2013 has certainly seen an influx of high quality metal releases, not just in a sweeping sense where a handful of records get a mention with a vague “it’s good” remark. In fact, the extreme metal genres have fared quite well across the board. The album’s so far this year have not only showed high levels of enjoy-ability, but they have also been able to reach more and more listeners. Temple Of Baal are making their claim to 2013 supremacy in the latter half of the year, and not without good reason. ‘Verses Of Fire’ is a moderately successful, if not at all original release to surface under the Temple Of Baal moniker. These days the focus is more about what you do rather than what you may not have done, and in that regard, the manipulative force of ‘Verses Of Fire’ really shines past the mirth, grime and misconceptions of the ‘harsher’ more extreme genres. Temple Of Baal show that their brand of blackened sludge, doom and even rock is well worth the time to check out.
With all that in mind, it’s hard not to appreciate an act that’s so self-aware. You won’t find the band tinkering with avant-garde, frilly leads or unnecessary technical prowess for a simple sake of it. Instead, Temple Of Baal do what they do without a care for thinking too far out of the box, this is what sets the band apart from most of the modern acts looking for something ‘new’. ‘Verses Of Fire’ hearkens back to a day where metal needed no frills or cliches to ensure it’s steadily enjoyable. It’s an album that stays true to the band’s sound and completely defies the latest trends of the genre. Temple Of Baal aren’t about to apologize for the sound they have developed over the years, nor are they going to relinquish this self-awareness that’s seen the band become influential within their scene. Who could blame an act for doing what they do, especially if it works?
At just under an hour of play time, ‘Verses Of Fire’s’ ten tracks highlight the sinister and darkened nature of Temple Of Baal’s music. They are a French band that’s not afraid to snarl, crash and blast their way through tracks. Every note is articulate and exactly where it needs to be showing an album without remorse for its actions, blast beats, double bass or screeching vocal phrases. Take “Gates Of Death” for example, a crushing, plodding tempo acts as the very back drop for an old-school vibed blackened sludge sound before launching into a full sonic onslaught matched only by the ingenuity of Temple Of Baal’s traditional soundscape. If the band needed to define just what they wanted from an intense display of musical aggression, “Gates Of Death” would very much be it. But that’s far from the only noticeable track, ‘Verses Of Fire’ rarely lets up, and onslaught after onslaught breaches the listeners’ mind. The album’s closer “Walls Of Fire” (and the album’s longest track) stands as the record’s most expansive and well-thought track. A slow marched melodic riff builds a mood and a doom-y introduction, whilst a beast of up-tempo blast beats and tremolo riffs slam the listener. This is not a light track, nor is it a track to be taken lightly.
Overall, Temple Of Baal’s ‘Verses Of Fire’ is an excellent and well-presented metal hybrid. Take a listen and you’ll hear equal measures of black and sludge, dashes of brilliant thrash and touches of doom. Take the album for what it is, an onslaught on the listeners’ mind where an hour of Temple Of Baal’s finest takes hold. ‘Verses Of Fire’ is the group’s most culmination work to date and shows that there’s still something brewing in the collective minds of Temple Of Baal’s members.
‘το αστέρι 418’
‘The 10th Aethyr’
‘Gates Of Death’
‘Gnosis Of Fire’
‘Golden Wings Of Azazel’
‘Lord Of The Raging Seas’
‘Walls Of Fire’