|Groove Metal, Thrash Metal
Eye.On Lion Recordings
September 25th, 2012
Release length: 19:56
The Temple has a pretty heavy production to support the music, though it still could be better. The screaming vocals come in clearly and sometimes with a bit of an echoed delay to the rhasps or spoken word/eccentric ramblings that appear. The guitars sound deep with a slight sharpness to them to cater more to the Groove Metal aspect of their sound than anything, but the biggest downfall here ends up being how muffled they can be. The bass is at a pretty loud level, giving things a rougher edge that capitalizes off the surprising amount of rawness to the clearly modern studio recording. The cymbals sound pretty good and fill the music well enoughwhile pulled to the forefront of the album, and the snares have a thick presence that feels dominating due to the levels they are at, and how tight a snap they often have. The bass kicks, however, are as protruding as the bass guitar itself with a very strong presence that you can feel despite being a bit back in the mix. The only real gripe about all this is that all the bass elements really trump the rest of the music, and it can really be hard to get into the guitar work at times given the distortion they use against the clashing lower tones.
With the audio quality having its pros and cons, there’s more on the lines regarding the quality of the songs. In some cases, the material is great and easy to get into, while others are more of a test than anything. The latter can be said for the introduction track “Liturgy (Jachim),” which is a slower performance with the aforementioned layered spoken word and eccentric ramblings layered over one another. As the song progresses, it just becomes more insane in the voices, being a very whiny performance in the long run that can almost instantly make you not want to progress any further. It also doesn’t help that the bass actually seems to not exist at times on this one, which is something that does appear on others like “Epiphany (Boaz),” allowing the guitars to come through and carry the track, which they just can’t do successfully thanks to the muffled distortion being used. This leads into “In the Ways of the Old,” which is also not that great a song. The vocals from “Liturgy (Jachim)” have been dropped for a shouting approach with some rhasps here and there, and the breakdown that hits actually sounds rather punishing given the thicker bass dominance. But, the main riffs and bridges just aren’t anything too special at times. The guitar solo, and some of the atmospheric areas, like the one prior to the solo, do sound great though, making you wish the band had put more focus on that than anything else.
From this point on, the album does manage to throw stronger songs the listener’s way. One of the best is easily “The Great Rebuilding.” The faster pace, mixed with an infectious Groove Metal presence with some two-stepping that presents a relentless performance against the listener, really makes this Thrash Metal foundation offering one to check out. The guitar solo sounds great, lasts a little longer than most on here, and the crushing riffs will immediately have you banging your head along the second they kick in until the very moment they end. “A Lion and a Lamb” has that same kind of intensity behind it as well, which is found largely in the more complex lead chords being used, especially in the chorus. The snares really shine through as well too, and the whole thing also carries a stronger Southern attitude with it as well, something you can’t deny exists on many others. But, one of the most engaging elements is just how fun the song is. While not exactly light hearted, it’s hard to not have a smile on your face from some of the riffs, especially in the chorus.
In the end, what seems to really stand out and take the listener by the throat are the ones that offer a good deal of energy, and additional speed. The slower songs tend to lose the bass a bit, which is a shame as “In the Ways of the Old,” and even the closing “Epiphany (Boaz)” do have some good potential behind them. For a little over nineteen minutes, Thy Will Be Done definitely tries to incorporate as much variety as possible for their Groove Metal roots, making The Temple an interesting grab bag of takes on the style, even if the approach doesn’t work out for the better. Unfortunately, this probably won’t really change the opinions of those who are not fans, nor does it seem to have the power to lock in new listeners to their growing fanbase. But, one thing is for certain, The Temple by Thy Will Be Done isn’t exactly a recording that fans of Groove Metal should immediately pass up, being something well worth experiencing on a digital retailer and at least purchasing the solid offerings that do stick out the most if you happen to not want to buy the whole thing.
01. Liturgy (Jachim) – 1:58
02. In the Ways of the Old – 3:27
03. The Great Rebuilding – 3:15
04. You the Apathy Divine – 3:55
05. A Lion and a Lamb – 3:55
06. Epiphany (Boaz) – 3:26
|Overall Score: 7.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Eye.On Lion Recordings via Freeman Promotions.