Magister Templi – Into Duat (Cruz Del Sur Music)Tuesday, 6th October 2015
The first thing DR thinks about in regards to Norway’s Magister Templi the name of its vocalist, Abraxas d’Ruckus. Now, it happens to be the gentleman’s real name, so let’s not get into finger-pointing or name-calling here. (We’re adults.) But man, it sure has a great ring to it, especially when we want to talk about “causing a ruckus with the vocals,” which is pretty much what Mr. Ruckus does. Into Duat is the band’s second full-length, following up 2013’s well-done Lucifer Leviathan Logos, an album that in spite of its occasional Mercyful Fate gonzo-ness, was enjoyable.
Ruckus has the whole “theatrical” vocal thing down. It’s refreshing to find a singer so willing to stick his neck in the manner he does. Literally, he jumps out of the speakers. (Well, not literally.) He’s spell-casting on “Osiris,” getting some gang-chants behind him on “Anubis,” and displaying plenty of bravado on “Lord of the Morning” and “Destruction.” For some, he might be a bit too much; the vamping, as well as the brashness of his voice could rub the more particular the wrong way, more than likely those who sit on the power/traditional fence. But really, why not go for it all with a guy who rather clearly has his own identity as a vocalist?
Behind Sir. Ruckus are serpentine, proto, evil riffs, played with the class and amplitude of Denner and Shermann. There’s some choice licks to be kicked around, like the NWOBHM runs on “Sobek,” where Angel Witch riff action is brought into the new century, Norwegian style. And there’s a hard-to-beat stockade of ideas here, where the prototype elements of early 80s British metal is brought into the modern era. Consider Into Duat the superior of the two Magister Templi albums. A band to watch.