘Deep’ in the sense that the tracks in this set really do plummet the depths and give the bass on my hi-fi a really good work out, but also because you really get taken to places that are well below the surface of your everyday experience.

‘Dark’ because the tone here is really black, and by that I mean a solid matt black that seems to absorb any light that is shining anywhere near it, but also because beneath the aforementioned surface lies a sinister world that this music conjures up.

All that sounds rather bleak and depressive, but bear with me for a minute because I don’t want to give the impression that this is some sort of mono-aural album that takes you into one place and just dumps you there. Quite the opposite actually, because within the parameters laid out above there is also rather a lot of variation. Now granted that this feels like many different shades of black, but actually that’s where were find ourselves sometimes and I will certain have times when turning to such a record is absolutely the best thing to do at that moment.

I guess that this is a round about way of saying that this album is made up of four relatively long jams that are played in a totally uncompromising way by a trio of musicians from Lima, Peru (Dolmo: guitars & delays, Aldo Castillejos: drums & loops, Chino Burga: bass & drones), a way that is always intense, yet played with verve and panache which I find really compelling.

These tracks all have a very distinct flavour to them from the mellow and, at times, even melodic (‘Amanecer en Tres Cruces’) to the spectacularly heavy and exciting (the last few minutes of ‘Antiguos Dioses sobre Chilca’ in particular are breathtaking). But really there’s no part of this set that you would not want to grapple with because, I would suggest, this is not an easy listen… but it is a satisfying one. This is one of those albums that could be used in evidence for introducing the use of seat-belts for listening chairs, because this is one ride that you will really want to buckle up for.

With Templos, Culto al Qondor have produced a dark and brooding epic of four roughly even ten minute plus tracks which seem to explore the inner recesses of the mind. Collectively these four numbers provide a soundtrack that is replete with reverb and shadowy riffs that are offset by moments of clarity which bring us up for air before plunging us down again into the bass trembling depths reflective of a world in chaos.


‘Templos’ is available to pre-order now from Drone Rock Records here.



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