TEMPLE OF BLOOD - OVERLORD (Independent)
(Review by Stefan)
Huntsville, Alabama based Temple Of Blood took me for the first time by the throat with their album “Prepare For The Judgement Of Mankind”, independently released in 2005 and loaded with high velocity Speed/Power/Thrash Metal compositions, pure American style. Founded by singer/vocalist Jim Mullis and drummer Lance Wright in 2001, Temple Of Blood hypnotized me all over with their form of US Metal! We at Metal To Infinity were very pleased with the debut album and watched with great interest to album number two. Well, the follow up to “Prepare For The Judgement Of Mankind” already has been released back in 2008 but albums like this deserve a second review from us at MTI webzine. One of our editors named Officer Nice wrote down his thoughts of “Overlord” a while ago, as a US Metal maniac myself I see no other way than to write my own version for this awesome band’s second output.
To surpass their debut album would seem an almost impossible task so I was curious about the end result of “Overlord”. Temple Of Blood is still unsigned which is an unfair fact to me, band like this should just be able to close a deal with a decent label but we all now that life isn’t fair at all so… Anyway, I’m glad they keep going without label and can tell already by now that “Overlord” is just another fantastic album! All of the songs has been created on such a high level, Jim Mullis’ unique way of high pitched way of singing still give me chills. And I have not even talked about the breathtaking guitar works. Matt Barns in charge as rhythm guitarist, Jim Mullis takes, besides the vocals, also the fantastic lead for his account. Based on what these two gentlemen musically mean to the entire Temple Of Blood sound is indescribable. Also big respect to super drummer Lance Wright which capabilities are equal to almighty Gene Hoglan, technical fast way of skin bashing! Former bassist Lovvorn was thanked for his services, Jim Mullis took his task.
“Overlord” opens with the intro ‘Descent Into The Treachery’ followed by ‘Behind The Inverted Star’, a first test for your neck muscles. This Speed Metal hulk got me by the throat right on - three Minutes full speed ahead with no remorse. More high-speed velocities comes around with ‘Fearsome Warrior’, in the vein of technical US merchants Oracle, Forte and Deliverance… If the album continues like this is a cardiac arrest nearby I guess. ‘Black Day Of Execution’ sounds a bit unexpected for a band like TOB. I do not dislike this song at all, it’s just some kinda rare to hear the band playing a Doom Metal work in the vein of old Black Sabbath. Afterwards, there is no time to rest any longer because ‘Pawn Of The Liner’ is approaching. Aggression offered by the grace of Speed/Thrash Metal, what a great combination of both lead and rhythm guitar lines. Ultra fast played with a good eye for detailed technical perfection, mighty good!
‘Harbringer’ has a short drum solo in the beginning and again, guitar wizards Jim and Matt seized for all my attention once again. Than it’s time for a magical moment, Temple Of Blood plays a cover of one of the best Bay Area Thrash Metal bands ever, named Forbidden. From their legendary debut album, TOB deliver the song ‘Forbidden Evil’ in style! Musically based, there is almost no different to note with the original version. You might say that it’s only a cover song but this version is so perfectly approached, you must be really good to make this happen… and Temple Of Blood is really good! Second last ‘Anthem To The Unseen’ brings heaven in my living room due to its typical US Power Metal feel. Temple Of Blood’s “Overlord” masterpiece ends with a song called ‘The Return’ and means that this is your last chance to bang your head on the rhythms of thrash.
Temple Of Blood’s second album “Overlord” has not exceeded the quality of its predecessor, they are rather bold to each other. I still do not understand why so many awesome US Metal are forced to work independently. This, so beautiful gem, seem undervalued by a lot of people, which is completely unjustified to me! I will always continue to support US Metal as good as I can, maybe you could do the same… at least if you have a good taste of music. Check out TOB at: www.templeofblood.net / www.myspace.com/templeofblood US Metal still reigns supreme !
My Points: 96 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & classic ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 89: Decent but better to take a preview first
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard