Prince Rama “Shadow Temple” (2010)

October 26, 2011

Back in 2010 Prince Rama were a trio and with a little help from Avey Tare and Deakin of Animal Collective they made a very solid album. Recorded in a presumably haunted church, Shadow Temple triumphs in creating an atmosphere of ambiguity: these chants give both a feeling of extrication and oppression. The record’s centerpiece are three splendid tracks: Thunderdrums, Storm Worship and Lightening Fossil. They prove that Prince Rama are more than just quasi-religious vocals and mad drums. Thunderdrums is an epic out-of-this-world experience that starts with a buzzing guitar and goes through whirling synths, tribal percussion and background wild men voices and eerie noises to morph into an interlude Storm Worship, and finally give us electrifying Gang Gang Dance-like Lightening Fossil. The penultimate track Satt Nam is focused and may be easy to swallow for newcomers. In fact, Shadow Temple could end up as an instrumental album as well for from time to time the vocals by the Larson sisters miss the point and sound rather like a parody of a cult gathering. The not-so-good successor Trust Now shows that Prince Rama’s strength lies in production and without the talented members of Animal Collective the band feel lost.

hydrameter: 3/5

Key Tracks: Lightening Fossil, Satt Nam, Storm Worship, Thunderdrums

Listen to Lightening Fossil: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUTehV7N3k0

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