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Temple of Baal - Mysterium Award winner

Temple of Baal
by Erika Kuenstler at 08 September 2015, 5:41 AM

Due for release next month, the fifth full-length album of TEMPLE OF BAAL entitled “Mysterium” has got many fans wondering whether this release will be better than the relative poor reception received by its predecessor “Verses of Fire”. With this new opus, this French Black/Death Metal band delivers a new take on issues of spirituality, expressing themselves through a myriad of styles and soundscapes which are flawlessly amalgamated into a brooding yet brutal onslaught.

Starting off with a slow and sinister introduction, “Lord of Knowledge and Death” provides a strong opening to the remainder of the album, setting the pace for what is to come. A slew of textures are woven together here, melding melancholic undertows with an aggressive overlay which is inescapable in its ravenous hunger. Gravely vocals scrape at your soul, whilst the pounding drums ensnare you in a tempestuous maelstrom of aural annihilation.  Having said that, the outstanding “Devine Scythe” is definitely one of the highlight of the album, complete with infernal riffs that are almost soul-shattering in intensity, whilst the searing guitar solos on tracks such as “Magna Gloria Tua” and “All in Your Name” add whole new facets to the music. Then you have songs like “Black Redeeming Flame”, which are likely to be absolutely monstrous in a live setting, with epic sections set to a perfect windmilling tempo. Ending off “Mysterium” with the final song “All in Your Name”, the listener is treated a slower and dirtier song, with heavily distorted bass adding a drudged atmosphere which seems to hint at the futility of it all.

Clocking in at just under an hour, “Mysterium” is a dizzying display of what TEMPLE OF BAAL are able to achieve. On the down side, however, the production on “Mysterium” could have been a bit clearer. Whilst the fuzzy sound quality does arguably lend the Black Metal sections a more organic feel, the more Death oriented parts would have been infinitely more striking with slightly more clarity. Nevertheless, “Mysterium” is still a solid release from TEMPLE OF BAAL; perhaps not the crown jewel of their discography, but definitely a strong pillar. If you enjoy your Black Metal with a good dollop of Death, be sure to check out these guys!

4 Star Rating

1. Lord of Knowledge and Death
2. Magna Gloria Tua
3. Divine Scythe
4. Hosanna
5. Dictum Ignis
6. Black Redeeming Flame
7. Holy Art Thou
8. All in Your Name
Arkdaemon - Bass, Backing Vocals
Amduscias - Vocals, Guitars
Skvm - Drums
Saroth - Guitar
Record Label: Agonia Records


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