Taming Adversity: A Conversation With High Priestess Nighthawk of HEAVY TEMPLE

Flipping the script of a well-known tale through psychedelic doom.

heavy temple
Photograph by Gene Smirnov

After closing out night 1 of this weekend's Live On Front festivities at The International Bar, Philadelphia's HEAVY TEMPLE continue the course towards the arrival of their debut full-length, Lupi Amoris. Arriving on June 18th via Magnetic Eye Records, Lupi Amoris comes well adorned by the exceptional art of Alex Reisfar, who elaborates on the album's conceptual themes and helps establish the album's visual identity.

Sonically, HEAVY TEMPLE's High Priestess Nighthawk (vocals/bass), Lord Paisley (guitar), and Baron Lycan (drums) concoct an electrifying body of psychedelic doom that soars as high as its riffs. With opener A Desert, Lupi Amoris sets the energy high from the get go and maintains it steadily through the closing solos of Howling, rounding out one enthralling record ripe for the live stage. It's a well-rounded experience that comes equipped with an exquisite cover, richly layered instrumentation, and a message to learn from.

In anticipation of the release, we talk to the band's High Priestess Nighthawk about all things Lupi Amoris:

After a set of EPs and a crushing split with Wolfblood, you’re now ready to unleash your debut full-length recording, ‘Lupi Amoris’, to the world. Where does this debut find you all after nearly a decade of sonic exploration and growth?

High Priestess: Oh man. It's been a long journey. This album spans nearly every line up as far as when the songs were written and we intended to record it several times, just never got there. It's really nice to be able to put this out finally, because I think it's the best one yet. We work really well together and I think that shows on 'Lupi Amoris'. We're really excited for what's to come.

gene smirnov heavy temple
Photograph by Gene Smirnov

It shows! Conceptually, ‘Lupi Amoris’ harnesses greatly from Angela Carter's “The Bloody Chamber” (1979), but more specifically the "The Company of Wolves" from that collection of short stories. The story itself explores breaking free from the traditional norms of sexuality and power through a flip of the Red Riding Hood tale that everyone has come to know. Where did you find commonalities with the book, enough to where you found the drive to craft a record around it?