Temple of Void – The World That Was (Review)

Temple of Void - The World That WasThis is the third album from US death/doom metallers Temple of Void.

My enjoyment of Temple of Void’s work over the years has only increased, (here, here, here), so it’s with great excitement and expectation that I turn to The World That Was.

A soon as this new album starts it’s great to hear the band’s signature sound once more. Crushing doom-infected riffs, punishing drum beats, and gruesome growls greet us with sinister glee, while macabre melodies and classic songwriting steal us away. This is first rate stuff for any fan of old-school metallic heaviness.

Whereas the band’s first album Of Terror and the Supernatural largely focused on the doom side of the death/doom equation, (roughly speaking), and Lords of Death on the death side, (as the name might suggest), The World That Was bridges the two by spreading its talents across both sides, paying relatively equal attention to doom and death metal, and more besides.

As well as the obvious instant-appeal of material like this, Temple of Void have really upped the ante when it comes to the music’s longevity. Added nuance and subtlety can be heard and appreciated frequently, with creative songwriting and riff choices, atmospheric depth, and some non-metal influences that might fly under the radar on first listen. All of this works to enhance the core death/doom that the band skilfully produce, making for a compelling album that’s more involved and layered than you might expect.

There may be only six tracks on this monster, (and only five actual songs), but each one makes its mark. The music is song-based and immersive, with textured heaviness and various synth-enhanced flavours to enjoy. Each track stands out and offers something special all of its own, and every one is well-crafted to an elite-level degree.

Every time a new Temple of Void album is unleashed I wonder how they’re going to top their previous work, and so far they’ve always managed it. The World That Was is a superlative album that not only finds Temple of Void at the top of their considerable game, but shows that they’ve learned a few new subtle tricks too.

Essential listening.

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