REVIEW: Iosu Vakerizzo – The Temple (2019)

Iosu Vakerizzo’s The Temple is a post-exotica ambient terror show in which the exploits of Exotica have since turned over to the horrors of postcolonial reality. Memories of the deceased have now turned aggressor, a classic zombie-infested haunting in which the presence of the dead become apparent in the living’s absence. This is dark ambient music at its finest.

The Temple’s deathly eerie ambience straddles the line between ambient music and soundscape, creating a faux film score element or cinéma de l’esprit. The album’s focus first and foremost is on crafting its eerie aura, which it thrives in. Second to this is the album’s textural feel, and lastly, if ever relevant here, comes musical structure and rhythm. But it is this very ‘lack of presence’ (the presence of more traditional music qualities) which is utilized so effectively.

Vakerizzo’s crafted something particularly special in sonic-miniature. Iosu Vakerizzo’s work is similar to the short films of Jiří Barta, both in their aura and potency. The listener is left wanting more, but it is The Temple’s 16-minute run time which leaves the work both impactful and fulfilling.

The first 4 of 5 songs on the album could be considered the stumbling upon and exploration of the lost world of 1950s Exotica in its present state: resorts now dilapidated, villages abandoned. Exotica’s sonic luxury has since caved way to the unhindered passage of time and ensuing decay. It is the base of the mountain on which the inevitable reckoning of Exotica’s prior colonial approach will take place.

5th and final track Sacrifice To The God of The Mountain is this very mountain. The howling of wind intensifies as tension builds. The drum’s beating is now more present than ever. And before long, a doom wave of layered strings crash and crush down upon us. It’s incredibly heavy in a still way, reminiscent of early Doom Jazz. But it is this new instrumental presence, the weird to Mark Fisher’s eerie, which brings the outside back home.

Sacrifice To The God of The Mountain may quickly ratchet up the album’s previously slow growing tension, but doesn’t lose The Temple’s eerie touch with unwanted answers. The song stops, and the listener is left in deathly silence and grisly terror. In the end, it never quite does. The Temple haunts, lingers, and destroys any perceived innocence of the past.

Iosu Vakerizzo’s The Temple is a must listen for those looking for a new breed of ambient terror, doom, and sonic tension.

If you enjoyed this, we’d highly recommend our guide to The Fast Paced, Lighthearted World of DOOM JAZZ.

For fans of: Dale Cooper Quartet, Arthur Lyman, Sleep Research Facility

Like Iosu Vakerizzo? Give these a listen: Soy Fan Del Dark, Brian J Davis, Robert Drasnin,

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