Greek Black Metal trio Temple of Katharsis formed back in 2011. After a demo, an EP and a string of split releases, they are finally ready to unleash their long-awaited full-length studio album Macabre Ritual, an offering spanning forty-eight minutes, delivering eight scathing new tracks.
Temple of Katharsis – Macabre Ritual (Theogonia Records)
Release Date: 4 August
Words: Jools Green
Soundwise, they meld elements from both the Scandinavian and the Greek Black Metal scenes, manifesting in a very straightforward Black Metal sound and are lyrically inspired by aspects of satanism, anti-religion, death, darkness, and war.
Macabre Ritual opens on the hauntingly atmospheric builder intro Abyssal Cold Void, which tantalizingly offers an insight as to what to expect for this album—followed by an opening roar which heralds The Burning Flood Of Antichrist, enveloping you in a driving wave of icy riffs, ebbing back for the equally icy and acidic vocals.
Erasure Of Religious Existence continues the black drive but with more complex bursts of riffing dropped in. The pace intensifies, and the tempo elevates with In The Dungeons With The Rats, a track with a very engaging ebb and build, and I love the way the riffs are layered and applied.
The pace drops back initially for Ο Αρχιερεύς Των Λύκων (The Archpriest Of The Wolves), but Temple of Katharsis’ signature hypnotic drive continues throughout. Some aspects of Inside The Medieval Crypt echo traits of Burzum in its more ponderous moments. A gripping listen, particularly when it drops back in pace, taking on a reflective yet haunting atmosphere.
An acidic scream punctuates the driving riffs as The Kingdom Of Hades opens. Another hypnotic beast of a track, punctuated with scathingly acidic vocals, a track that moves to a new level when the pace drops, the riffs develop a greater degree of complexity, and a subtly understated burst of lead work emerges also.
The final piece Macabre Ritual opens on ominous jangling riffs, precise drum beats and acidic vocals, the pace elevating to a hypnotic driving repeat before becoming more complex and haunting. I do like this track a great deal. It’s well-varied, hypnotically undulating and subtly complex, as well as dark and ominous.
The bass and vocals were recorded at H12 Audio in Thessaloniki, and the guitars were recorded at Dark Templar H/Studio in Kalamata. Produced by Major and mixed and mastered at H12 Audio, maintaining an old-school feel sound that has clarity and definition without being overproduced.
Macabre Ritual will be available as a jewel case CD and in digital format and definitely worth going for the CD version as it comes with a 12-page booklet, which includes lyrics and other cryptic information, giving a deeper understanding of this hypnotically engaging release.
Available from Theogonia Records on Bandcamp.