Hailing from Germany, Temple Of Dread is a death metal band comprised of Markus Bünnemeyer handling guitar and bass duties, Jörg Uken on drums, and Jens Finger on vocals. The group was born in 2017 but didn’t fully materialize until 2018 when the aforementioned lineup came together to make a slab of old school style death metal that was in your face and fast-paced.
Taking cues more from the old school variety of bands such as Death, Obituary, Benediction, Pestilence, Morgoth, and Grave, to name a few, these influences are displayed high and mighty on the band’s new debut album entitled Blood Craving Mantras and serves to be a sufficient palate. Upon first listen, the group clearly sets the tone for the record with the intro instrumental “8:16” that has an atmosphere as if something catastrophic is about to happen. Eerie sounds and heavy layered guitars with a steady backbone of the drums gives the track momentum to prepare you for the onslaught that would ensue with the following tracks like “Suffocate The Fire” and “Sentenced To Life”; both of which are nice adrenaline-infused songs that display the intensity and brutality that was once a huge part of the genre’s sound. However, it still manages to sound modern and packs a punch.
Temple Of Dread as a whole is putting on killer performances on this record that serve the songs, and don’t find themselves trampling over each other. The vocals sit nicely on top of the heavy guitar riffs, and the drums cut through with a nice clarity that allows for the intricacies of the music to come to life. Despite being an OSDM style record, there are plenty of moments on here that I find to be pretty well executed and lends itself to repeated listens.
One thing about the record that I don’t find to be a huge detriment, but one to take note of is that it doesn’t show too much variation from track to track. A lot of the songs are pretty interchangeable, but some may find that to be desirable. Considering the genre, I don’t think variation would be the thing to look out for with a record like this one, but the redeeming quality about it is the fact that it’s only eight songs all while being short, sweet and straight to the point. In an age where bands are putting out 11-12 track albums, I find that the eight-track format is refreshing and I hope that more groups take that approach in the future. The standout track for me probably would have to be the closing track, “Cottage In The Backyard” because it shows that Temple Of Dread is willing to slow it down and emphasize a sludge overtone, reminiscent of Morbid Angel during their Domination through Gateways To Annihilation era. Though they don’t just stick to that tempo, they remind the listener halfway through the song that they’re still maintaining the speed and onslaught that’s laced throughout the record and seems to get more intense as the song progresses. It then ties back to the beginning to finish it off, which I find to be a strong point.
For fans of old school death metal like the bands mentioned earlier, Blood Craving Mantras is totally the record for you. While not being anything entirely groundbreaking, it’s a record that would certainly prove to be a rewarding listen for fans of the genre and one that would be worthy of being in rotation of records put out by OSDM’s titans of the day. I look forward to what Temple Of Dread will accomplish from here on out and how their sound will progress because, for a first outing, it’s definitely promising.
Suffocate The Fire
Question Of Honour
Straying The Battle Fields
Cottage In The Backyard