Review Summary: Riffs.
By the opening measures of “Towards Infinite Chasms”, Vacivus' Temple of The Abyss
already had me grinning with vice, with the guitarists wringing every last ounce of grisliness from simple lines of melody. I won't lie, this first proper
track made the oh-so-spooky prelude feel a little superfluous; the band are simply good enough at mood-building to do away with such clichés, but you'd have to be a real stickler (like me) to dwell on that.
Once Vacivus delve into the meat of their opus, however, there is neither reason nor chance to look back. Songs race forward like a baton being passed from riff to riff in one swift, well-choreographed move after another. What's more is that while the band may not have the most varied skill set, they've honed their modest arsenal of techniques to a tee. A good portion of this album hinges on the ever-reliable tremolo-picked riff, which forms the backbone of tracks like “Oubliette” and “Black Flame Serpent”. Though by no means compositional wonders, these faster tracks capitalise on the tension built up by the others encompassing them. Elsewhere, there are glints of pseudo-doom and death 'n' roll, as well as a number of solos that occupy some kind of uncanny valley between the manic and melodic.
Otherwise, there isn't too much to dissect here; it's very much an “in-the-moment” experience, fortified as much by sheer viscera as it is by fluid song-writing. Naturally, the producers' work has a big stake in album's charm, having rendered every note and chord with a film of aural grime that old school death metal can't do without. It's dirty and coarse but also dynamic and fleshed out, with the drumming being the ultimate beneficiary. The wave forms are given headroom enough that every point of contact feels tangible, which is a nice touch given that the performance itself a lot more dexterous than you might expect of an OSDM revival product. Of course, you don't need me to tell you Vacivus aren't doing anything new here, but that's not their goal; Temple of The Abyss
just a no bullshit array of metallic fervour, sure to satisfy any fan of its ilk.