Throneum – Deathmass Of The Gravedancer3rd November 2023
Nunslaughter – Hells Unholy Fire7th November 2023
Label: Testimony Records / Release Date: 11th August 2023
Temple Of Dread is a German Death Metal trio with, so far, four Full-lengths under their belt spread over the last six years. Throughout that time the line-up of the band has been surprisingly stable, consisting of the same three musicians since the bands inception (band members who, incidentally, know one another from their time in another Death Metal band, namely Slaughterday).
Musically Temple Of Dread claim to come from an old-school Death Metal background which, as far as the musical approach is concerned, I believe – Simple yet powerful riffs pour out of every crevice of my loudspeakers, struggling for attention alongside the unyielding drums, only giving right of way to the barking, pseudo-growls that delivers the lyrics. And speaking of said lyrics, that is where the band truly comes into their own for me – As opposed to the Death Metal bands of old (which are the ones I am raised on and adore greatly, mind) their focus is a historical one, retelling ancient roman myths and histories instead of only anecdotes of war. Not that it in any way, shape or form hinders the raw frustration and anger on display, seeing as how roman culture and myths are strewn with miserable existances and tales.
Case in point: ”World Below”, an excellent albeit slightly artistic retelling of the tragic legend of Icarus who flew too close to the sun – And in this version, dives straight into the underworld to rule. It is clear that the vocals are a strong focal point for the band, with the amount of time and attention that has clearly gone into them – And in my eyes, that is an effort well spent. All ten tracks (counting the short introduction at the beginning of the album) add up to a ‘greatest hits’ of sorts of the story and belief system of the roman empire of old as well as its inevitable demise (very effectively illustrated by having Charon pictured on his boat as the front cover), with songs referencing the life and death of Marc Anthony, Cleopatra, Hades and even the burning of Rome itself.
While it should be noted that the band themselves have pointed out that Beyond Archeron is not a concept album, it is close enough for comfort for me – No doubt why, in conjunction with my love of old-fashioned Death Metal from which Temple Of Dread is clearly forged, I have ended up holding this record in such high regard. All in all a forty-five minute long love letter (for a lack of a better description) for fans, like me, of Obituary and early Entombed.
So while they sadly ended up breaking their ongoing streak (up until the release of Beyond Archeron they consistently released an album per year – This one was two years in the making) I reckon it was time well spent, since the record is definitely worth a spin. Or three.