|Review: Temple of Blood - Prepare for the Judgement of Mankind|
|Prepare for the Judgement of Mankind|
Year released: 2005
Genre: Thrash Metal
Review online: March 19, 2006
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
for:Prepare for the Judgement of Mankind
Christian Thrash metal is not something I've been exposed to very much but then again, it's essentially the lyrical content that differentiates it from "other thrash". Depending on how you feel on Christianity, you'll either want to pass on that one, worship it, or simply focus on the music and not care about the lyrics. I'm one who can usually be of the latter category, although I must say that in a couple of songs the preachy tone made me cringe a little. That said, I'll focus on the music for the rest of the reviews, it's really up to the individual to decide for himself how to handle the lyrics.
It took me a few listens to get into this album, not just because of some of the lyrics but also because of the vocals. A lot of the thrash I've listened to has more or less clean, but above all rather aggressive vocals that are usually not exactly melodic. Here the vocalist has a very clean style and the vocals lines are mostly very melodic. Now couple that with thrash music, which by definition is rather aggressive, and you have quite the interesting result. Imagine thrash with a voice close to Messiah Marcolin's, who along with John Cyriis (Agent Steel) is the vocalist I'm reminded the most of throughout this album. Quite diverse. To top it off, the bonus track is a Deadly Blessing cover and it is that band's vocalist doing the work. That sure makes up for albums killed by monotone vocals. :)
Thankfully Temple of Blood's thrash style is of the old school variety and there none of that "modern thrash" nonsense that's been plaguing the metal world for a while. If anything I'd call this "doomy thrash", as there are some tracks on here such as "Realm Of Insufferable Burning (The Horrors Of Hell)" that could easily have made it on a doom album. While today's old school thrash outfits (the ones I've heard anyway) are mostly based on the Bay Area or German sounds, Temple of Blood borrows from the more obscure thrash bands of the 80s - the ones that always did great work but below the radar. Think Anacrusis, Agent Steel, Abattoir and a few others whose name I can't recall at the moment. I really need to spend more time revisiting my old albums. This is a more technical form of thrash than the "big ones" did in the days, but it doesn't take the headbanging factor away (hey, it's a mandatory element of thrash...) I could spend hours just focusing on the guitar parts alone (well, I have), some of which I'm still discovering after a good number of listens.
If my opening parental advisory didn't stop you from reading all the way down to here, then I can recommend you this as a solid thrash release, nothing more, nothing less. My initial impression of the album wasn't favorable, so you may want to give it a few spins before forming an opinion. This band has a really good thing going and I hope they'll be releasing such quality material in the future. The album is an independent release, but it's starting to show up in small online distros - or contact the band directly: www.templeofblood.net. Thhhhhrrrrraaaassshhhhh!
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