Hailing from Serbia, TEMPLE OF THE SMOKE invite the listener to take a sonic trip through their kaleidoscopic world which by far isn't as dark as the album title suggests. There are not much dark corners on '...Against Human Race', but lots of moments that are flooded with light. That light is punctuated with lysergic colours, primarily because TEMPLE OF THE SMOKE were strongly inspired by bands such as Hawkwind, Farflung or Ozric Tentacles. But there is plenty more to discover as well: 'Deadly Skies' sounds as if 'Holy Mountain' era Sleep had recently dropped by whereas 'Autumn World' invites to dream and relax.
The sixth track 'South Of Heaven' is the heaviest, most doom-laden song on this album, but TEMPLE OF THE SMOKE have included a great psychoactive guitar solo that stimulated my neuronal synapses right away. Jimi Hendrix went through my head where he met Ken Baluke of Sons Of Otis. 'Into The Storm' is one of the two dub songs on this album, and here too TEMPLE OF THE SMOKE cuts a fine figure. Nothing is forced and everything flows. As different as the songs on this album may be, there is one thing they have in common: they are carefully crafted with great attention to detail. Together these tracks create an equally harmonious system and tell a coherent story.
Synthesizers and guitars have been closely woven together while the rhythm section gives full support at all levels. The electronic elements are embedded perfectly in the spacious frame and thus, it was a good idea to restrain from vocals - simply because of the great craftsmanship. I have now idea how old these four guys are, but TEMPLE OF THE SMOKE do sound like old space rock veterans. All the more surprising, then, that the band was formed in 2010. Very lovely is the cover artwork and booklet as well that has been designed by Nikola Vitkovic. So, buy this album if you are looking for some high times and stellar grooves.