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MAGISTER TEMPLI


MAGISTER TEMPLI


"Lucifer Leviathan Logos"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Those who are familiar with the esoteric arts will recognize the name "Magister Templi" as standing for "Master of the Temple". That name was bestowed on teachers of deep magical lore. When you see that band name connected with an album title like "Lucifer Leviathan Logos", you can be pretty sure we're dealing with a band steeped in the occult...or one that wants us to think they are.

Fortunately, this is not another "jump on the bandwagon" occult rock group with a moon-eyed Wicca priestess playing a flute leading the band. These Norwegians plays something tougher and much more metallic. Nor are they in anyway influenced by typical black metal...at least in the lyrics. No, this is a band whose roots lie in the darker side of the NWOBHM...bands like Witchfynde, Angelwitch and Pagan Altar. There are touches of doom and even folk here, but it's fairly aggressive and driving stuff. The band sounds deceptively simple on the surface, but there's a bit more to their songwriting than first meets the eye. And the occult aspect is VERY pronounced...in fact, it's about the only thing these guys talk about. They are using classic heavy metal to relate tales of alchemy, symbolism and darker wisdom.

It's quite agreeable to my ears. It's kind of cool to hear a band avoiding the overt overtones of black and doom metal yet keeping a mystic atmosphere. Songs like "Master of The Temple", "Lucifer" and "Logos" are classic metal tunes. "Leviathan" is heavier and more intense, with a whirlpool like kind of riffing. Most unique is the last song "VITRIOL", which starts with folkish acoustic playing. But it's not relaxed or pleasant acoustic work...instead, it is very intense in its own right and the way this track seques into pure metal is very cleverly done and speaks of unorthodox minds at work. As for the vocals, they come across kind of plain and flat, but they fit the music and again hearken back to metal's early days. There are many long spoken passages reciting spells and wisdom that come across somewhat overdone, though.

This is on the excellent Cruz del Sur label and should find a welcome home there. You might want to initiate yourself into the mysteries of Magister Templi...