Temblad: Mockery of the Fanatic

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Temblad: Mockery of the Fanatic
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Temblad: Mockery of the Fanatic
Death Metal, Grindcore, Thrash Metal
Self-release
August 2nd, 2011
Release length: 15:15
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Temblad comes to us from San Diego, California. According to their Facebook page, the group was put together by friends Lorenzo Kemp and Marlon Matthew who had jammed together for a long while. Eventually the two came up with some original cuts they felt were worth recording, and went into the studio to record the four-second EP titled Mockery of the Fanatic. The music found here definitely shows off the influences of the two members, at least in the style of music that they play, which happens to be all over the place at times. But, does this just over fifteen minute self-released EP warrant tracking a physical copy down, or even the time to download the digital version on their Bandcamp profile for as low as free?

As far as the audio quality goes, it’s pretty obvious this was a lower funded project, but it doesn’t cater to a strong raw or lo-fi quality. Mockery of the Fanatic just sounds downright dirty and heavy right from the start. The guitars have a higher, sharper pitch to the distortion with the bass podded up pretty loudly in the mix that it can sometimes become its own layer to the music instead of just backing up the guitars, which is great when the music takes a more technical turn half way on in the album with “Stratageddon” and “Winter.” The drums sound solid as well, having a click that isn’t too loud or obnoxious in the mix, feeling a little weaker actually, but it works for that dirty atmosphere found within. The cymbals also sound a bit distant at times, with some coming off slightly weakened like the bass kicks, but others loudly dominating the mix, giving the kit a rougher sound that ends up on the dynamic side, as well as giving variety against the loud, pounding snares that never seem to fade into the distance. On top of that, the vocals end up rather impressive in their range. There’s a good deal of screaming to be found, but at the same time you also get a lower, commanding approach clearly having a digital effect on them that matches the driving sound of the tracks, and even a hint of guttural thrown in, which is what you find on “Paralytic.”

The rough audio caters well to the music, making all four tracks of this EP stand out very well. Right off the bat you get “Paralytic” which hammers away with the same commanding presence the rest of the EP has, using the aforementioned somewhat guttural performance well against groove-driven Death Metal riffs before building into pure Grindcore chaos. The blistering double bass kicks keep the intensity alive as it gives way to a more technical experience that feels like a combination of the aforementioned styles that will immediately make your head bang along while fueling your urge to just run to the nearest living thing and kill it. Some of the slower chugging does feel a little out-of-place admittedly, and during the last half of the song these moments can really kill the buzz that is obviously created, but after a short yet very sweet guitar solo, it picks back up, closing on a bridge that has higher chords played with a shouting that comes off a bit hollow due to the lack of a strong bass backing.

But that Grindcore influence really comes into a Progressive Metal approach with “Stratageddon” similar to Biomechanical‘s latest offerings thanks to the clean vocals, clearly having some distortion as well, that are really impressive and match the overall energy of the song and EP in general. Again, there are some gutturals, and they become a nice addition to the pure madness and technical prowess that shows through, but they really aren’t necessary and could have been sacrificed for more powerful clean vocals to fit better with the song. But, “Winter” ushers in another shift in the music, and in some ways not quite for the better. This song feels more like a straight forward Grindcore meets Death Metal track. The groove is still there, and sometimes you can pick up on a hint of the previous Progressive influence, but overall it’s the energy that ends up saving this track. It’s far from bad, but after the experiences the past two tracks give, it’s hard not to yearn for more chaos and experimentation. There are hints of this following into “Mockery of the Fanatic,” but overall it’s clearly meant to be a more driving, commanding track than anything, and that attitude is clearly present. Even the slower parts make you feel like you should be paying attention to what’s going on while the vocals and crushing riffs and drumming leave you in a state to obey.

Even with the faults pointed out, Mockery of the Fanatic is a really impressive debut EP. The energy compliments the dirtier sound well, and the slightly rough audio quality just feels right at home for this release. Aside one more traditional Death Metal/Grindcore tracks, this release just barrages the listener with well executed style combinations and pure adrenaline with a commanding force backing it up. Temblad really put their best foot forward here, and there’s no denying it’s well worth experiencing with the repeat button stuck on loop, making you want to hear it more. Obviously “Paralytic” and “Stratageddon” end up being the best of the bunch, but even the closing tracks are great for what they are. If you have half a brain in your body anywhere, you’ll check this band out and grab their name your own price download of Mockery of the Fanatic while you still can, or grab an actual pressing. The experience may be quick, but its one you soon won’t walk away from.

01. Paralytic – 3:31
02. Stratageddon – 3:18
03. Winter – 3:33
04. Mockery of the Fanatic – 3:53
Initial Pressing Score: 9/10

Temblad

Digital review copy of this release provided by Temblad.