The world of Metal is vast and there is a lot to keep track of. There are a lot of bands out there and sometimes it’s hard to keep ones finger on metal’s steely pulse. Even trying to get the latest news can be an act of futility when all I can read on sites like Metal Injection or Kerang is the “he said she said” drama bullshit. When the world of metal starts looking like the cover of Teen Famous Pop Star magazine, it’s hard to get any real news about upcoming music. So forgive me while I trudge through the madness and find a gem that came out last October, it was worth it. Allow me to present Mysterium, the latest album from Parisian Black metal masters, Temple of Baal.
Very few people would use the words ‘metal’ and ‘France’ in the same sentence. This is because the media has done a lot to portray the French as wine swilling surrender mimes, who eat cheese on the end of toothpicks and shout “Sacré bleu!” The reality is that French people are really bad ass and have a long tradition of brutality. They invented the Trebuché and the Guillotine, and at one point in their history the streets of Paris actually overflowed with blood. If anyone has the right to blast the darkness of black metal, it’s the French. Temple of Baal have been bringing that underlying carnage to the surface since the emergence of their first full length album, Servants of the Beast (2003).
Temple of Baal is comprised of four members: Amduscias (vocals and Guitar), Saroth (guitars), Arldaemon (Bass) and Skvm (Drums). Although all four members bring a solid mass of intensity to the latest album, it was the percussion that caught my attention. Skvm is a wild-man on those drums and the band seems to really understand that drums are an instrument, not a metronome. The drums hooked me, and it forced me to listen closely to the band as a whole. There are so many layers folded into the music and it required me to hear it again and again. The drummer may have sprung the trap, but the rest of the band kept me locked in. Mysterium is an album which punches you in the face and demands you to dissect and digest its many tempo changes and movements. Temple of Baal proves that the Nordic bands don’t hold the monopoly on Black Metal, because this band relentlessly turns the city of lights into a city of darkness. Vive La Révolution.
Born and raised in San Diego California, I grew up loving the action horror and sci-fi genres. The first R rated film I saw was Predator back when I was 8 years old. Aliens blew me away as a youngster and I made a M41-A pulse rifle out of paper towel rolls and rubber bands. I ran around for hours avoiding face huggers and blasting xenomorphs in my back yard and I am bringing that big imagination to Nevermore Horror.