Prince Rama – Shadow Temple Album Review (w/ Full Album Stream)

Music can serve a thousand different functions in our lives, and I’d be the first to admit that as much as there’s almost always a longing in me for transcendent auditory experimentation. When I’m at work or doing some other boring repetitive task completely sober, I probably want shit I can sing along with to help time accelerate towards the paydirt. That’s how most bands make their money. So, I suppose that was a roundabout way of saying that if it’s that kind of a hyper-focused, consciousness-constricting pop music getaway or calculated metal beatdown you’re looking for, this is the exact wrong record for you. Also might be worth noting that if you don’t like hippies, or hippie culture in any way shape or form, stay waaaaay clear. This shit is about as hippie’d out as it gets.


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But with that disclaimer aside, if you’re looking for some otherworldly trance-inducing mind-fuckery, you’re in luck. In a way, what Prince Rama is doing is an extension of the shamanic drum circle ritual, laying out a foundation of hypnotizing rhythmic enchantment, and then sprinkling it with subtle layers of bleeping keyboards and sputtering feedback loops. There are no lyrics, or songs really; instead, the vocals add ethereal atmospherics to the background like painted clouds drifting through the stratosphere past a slowly fading sunset. It makes me think about sitting in the middle of the desert and having a visionary experience in which I finally come to terms with the increasingly complex pathos that our culture of toxic drug abuse and hollow sex obsession has wreaked on my psyche over the years. I need to meditate more and party less. I know cosmic earth mother, I know, but how can I change in the midst of this festering insanity? It’s all so simultaneously hilarious and terrifying.

This is the sound you’d almost expect kids raised on a Hare Krishna compound and filtered through art school in Boston to make. When they chant, “Om Shivaya,”they sound like they mean it, and that’s when you know they’re going for more of a religious experience vibe than anything else. And while Shadow Temple might veer into almost “new age music” territory a bit much for me now and again, you’ve got to admire their ambition to uplift and educate rather than confuse and oppress — all without saying a word.


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13 years ago

great review John!

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