Tempel Wolf – Hirschgeweihmaskeraden (Review)

Tempel Wolf - HirschgeweihmaskeradenTempel Wolf are a black metal band from Switzerland and this is their debut release.

Tempel Wolf play atmospheric black metal, and on Hirschgeweihmaskeraden they deliver 32 minutes of material across this absorbing release.

There are four tracks on Hirschgeweihmaskeraden. Two are intro/interlude-style instrumental pieces that have a folk flavour, (the second of which has a dreamy Summoning quality that I particularly like), and then the two actual songs, both of which are sprawling epics with durations of 15 and 12 minutes.

The songs themselves are rich in atmosphere, melody, and emotive presence. They’re well-constructed and showcase the band’s breadth of abilities well. While atmospheric black metal is the key component in their sound, elements of folk, doom, shoegaze, and touches of death metal can be heard too. This allows Tempel Wolf to deliver well-rounded compositions that morph through a range of feelings and moods across the extended running time of the tracks.

There’s an elemental feel to Hirschgeweihmaskeraden, as if Tempel Wolf are channelling primal atavistic forces into their blackened hymns. Despite this, although you can hear elements of older styles, this is very much a contemporary black metal record. Its themes and some of its influences may be ancient, but its delivery and presentation is in the modern style. This impression of an old heart in a young body means that the music draws strength from both old and new, resulting in music that’s very engaging and very enjoyable.

The vocals consist of mainly screams and growls that are both well-performed. A variety of other styles appear too though; none of them set a foot wrong, and the diversity of vocals mirrors the diversity of musical influences that have gone into the making of this release.

Tempel Wolf have impressed with Hirschgeweihmaskeraden. It offers the discerning listener a multifaceted atmospheric black metal journey that they would be foolish to refuse.

Very highly recommended.


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