Solar Temple Suicides
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Solar Temple Suicides

Baltimore, Maryland, United States | INDIE

Baltimore, Maryland, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Alternative

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This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Aug
26
Solar Temple Suicides @ TBA

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Jul
21
Solar Temple Suicides @ Ottobar

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Jun
06
Solar Temple Suicides @ Ottobar

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

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Music

Press


The opening track on Sentinels of the Heliosphere, Pale Blue Dot, is a great, seductive but not wholly representative introduction to the album, which at times takes very different sonic paths. Pale Blue Dot announces itself in High Imperial form; a stately strut borne in on a big, big sound, the band getting collectively high off reverb and tremolo. Sparky, thrashy, with a crystalline guitar sounds and hooks very reminiscent of Loop or even Bernard Butler in his camp pomp. The vocals are set deep into the mix, so they sound like muffled instructions and pronouncements rather than anything you can take your cue from. Following this, we get more of a feel for the rest of the LP with A Rough Road Leads To The Stars: which is zoned-out spacerock. The track seems to want to morph into a teenage love song; (it has that dolorous feel you normally connect with those paeans to lost love emanating from kids’ bedrooms, as well as the gooey chords in the refrain being driven a very affecting bass descend), though things hot up near the end, aided by some vocal samples.

There is a plodding, stately vibe on Sentinels of the Heliosphere and the band lay out a space where a listener, if they so wish, can map out whole interior landscapes; those with experience of this sort of music shouldn’t expect to chart any new territory however. It’s classic mix of what Gong and Hawkwind pioneered and what got picked up in 1988, very AR Kane, (they must love 69) and in chords and melody lines it’s a bit like a very stoned version of the first Ride E.P. Or even Lush’s early E.P.s, the stuff Robin Guthrie mixed. I can see there’s a love of Spaceman 3, but the band never really go for that acid-sharpness in sound, or the menacing vibe that Kember & Pierce perfected. The band’s “vagueness” in this respect dovetails very well with the song titles, which are either very long or have that gnomic quality much beloved of acts trying to take us to another place... What, pray, is Quiet Like Sin (To A Fatal Shell)? Having said all that, a lot of the tracks kick up a gear just before they end which is a bit of a let-down, because invariably these bits are pretty fantastic.

Outside of the imperious opener, this is music for a lazy afternoon whilst doing not very much in particular. I shudder to think what happens when intoxicants are taken prior to playing it.
- Incendiary Magazine


They have songs that hit. They have songs that miss. But when they hit, they’re homeruns. Solar Temple Suicides crush a space rock journey unlike no other on “How the Sphere, Having in Vain Tried Words, Resorted to Deeds”; its melancholic guitar lick reminds me of something that The Cure wrote one sad rainy day only to have Explosions in the Sky jiggle the handle a bit and I could listen to it all day (they make it easy given that it’s over 8 minutes in length). You can hear influences from groups as diverse as My Bloody Valentine, the two aforementioned bands, and Spacemen 3. “Quite Like Sin” is another great guitar-driven tune that journeys between the druggy haze of acid rock and shoegaze. - Smother.net


With an imposing name, Solar Temple Suicides make imposing music to match. Named after the Order of the Solar Temple cult – who performed mass suicides throughout the ’90s in Switzerland and Quebec – STS hopefully only share interest in their namesake’s esoteric beliefs. Luckily, the band channels the cult through oozy, psych rock rather than ritualistic suicide, drugged children, and burned corpses. STS came together around the Baltimore art and music collective, S.Carey Studios, but recorded their debut record, Sentinels of the Heliosphere (Sleepy Records), at the rehearsal space, Studio 14, after S.Carey was closed down. The album is a total psychedelic workout, incorporating classic rock structures with swirling post-rock effects and sound sources. “Pale Blue Dot” builds around anthemic electric guitar strums, rat-ta-tat drumming and Dan Deacon-esque knob twiddling. By the time the boys get the track really rolling, it’s shoegaze-y noise hanging on for dear life to a rock/soul chord progression. “A Rough Road Leads To The Stars” makes a direct reference the cult leaders’ belief in fire, but the song’s almost-catchy, hallucinatory chant does a better job recreating a hazy, sun-filled room than a burned-out building. - American Songwriter


With the release of their first full-length album, Sentinels of the Heliosphere, Baltimore's Solar Temple Suicides brings forth a fresh sound to shoegaze, space-age rock. Much like the belief in the human transition to the spiritual realm of the cult from which the band gets its name, Solar Temple Suicides creates music that is uniquely evolved and transformative.

The first track, “Pale Blue Dot”, sets the album’s unearthly tone. Combining musical synergy with live drums, distorted guitars, and distant vocals, puts the listener in another place- where the floating energy of sound meets its rhythm. The galactic noise and space-like sounds of “A Rough Road Leads to the Stars” converges with the soothing reverberation of the slow-paced bass and soft drumming of “How the Sphere, Having in Vain Tried Words, Resorted to Deeds.”

“Close Your Eyes” captures the sound of hypnotic organs entranced by raw vocals and moves into “Quite Like Sin (to a Fatal Shell),” which incorporates rhythmic force with lyrical softness like a calm and fury all at once. The second to last track, “Stranger Among Sounds” continues with the menacing vibe of distortion’s power and vocals that fade, at times, to a mere echo of a voice.

Returning to the ethereal essence of music, the final song on the album, “Angel,” is a perfect ending to the controlled chaos of the innovation sound of Sentinels of the Heliosphere. - Innocent Words


While the obvious influences are all present and correct, Spacemen 3, The Velvet Underground and Hawkwind, the band are good enough and confident enough to plough their own furrow of psych goodness – try the seven minutes plus of the swirling, far out A Rough Road Leads To The Stars and hear for yourself.

