The Temple (NZ)
The Temple


4.0
excellent

Review

by The Orb Ponderer CONTRIBUTOR (51 Reviews)
December 23rd, 2021 | 25 replies


Release Date: 11/19/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ulcerate this. Ulcerate that.

For many a metalhead, the idyllic land of New Zealand is most famous for one thing: Ulcerate. Revolutionaries in their own right, they've been churning out one timeless album after another in their quest for aggressive death metal perfection. Their sound is unmistakable and undeniably brilliant, and their influence has spread worldwide as countless bands attempt emulate their dexterous and dissonant modus operandi. Yet, despite the endless march of inspired homages, the closest thing you'll get to an Ulcerate clone is a band that's been spawned from the very roots that sprung the original act. That band is The Temple - a blackened death-doom two piece featuring prominent Ulceratarian Paul Kelland on the axes and vocals, and J.W. on the drumkit (who, as far as we can tell, is a notable ex-member from the band's incubatory yesteryear). Add a mix and master from the legendary Jamie St. Merat and you've got a recipe for a really good spin-off.

Right off the bat, the 9-minute opener "Omega Prophecy" introduces the ever-familiar gloom of Kelland's inventive chords and apocalyptic voice, hosting a thick layer of ashen soot and spiritual malaise that chokes out the sun with a ferocious grip. The tumult ebbs and flows between blasting bouts of fury and doomy passage alike, setting up the rest of the affair with predictable aptitude while J.W.'s work on the drums (though lacking the flair of St. Merat's worldclass work) fits the script and bolsters the mood with shifting tempos and diverse movements. One thing is immediately clear - this is blackened death-doom of a very high calibre, and while it might sound freakishly like its venerated parentage, these 41 minutes of existential struggle are distinctively blunt in their intention. The skies are grey over the crumbling temple, and with every brick that erodes to dust in the acid rain of a polluted landscape, so too falls a light in the world, never to be rekindled.

"Martyr of the Tyrant" underscores this destitution with a patient tension that tightens the boughs of the mind until they snap-loose into a barrage of torrid riffs and downtrodden leads that suck the last vestiges of hope from the very air you breathe. Moments like these are contrasted in good measure by the catastrophic doom dirges exemplified by "Pale Horse of Pestilence", as well as the more viscious jaunts of "Hell Incarnate" and "Wolf In The Vortex" that bludgeon and slice with the recognizably unfeeling virility and contorted marching of a Vermis-era Ulcerate. All of this comes to a head in the epic closer "Void of Scars" as it casts its monolithic shadow over the panorama to once more ensure all flickers of optimism are swiftly extinguished.

With only husks of men now in place of a once-soulful world now decimated, the time to consider this self-titled's influence as an almost wholly singular work in both scope and vision arises. It doesn't feel inappropriate to ultimately consider it a nice slab of bonus content in the Ulcerate canon, and is almost better for it. The striking similarities, effective as they are, could serve themselves up as a lukewarm collection of ideas that didn't escape the corkboard to anyone expecting a mightily different beast, but for those listeners content to enjoy the sound of an Ulcerate offshoot stripping their garb to bare only the black storms within, The Temple is a welcome addition to 2021's witching hour.



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user ratings (27)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Evok
Contributing Reviewer
December 23rd 2021


8830 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Score it off Profound Lore's bandcamp here:



https://thetemplenz.bandcamp.com/album/the-temple



Digging: Ferrara Ensemble and Crawford Young - Figures Of Harmony: Songs Of Codex Chantilly c1390

evilford
December 23rd 2021


54342 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sweet nice rev

Digging: Pillars of Cacophony - Parerga

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
December 23rd 2021


10286 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

this sounds lit

CaptainDooRight
December 23rd 2021


5267 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

the guitars and bass were unsurprisingly great on this



nice rev!

Digging: Quo Vadis - Day Into Night

combustion07
December 23rd 2021


9578 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad to see this get a review! Sick album

Digging: Discarnated - Deus Misereatur

Rowhaus
December 23rd 2021


4423 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

that artwork pleases me

CottonSalad
December 23rd 2021


1504 Comments


The guitar work is a nice notable departure - it's like an alternate timeline where they took Ulcerate's Shrines down a more black metal path, cool.

Rowhaus
December 23rd 2021


4423 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This really didn't do much for me unfortunately. It doesn't have the relentless atmosphere or over-the-top hooks you get in Ulcerate. I found it boring.

Pon
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2021


5404 Comments


Did somebody say




















































Ulcerate?

CottonSalad
December 23rd 2021


1504 Comments


"It doesn't have the relentless atmosphere or over-the-top hooks you get in Ulcerate. I found it boring."

That's JSM's drumming for ya...brings it all up a notch or two

Evok
Contributing Reviewer
December 24th 2021


8830 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Taking bets Jaq gives it a 3.8

Assemblage
December 24th 2021


1171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Nice to see a review pop up for this, and good observation Cotton about it being a more blackened variation of Shrines. I also agree that the biggest difference amongst this and the core Ulcerate output is the less insane drumming, where instead you get a little more stabilized and a "sitting in the pocket" approach, that while slightly less dynamic, gives the songs a broader construction. It definitely feels as if the mood and orientation of songs are given the attention to evolve and build on the more simpler ideas that perhaps would have been passed over or gunned towards something different in Ulcerate, so I appreciate this sonic expansion from Paul himself. Such a surprise to hear the duties he carried on this and it was awesome seeing the reveal reading through the info on the bandcamp page.



I've been feeling this is at least on par, if not slightly better than Vermis (Await Rescission and Cessation aside)

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
December 24th 2021


16250 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Saweet. Nice review lad

Digging: Krallice - Crystalline Exhaustion

Evok
Contributing Reviewer
December 24th 2021


8830 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well put @Assem'. This album really is quite brilliant for the exact reasons you mentioned. I can't say I like it more than Vermis or anything post-Vermis, but it'll still make my year-end aoty list without struggle!

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
December 24th 2021


17129 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm glad you covered this, great release

Dedes
December 26th 2021


8285 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet lord this is actually stupid good

I might like this as much as any Ulcerate record tbh

Evok
Contributing Reviewer
December 28th 2021


8830 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Still only 21 ratings? Is sputnik even aware this is basically a hidden Ulcerate record? Sheesh.

CaptainDooRight
December 28th 2021


5267 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

fa reel doh

CottonSalad
December 29th 2021


1504 Comments


narrative man, it works wonders

(and lol at how difficult this is to find on streaming platforms - there are like 2 or 3 others groups called this, and I didn't bother to count the amount of albums with the same name...)

Evok
Contributing Reviewer
December 29th 2021


8830 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

narrative man, it works wonders





No kidding.. just look at crypto lmao "hurr durr use-cases!"



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