Temple of Void – Summoning the Slayer (Relapse)

Wednesday, 8th June 2022
Rating: 8.5 / 10

Another entry in the thriving Midwest metal movement, Michigan quintet Temple of Void have been developing a hefty discography in the death/doom realm since arriving on the scene in 2013. A part of underground labels like Rain Without End and Shadow Kingdom over the years, Summoning the Slayer is a step up the ranks to join the prestigious Relapse roster – and it feels like the time is right for the band to hopefully spread their sound to a larger audience. Listeners will revel in the duality of doom riffs drenched in lower death tones, tempos that are somber as well as heavy, and vocals that run the gamut from measured growls to semi-spoken, cleaner gothic accents.

The alluring nuances and little details beyond the expected, conventional elements give the record a sense of girth, where your senses wish to process those hidden gems or circular movements again and again. It could be as simple as a quieter bass lick next to a distant electronic drum click to start “A Sequence of Rot” that signals the slower, winding doom riffs, melodic guitar supplementation, and caveman-like vocal delivery down a path of hypnotic despair. Intertwining longer arrangements against the occasional quick hitters ensures dynamic diversity even at these slower paces. Although when need be, the energy can reach semi-thrash/death proportions as “Hex, Curse & Conjuration” conveys, the interplay between drummer Jason Pearce and guitarists Alex Awn / Don Durr exemplary in an edge of your seat anticipation manner during the instrumental sequences. Delay effects vocally and musically add some older Type O Negative ambiance against their preferred Bolt Thrower, Asphyx, and older Paradise Lost influence tree they branch off – making “Behind the Eye” and “The Transcending Horror” two standouts.

The icy cold Ola Larsson cover art plus seeking out the current producer de jour with Arthur Rizk allows the five-piece peace at focusing on the task at hand – driving this material into aural landscapes far and wide for long-time followers of the death/doom angular style. This album for Temple of Void showcases a group of musicians confident in their sound, willing to expand horizons in lighter as well as heavier shades without compromising their ideals, so crank this up and enjoy.

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