Summoning the Slayer is a 40-minute slab of heaviness that combines old-school doom influences from the UK with death metal brutality from the US. The band’s death/doom approach is well-versed at this point, and the band continue to unleash mid-paced heaviness with crushing riffs and mournful melody to great effect.
The songs are well-written and hit the spot. On their new album Temple of Void have really concentrated on song structure and emotive impact, much to their credit. The band’s ear for the style is on display from the very start of the album, and across its duration they ably demonstrate once again why they are held is such high esteem by those in the know.
Temple of Void have a firm grip on the death metal part of their sound too. They know how to merge this into the dark heart of doom that lies at the core of the music. Mostly these two aspects are carefully combined, but on some songs there’s a greater emphasis on one or the other.
Deathtouch is a great example of the band at their doomy best, but this is not without its death metal side. The following track Engulfed is a pretty damn solid slice of death/doom, and has a strange, unsettling atmosphere to it that’s quite compelling. At the other end of the spectrum Hex, Curse, & Conjuration offers a more upbeat dose of brutality, while A Sequence of Rot manages to combine both aspects of the band very effectively, (and has a very memorable main riff). Actually, Summoning the Slayer contains many highlights, to be fair, with each song having something that makes it stand out in one way or another.
I feel I have to mention The Transcending Horror too, as it’s just such a great song in every department. I’ll also draw your attention to the final track Dissolution, which diverges from the above death/doom formula significantly, as it’s a 70s-esque acoustic-led singer-songwriter/folk piece, with clean singing.
Summoning the Slayer finds Temple of Void in top form. The band have really focused on their songwriting, making for some of their best work to date. This is a great example of how to craft engaging death/doom that manages to be both heavy and atmospheric.
Very highly recommended.