Magister Templi – Lucifer Leviathan Logos (Cruz del Sur Music)

Friday, 31st May 2013
Rating: 8/10

Labels have come around to the fact that there is presently, an insatiable need for anything of the occult rock/metal variety. You can blame both Ghost and The Devil’s Blood for that, so it’s important the suits in charge do a good job of holding up the second tier, or this stuff will bottom out and grow stale. Actually, that will probably happen anyway. Nevertheless, Norway’s Magister Templi are the latest entry in the devil metal derby, and on their Lucifer Leviathan Logos debut, prove quite adept at casting a Mercyful Fate-like spell, just without the mystery and magic.

As is the case with all bands of this ilk, success rides largely upon the vocalist, who in this case is one Abraxas d’Ruckus, which has to be one of the coolest names around. Since it’s fun to say “causing a ruckus,” Mr. Ruckus scores instant points in the character department, even if he bypasses the corpse-painted and/or hooded route. To the point, his vocals have loads of character to them, even if he wobbles on some of his falsettos (“Master of the Temple”). However, his booming, carrying vocal approach boasts volume and imagination, like on “Lucifer,” where he’s awfully eerie, or “Logos,” where he hones in on some vintage goodness.

Class abounds on Lucifer Leviathan Logos, where the recent mettle of In Solitude is matched stride-for-stride. These songs have grip, and since the band is operating without a sideshow and gimmick, it’s not a reach to say they’ll be one of the bands left standing when the dust settles on the current fascination with Satanic rock and/or metal.

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