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Temple Balls – Pyromide

Temple Balls
by Alex Barnard at 03 July 2021, 9:34 PM

TEMPLE BALLS is a Melodic Hard Rock band from Finland. “Pyromide,” released on April 16, 2021, is the band’s third album and their first after signing to Frontiers Records.

The band’s sound is very heavily influenced by 80s Hard Rock and AOR, with hints of the ultra-produced European Power Metal scene peeking through as well. Think of this band as the child of GUNS ‘N ROSES, KISS, FOREIGNER and NIGHTWISH if the four had attended an orgy together in Amsterdam. Arde sings with the same power as a young Paul Stanley and Steve Perry combined. Niko and Jiri hit their pinched harmonics just as hard as Zakk Wylde, riff as competently as Slash, and shred as fast as Yngwie Malmsteen. And, of course, Antti and Jimi provide a tight rhythm section, adding a solid backing to the layers at play here.

But, just like THE TREATMENT’s most recent album (which I also reviewed), the music on this album is a giant cliché. Simple chord progressions you’ve heard over and over again on JOURNEY records? Check. Obvious lyrical choices like, “We won’t back down,” or “You’d better run for cover?” You got it. The obligatory, AEROSMITH-styled piano ballad? Yep *not-so-subtle eyeroll*.

“Thunder from the North” opens the record with a synth-heavy chord progression and a thunderous, danceable drumbeat. Arde, of course, sings about “riding the storm,” and how the band is going to kick the listener’s ass because they’re from Finland – or something. “Long Ways, Long Lies,” the following track, starts off with a riff that I swear I’ve heard before in an IRON MAIDEN song. Arde’s lyrics are, again, about having vindication against some nameless enemy, warning them with another obvious lyrical choice that their days are numbered.

“T.O.T.C.” starts off with some highly-technical sweep arpeggio patterns before diving into a riff that has the same swagger as “Mr. Brownstone” by GUNS ‘N ROSES. There’s not much else to say about that track really; it’s just kind of dull and hackneyed. “Bad Bad Bad,” has about the same lyrical depth as a 2010s pop song, just with more Red Bull-fueled musical energy. “Unholy Night” is alright, with its pumping triplet feel providing the backdrop for Arde to sing about being a sinner. “You Better Run” starts with the same chord progression the band has been using throughout the entirety of the album as Arde again goes after some nameless enemy. And lastly, the band has their “November Rain” moment on “If Only I Could,” a cheesy piano ballad with tasteful, melodic guitar solos and a little key change at the end.

God damn, this album was a snooze-fest. Good production and solid musicianship don’t make up for the stale songwriting ideas that pervade “Pyromide.” Again, if you’re stuck in the ‘80s, you’ll love it, but I think I can speak for those of us living in 2021 in the sense that we would like to hear something new from the Hard Rock scene.

Songwriting: 2
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 3
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

1. Thunder from the North
2. Long Ways, Long Lies
3. T.O.T.C.
4. Fallen Youth
5. Bad Bad Bad
6. What is Dead Never Dies
7. Unholy Night
8. Heart of a Warrior
9. You Better Run
10. If Only I Could
11. Something to Die For
Antti Hissa – Drums
Jiri Paavonaho – Guitar
Niko Vuorela – Guitar
Arde Teronen ­– Vocals
Jimi Välikangas – Bass
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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