Roel de Haan : ‘Fertile Descent’ is the first album by the Dutch black metallers of Solar Temple. In recent years there has been a rise in the amount of worthy black metal bands from the lower countries and the question is: is Solar Temple is of those bands? First, let us explore their music. Solar plays black metal that is devoid of mainstream appeal. Not that it is utterly raw or true or something like that, but more inaccessible through the length of the two songs (over 15 minutes each), the fair amount of repetition and the somewhat gritty production. The vocals aren’t typical of the genre and are deep and subdued and almost spoken rather than sung. Riff-wise there is an odd combination of traditional black metal riffing, The Ruins of Beverast quirkiness and a slight Drudkh-like pagan influence. Repetition and mood are the key assets of Solar Temple and these are done quite well, although some trimming and a touch more variation wouldn’t hurt. Until then the aforementioned question remains unanswered.