The smell of incense and bong hits permeates every hazy pore of “Electric Temple”, the third album from this Oslo-based psychedelic doom crew. SUPERLYNX have displayed a singular charisma from the start, with both 2016’s “LVX” debut and 2019’s “New Moon” setting the band apart from the stoner/occult hordes by being (a) noticeably better at songwriting and (b) less reliant on sheer sonic force than many of their peers. Aided greatly by the spine-tingling charm of bassist Pia Isaksen‘s ghostly vocals, SUPERLYNX have increasingly sounded like some blissed-out blend of JEFFERSON AIRPLANE and ASH RA TEMPEL, but with no shortage of the usual traditional doom tropes and other post-GHOST conceits.
On “Electric Temple”, that subtly distinctive approach reaches a new peak of potency, as the Norwegians demonstrate their collective mastery of dynamics and an unerring ability to write absurdly simple but irresistible riffs. The title track is a case in point: built around a gleefully primitive, three-note motif, it ebbs and flows, always mutating but never straying from a dark path and, eventually, scorching to an exhilarating halt. Meanwhile, as the riffs churn, Isaksen‘s voice hovers above the melee, like some witchy, pan-dimensional narrator trying to contact us from, you know, somewhere else. Similarly, “Moonbather” takes the languorous, slow-build approach. Buoyant on the dark throb of open bass strings but steadily gaining momentum and muscle along the way. The song is quite mesmerizing and absolutely reeks of patchouli and psychic mischief.
Despite their progressive and psychedelic instincts, SUPERLYNX can do succinctness too. “Siren Sing” is a delicate, piano-led torch song with a twisted streak, and one that provides a gloriously evocative bridge between the sun-blasted, tar-black Americana of “Then You Move” and the shuffling woodsman doom of the closing “May”. Both songs suggest that this band have only just begun to toy with their own formula, as they start to exhibit as much kinship with the likes of THE DEVIL’S TRADE and ROME, as they do with more obvious stoner and doom notables. Likewise, “Laws of Nature” is a sinewy, stripped down, post-punk folk song that just happens to be as heavy and oppressive as any doom dirge. The spirit of TONY IOMMI‘s original vision never lurks too far away, of course, but SUPERLYNX have dressed it in their own, ever-changing colors and poured it a pint of Absinthe.