Hologram Temple is the much anticipated follow up to 2015’s massively enjoyable III: Eternalism – The Psychospherical Chapter. It has not disappointed.
This is an intelligently crafted speculative science fiction-themed album, and across 62 minutes the band explore what the future might hold for humanity, should certain things potentially come to pass. These tales are told via the medium of black metal that’s enhanced with elements of doom, electronica, and post-metal, as well as a desire and ability to experiment. These latter aspects are all filtered through a focused black metal lens, however, so that you always know what style you’re listening to, even if it’s a very artistic and considered one.
Featuring multiple vocalists spread out over the different tracks, Hologram Temple is every bit the impressive and engaging journey through sound that III: Eternalism – The Psychospherical Chapter was. III: Eternalism – The Psychospherical Chapter was a rather large jump forward in style when compared to the band’s previous two albums, whereas Hologram Temple is more a mix between these earlier releases and its predecessor, while still almost-paradoxically moving forward with the band’s sound.
The songs are expressive and dark, with dynamics and intrigue aplenty. There are a plethora of different ideas and creative nuances explored across the tracks, all which enhance the music greatly, but never detract from the effectiveness of the songs or their intentions. Each song has its own character and reason to be memorable, and the resulting album flows and weaves well through the playing time in a coherent and affecting manner, relishing its diversity of delivery and personality.
With first-rate songwriting and a huge, professional production that still nonetheless manages to sound harrowing and apocalyptic, Stellar Master Elite have created an album of serrated intent, gripping atmosphere, and absorbing spirit. With great depth and substance, Hologram Temple is the sound of a band developing, progressing, and ultimately realising their best work so far.
Essential listening for any extreme metal aesthete.