Having not heard Temple of Baal since their 2003 debut Servants of the Beast, it is an interesting transformation that the band’s sound has undergone. Originally Black Metal; now they give us a combination of both Death and Black Metal with some quite varied sub-styles and influences apparent throughout the 60 minutes on Verses of Fire.
Sometimes brutal, sometimes more laid back, always dark; songs are played at all speeds and tempos, mainly in an attempt to create a gloomy atmosphere for the listener to get absorbed in. For this release the band have emphasised the importance of a good atmosphere and have created one via rich textures of overlapping genres of Extreme Metal.
Moments of Old-School Death Metal are toyed with; elements of discordant Black Metal; Thrash riffs; Doom sections; full-on blasting – a wide sample of extremity is taken and fused into the songs on this album.
Vocals are mainly in a darkened Death Metal style, although screams and yells are used on occasion to add a splash of colour to the sinister emanations of the singer.
Verses of Fire boasts a very well produced sound that shows off everything very organically and gives a very satisfying listen. You could place this next to pretty much any band and not have it sound weak or inferior in quality.
Temple of Baal have taken a risk by changing their style from their Black Metal beginnings, and with risk comes either reward or failure. I think the risk has paid off and they have been rewarded with a much richer and more ambitious sound that will serve them well moving forward from here.
If you weren’t sure about Temple of Baal in the past, or have just been unfamiliar with them, then this is the album for you. An hour long of top quality Extreme Metal.