Temple of the Smoke – …Against Human Race

I guess that if you come from a small country like Serbia it always raises one’s national pride when you learn there is a band whose music is so wonderful. Living in a such place, where you can count all the good bands on the fingers of one hand, it makes me happy when there appears a band whose creativity and quality stands shoulder-to-shoulder with many professional western bands. The Belgrade based Temple of the Smoke is one of those bands.

I am not going to blab about the band’s history, that’s all available if you visit their page on our Prog Sphere Promotions website. So instead let’s focus on the music.

First of all, …Against Human Race was released by the Russian independent label R.A.I.G. Records and I’m very happy myself that this achievement was released as a physically. For that matter it will certainly have more than good and positive reception to the fans of this music. And what is this music like?

…Against Human Race is a very eclectic album and it’s pretty tough finding where its roots lay as you hear everything from psychedelic rock to stoner rock to krautrock to space rock to reggae to metal. With assurance, I may say that the members’ taste is very colorful, thus this fact reflects through the album’s flow. If you are in need to hear Hawkwind, Ozric Tentacles, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Om and Orange Goblin (with note that there can be more) in a single album, Temple of the Smoke’s Against Human Race is your next choice. Described as “one of the most talented and competent rock bands with a handful of secrets and surprises to come out of Eastern Europe”, TOTS echoes the musical legacy of many different time periods.

These guys prove to be very good arrangers, as it’s devilishly difficult to fuse all of the aforementioned genres in a single flow. And all that emerged as a product of spontaneity, a real jamming fusion. In the eight tracks that comprise this record, I can freely say that four of them transmit the energy, while the other four absorb it. This album delivers and takes at the same time.

With the opening bit like Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator, which rocks heavily at the beginning followed by many synth effects, it’s clear that Temple of the Smoke accept the references to other bands of similar genre orientations, but bravely paves its own space path. You do not have a chance to hear reggae space rock every day, and these Belgraders use to fuse these two genres into one on Unnatural Regression.

Naked Sun, which we included on our third Progstravaganza, is an astral slab of psychedelic and space rock, while Deadly Skies together with South of Heaven (don’t mess it up with Slayer’s song by the same name) constitues the most stonerfied/doomy part of the album.

Autumn World brings up a sort of meditative spirit of perpetuity, its floating airiness in touch with auditory system is like a SF fairytale. The reggae rhythms are back with Into the Storm, while the closing Tortoise Du Mars is a great finisher for a great record.

Inspired by the work of science fiction authors, most notably by Isaac Asimov and H.P. Lovecraft, as well as with Bugs Bunny and Marvin the Martian, Temple of the Smoke with …Against Human Race indicates just how screwed up the world is. But most of all, they justify my statement that they are one of the most talented bands coming out from Eastern Europe in recent years. Check out why.


01. Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator
02. Unnatural Regression
03. Naked Sun
04. Deadly Skies
05. Autumn World
06. South of Heaven
07. Into the Storm
08. Tortoise du Mars


* Janko Stojanović – guitar, synth, vocal
* Dušan Žica – guitar, synth, dubbin
* Marko Ilić – bass
* Dragan Mirković – drums & percussion



Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.

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