Named after the infamous cult who tried to reach the stars by setting themselves on fire, Solar Temple Suicides’ debut full-length album, Sentinels of the Heliosphere, will be released December 14th on Sleepy Records, with an east coast tour to follow in early 2011. - Mad Mackerel


Galaxie 500 mixed with Spiritualized/Spacemen 3. Buried vocals if any, heavy drums, guitar, airy ethereal synths. Dreamy yet heavy stuff. Play with Bardo Pond, Do Make Say Think, Godspeed. Stooges at half-speed. - KZSU Stanford Radio 90.1 FM


Back to some semblance of sanity, relatively speaking, Baltimore’s cult namecheckers’ Solar Temple Suicides’ debut album “Sentinels of the Heliosphere” (Sleepy Records ZZZ 005) is a hazy, narcotic slab of shoegaze that brings to mind early 90s Oxford tyros Ride (remember them, before leader Andy Bell became bass bitch for the Brothers Britpop?) as well as Explosions in the Sky, Dark Star even early PiL. It’s pretty decent stuff, particularly the portentous, slightly doomy “Pale Blue Dot” and the pick of the poppies here, “Tried Words Resorted to Deeds” which is the darkest, most cranked up number on the album and should knock your socks off. Elsewhere the results can be a bit mixed, there is a tendency to plod and meander at times, but the moments of treading water are outnumbered by the swimmingly good. There’s nothing really new here then but so what? The boys do what they do and they do it well enough for a qualified thumbs-up from your reviewer. - Terrascope


The Solar Temple suicides: a horrific event in the 1990s in which 55 members of the obscure Solar Temple cult killed themselves, theoretically trying to “reach the stars.”

Solar Temple Suicides: The Baltimore band that got its name from that event and is equally headed for the stars, just in its own way.

The band has been bubbling since 2007, gaining and losing members, and this December will release its debut album, “Sentinels of the Heliosphere.”

Describing the band’s sound on this premiere effort without illicit drug references will be impossible, but here goes my best attempt.

As soon as you hit “play,” you are submerged in a chaotic, orbital vibe.

“Pale Blue Dot,” the opening track, starts with a shrill digital jangling and twangy guitar from space echoing over thumping drums.

The tone for the album is set, and it only took one full minute.

That being said, don’t expect the band to rush through anything.

The spacey, loopy vibe continues, featuring plenty of flanging and phasing guitars, echoing through the chasms of space, coupled with rumbling bass lines.

The drums maintain the pace of the song, keeping it from spiraling into lonesome moon madness.

After jamming along through the first three tracks, they amp up the edge a little bit on “Close Your Eyes” and bring a little energy, some rocking drums and fuzzed-out bass, creating a ’70s psychedelic rock feel.

Then “Quite Like Sin (To A Fatal Shell)” eases you back in with some nice peaks and valleys, then after six minutes, races you into a mad three-minute rock jam.

Overall, the album seems a little aimless. It’s the soundtrack to floating through space, which is cool, but imagine how boring floating through space would be.

There are some nice waves of sound floating in and out, and as study/running/background music, the record is great.

It’s huge on atmosphere.

But if you want to just sit down and listen to this record from start to finish, well, it might not hurt to get stoned first (dang, so close). - Red and Black


"From their sound, a bunch of older shoegaze bands come to mind - Loop, Spacemen 3, MBV etc. These guys have a great sound and I expect we will be hearing more from them in the future.” - Mars Needs Guitars


Discography

Solar Temple Suicides - Sentinels of the Heliosphere (Dec. 14, 2010)
Solar Temple Suicides - e.p. (2009)

Photos

Bio

Since their formation, Solar Temple Suicides have slowly been perfecting their own brand of drugged out, spacey haze. They preach long and tall effects-laiden, psychedelic lessons culled from ancient Yajurvedas of transformation and trial by fire, thrust from the sun to the outer edges of the universe. Their unabashed space rock tendencies and hallucinatory walls of sound drive their high volume live shows. Not fitting neatly into any extant mold, Solar Temple Suicides gather their influences together to form their own nebula.

The seed of the band was planted one evening in late 2007, when Jon (guitars/vocals) met Mike (drums) in a dense cloud of vapors. Discussing their common interest in shoegaze, space rock, and similar patterns of soundwaves, the idea for a new music project coalesced in the hovering aether. They soon recruited Scott on bass, who Jon was playing with at the time in the now defunct neo-folk outfit Omega Express. Calling themselves Solar Temple Suicides after the infamous cult who tried to reach the stars by setting themselves on fire, they took up residence in early 2008 at SCarey Studios, a garage-turned-performance space run by the band and several co-conspirators in the urban wasteland of Baltimore’s west-side. Keyboardist Greg joined soon thereafter, but left the band in June 2010 to prepare for his upcoming attempt to colonize the moons of Jupiter with his mind.

The fledgling band was nearly knocked on its head when, late in the summer of 2008, SCarey Studios was forced to close by angry gods in the form of unending noise complaints and repeat visits from Officer Slaughter and his cronies. After some discussion, the band moved into Studio 14, an old, labyrinthine warehouse of rehearsal spaces, to practice, commune with the spirits of the psychedelic monks, refine their sound, and record.

Solar Temple Suicides’ debut full-length album, Sentinels of the Heliosphere, was self- recorded and produced at Studio 14 in the winter and spring of 2010. It will be released December 14th on Sleepy Records, with an east coast tour to follow in early 2011.