Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Temple – Forevermourn (2016) / 84%

Hellenic Metal Help Fund part IV : Doom 4 ever

Ah, doom metal, admittedly easy to play and compose if you want your band to be plain and dry but that’s not what these Greek dudes did, oh no. The quartet from Thessaloniki has been alive for a while but this is only their debut album. It took a long time for the band leader, Alex (bass, vocals, compositions), to find an appropriate lineup since like doom metal, life is not always an happy affair and sometimes many things can stop you from achieving your vision. I’m glad that in the end, nothing could stop Alex and his love for traditional doom. Let’s enter the temple in his company.

The seven songs of Forevermourn are mournful affairs but they’re far from being timid slow numbers full of despair. Tracks like “Remnants” are relatively mid-paced busy songs full of twin guitar melodies recalling the heydays of epic doom but The Temple is infusing this style with the depressive, emotional style of Warning or the current German doom of Cross Vault (that I personally thought to be underwhelming). Alex and company are also adding slight black metal touches to the fold in certain guitar moments and it’s well done. What differentiates the Greeks from some of their peers is the actual quality of their instrumentation, it’s heavy, never whiny and soul crushing.

Alex’s vocals are clean highs that fits his music very well. There’s loads of melancholy in the somewhat buried singing and while he’s not on the same level as Messiah Marcolin or Markus Becker (Atleantean Kodex), he gets the job done. I’d say that like the songs, he’s a bit samey and some diversity would had been better but there’s still not a lot of weaknesses in the songwriting. I’m not asking ‘em to add strings or whatever, this would be silly as they don’t try to be My Dying Bride, but some tempo variations could be cool. Nevertheless, the identity they developed on this debut album is clear, it’s dreamy but sad traditional doom metal.

Thick basslines, memorable melodies, sweet guitar leads, I don’t want to leave the temple, I’d mourn there forever.

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