TEMPLE OF BLOOD: OVERLORD (Independent)

 

                        (Review by Officer Nice)

With their very first album Temple Of Blood blew me away. As a big fan of technical Thrash with high pitched vocals I couldn't believe my ears. Nowadays only a few bands decided to play this kind of Metal, I suppose the rest isn't capable enough doing it! I was waiting for this one for a long time! I knew it would be a hard job to equalize with the debut. Once again Temple Of Blood created a very eye catching cover. Damn, how I was fond of their very first front cover! Also their old school band logo never missed its attractive effect on me or why did you think I ordered a T-shirt from these Thrashers?

Let's talk about the music now! Temple Of Blood is still the band I adored a few years ago; after a short intro TOB takes off with the fast and furious riff of 'Behind The Inverted Star'. Crunchy and tight riffs are the mark of this Christian band, riffs that will remind you to the early years of Death Angel, Forbidden and Testament. Great bands to be compared with, no? Also the rhythmic foundation of this first song is outstanding; fast and enraging! To me the best Thrash Metal bands mixes speedy songs with powerful melodic mid tempo songs.

With 'Summon The Accused', Temple Of Blood is delivering me what I want, a tremendous track! Form, structure, balance, focus and melody are in a perfect balance, just the way I like it! On 'Fearsome Warrior', the speed is devastating and the technical arrangements don't miss their effect on me, as a fanatic of this genre. Also the opening riff of 'Illusion Of Control' is overpowering and will hit you hard in the face. The choruses with backing vocals are sounding very 'eighties'; they remind me to the old Anthrax. Talking about the guitar works I have to mention the fast fingered guitar solos. Temple Of Blood contains Jim Mullis and Matt Barnes as guitar players and both are doing a great job. The way they are pulling the strings is lifting this band up to a higher level. If you're into technical Thrash Temple of Blood invites you to their sinister and aggressive Metal feast!
 

With 'Black Day Of Execution', Temple Of Blood is seriously slowing down. This old Sabbath-like song is pure Doom Metal if you would ask me, the opposite of what we are used from these guys. I don't mind because it's a welcome pause in this twisted CD. 'Pawn Of The Liar' is gearing up the tempo again and after two CD's the musical elements of this song sounds typical for this band. With 'Harbinger' Temple Of Blood shows that they're a typical US Metal band! This up tempo varied US Power Metal song has an aggressive approach but still sounds very symphonic. Some superb solos are weaved in this track, it's another precious amalgam of musical elements.  

I didn't talk about the vocals until now. The reason is that this CD contains a cover from Forbidden, an extreme difficult band to cover because of the vocals. These re-united Thrashers always were idols to me, especially because of the very first albums. Russ Anderson is a fantastic singer, with a strong and very high pitched unique voice. It is always impossible to hook up with him, so I was curious about TOB's version of 'Forbidden Evil' . Musical wise I can tell this cover is fantastic but also the vocals are very good although Jim Mullis doesn't own the Anderson's lungs. I bow my head deep because this guy accepted the challenge to play this cover! Jim Mullis is overall a fantastic singer and I like his typical timbre, vocal sound, high screams and vocal lines.  

After this exciting cover the cadence is measuring again with 'Anthem Of The Unseen'. I really like the structure of this one; a (US) Power Metal ravager with once again great vocals and solos. The high energetic 'The Return' ends this album and contains the typical components of this band; yes Temple Of Blood produced an own sound and that makes them a great band! I hope they will hold on to them, without exaggerating because in that case boringness belongs to the possibilities. 

At first I wasn't that enthusiastic about the new Temple Of Blood; I suppose I missed the surprising effect from the first release. After multiple listens I can't stop listening to this CD! There are no weaknesses and TOB is taking you from the one highlight to another. This band contains good composers, even better performers. They know how Metal should sound and this US Power / Speed / Thrash is indeed innovating in the new millennium. I know Jim is a Metal beast 'pur sang' and I am begging Oliver from KIT, Thomas from HOA or Vollker from Swordbrothers to bring these guys to Europe! A band that sounds like Realm, Heathen, Toxik and Flotsam & Jetsam deserves a place on your bills!

I can also hope Temple Of Blood is ready to search for a good label; come on guys! Check this fantastic release at
http://www.templeofblood.net or http://www.myspace.com/templeofblood

My Points: 92 /100