Track By Track: Closure In Moscow – ‘First Temple’

Across the U.S., Closure In Moscow have been revisiting their record First Temple live while opening for Protest The Hero, who are performing Fortress in entirety. The record has remained a cult classic for fans of progressive metal, spiraling with intricately woven layers and a decadently rich vocal performance. The seven year old record finally received a vinyl release via Equal Vision Records (that is now sold out), and can still be heard across the United States with more shows left.

To celebrate the release, Chris de Cinque (vocals and guitars) gave New Noise Magazine an in depth remembrance and insight to the writing of First Temple. The track by track can be read below along with the memorable stream of the record!

Kissing Cousins
This song was lyrically written half in the back of our van and half at a venue in Sydney. The chorus melody is basically a giant rip-off amalgamation of various 90’s euro dance and RnB songs. I think we’ve hidden that fact well enough, but please send us your guesses, and if you’re right we’ll send you some golf clubs. And just to put this to bed, no this song is not about Maeby Fünke and George Michael Bluth. Yes, multiple people have asked this…

Reindeer Age
I think this song holds the record for fastest written Closure song in history. The structure and main parts were done in about half an hour. You find inspiration in the weirdest places, and the lyric writing session for this song was spurred by the watching of a Ricky Gervais stand up DVD baked out of my skull at a mate’s place. I guess you feel like everything is profound when you’re young and high enough to not be completely bitter.

I believe this was the first song written for First Temple. I think it has such a strong chorus that still holds up great, and I can’t even take credit for it. That was old Mikey B’s doing, but morphing his placeholder lyrics “Sing i-e-i-eeee with the beat down” into “I’m dying to feel what you feel now”, that glory is wholly mine.

In retrospect some of the lyrics in this song are entirely too obtuse, and a real exercise in thesaurus masturbation… Ahhh the folly of youth. Still, really great memories of putting this one together at Brad’s parents’ farm out in the country. Seeing some of the guitar parts tracked for this at Crummett’s studio was also a thing to behold. I remember it being saved until everyone’s playing felt warm and well worked out, it was like watching guitar terminators from the future ruthlessly and efficiently crush every lead line and riff.

A Night at the Spleen
There is a bar called Spleen in here in Melbourne, and one of the loveliest, most carefree nights went down there with a bunch of really awesome friends from multiple friendship circles. We hit peak paldom in the middle of the Venn diagram of crews that night. It was so joyous and cathartic I felt it should be commemorated in song. A very cheeky little solo in this song that still gives me a chuckle, those bends are totally obnoxious but completely fitting.

I’m a Ghost of Twilight
Another track written on Brad’s farm, can you tell? I remember this one feeling the polar opposite of labored lyrically, and the chorus just fell out. There’s also a little homage to Mr. Crowley by Ozzy Osbourne in there melodically, during a part that is quoting Aleister Crowley, how positively meta.

This track is often overlooked, but I think it’s quite a special palette cleanser between the two “acts” of the more structurally coherent material on the rest of the album. Despite the grim imagery of the lyrics, it just came out sitting on a beach in Queensland whilst we were on tour for the EP, I think i just really hate beaches. The guitar and vocals are for the most part improvised passes, and there is something really visceral about that in the context of the lyrics. I was pretty drunk doing the vocals, and I was just letting out some demons, the demo vocals are what actually made it to the album, you can’t really replicate that.

Something felt really special about this one when putting it together. There’s something really endearing and lovely about it, the chord progression for the chorus is just sublime to me, and the harmonized lead line evokes this whimsy and melancholy that I love. The chorus felt like a tough nut to crack vocally for a very long time, everything else fit fairly easily, but I really wanted a chorus that did justice to the chords and part… I also still get chills thinking about those chorus lyrics purely as prose, is that conceited? Fuck you I’m allowed to be moved by something that came forth from the ether of my subconscious: “No more pouring out, I swear to God I’ll overflow until it spills over your floors, ungratified.”

Still don’t quite know what this song means, got mad stoned and let Jesus take the wheel for the lyrics. I think it’s something to do with the anxiety of moving away from home all the way to America and whatever else was buzzing around in my head. We really wanted to get away with writing something instrumentally that sounded like game show music, I think we succeeded because every time we play the intro live I feel like I’m about to win some shit on The Price is Right.

Arecibo Message
The key change at the end of this song simply came about because we wanted to do a Fleetwood Mac version of the chorus and instead of retooling the whole song around that idea, we figured we’d do it the lazy, Beyonce “Love on Top” way. We should have probably gone up another 165 times like she did too.

Couldn’t Let You Love Me/Had to Put it in the Soil
When we were writing First Temple, I had bouts of feeling too embarrassed to lay it all bare in plain and simple terms lyrically, and I think that’s why I went out of my way to be cryptic and obtuse. This song however, I consciously bucked against that fear and tried to write the simplest, to the point chorus I could. We’ve only just started performing this again, and delivering it with the vocal control I have now compared to back then, feels really powerful and potent in it’s simplicity and I revel in it every time we do it now.


April 3rd – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre**
April 5th – San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s**
April 6th – Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy**
April 7th – Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction**
April 8th – San Diego, CA @ SOMA**
April 10 – Phoenix, AZ  @ Valley Bar*

April 12 – Austin, TX @ Come and Take It Live*
April 13 – Houtson, TX @ Undrgrnd*
April 14 – Dallas, TX @ RBC*

** indicates dates w/ Protest The Hero and Thank You Scientist.
* indicates headline dates.

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