In 2017 Metal Injection called Philadelphia's Heavy Temple "the best doom band in Philly" a description that still very much applies to the three member band who have been kicking out doom jams laced with psychedelic aftershocks since 2012. Vocalist and bassist (and the one constant member of Heavy Temple since their formation), High Priestess Nighthawk possesses a rather unique vocal style–the development and evolution of which she credits to her early exposure and love of classical music.
Here's Nighthawk laying down some truth about the importance and brutality of classical jams: "I mean when you look at certain kinds of metal, there's classical music all over the place. Tchaikovsky was super brutal, and so is Beethoven, so I can only speak for myself, but I think that having the classical background definitely helped me."
So maybe after reading that you're tilting your head, wondering what's so brutal about Beethoven? The answer is very simple; go listen to LVB's Piano Sonata #14 (which you will likely recognize immediately) and all will be revealed. The other thing about classical music is that it has heavily influenced heavy metal. Even our pal Rob Halford digs on classical music.
Earlier this month in an interview, Halford discussed his love for English composer Gustav Holst's The Planets, Op. 32 which he owns on vinyl. Rob praised Holst's ability to have the instruments portray each of the planets in our Solar System such as the use of "heavy sections for Mars" and lighter treatments for Pluto or Neptune.
In getting back to High Priestess Nighthawk's vocals, they sound exactly on point in Heavy Temple's cover of "Raw Deal" which the band selected from Judas Priest's 1977 record, Sin After Sin thanks to Nighthawk's ability to seamlessly hit high notes like Halford. And I'm going to be honest here, when Nighthawk's vocals kick in at around 42 second in, I was briefly convinced I was hearing Rob himself. A super solid third track from Bow to Your Masters III: Judas Priest which is set to ship out later this month.
And here's the thing about vinyl, not from me of course, but from Rob Halford himself who say he's "a bit of a purist" when it comes to listening to music" and that you just can't "beat vinyl." Halford elaborated that he's "drawn into" music more when listenting to it on vinyl, noting there's just something about the "texture" that isn't matched by "any other form." And when you look at the current state of vinyl sales, you'd see that Halford isn't alone in his love of vinyl records. So, in order to support our collective habits, Glory or Death Records has pressed several sweet vinyl gatefold variants of Bow to Your Masters III: Judas Priest including white, dark grey, transparent red, and Nebula. All pressed by the incredible Cleveland, Ohio shop Wax Mage.
The album was released to the wild over the weekend and we're streaming the entire thing here including Heavy Temple's cover of "Raw Deal."