TEMPLE OF VOID “Summoning The Slayer”

By Dr. Abner Mality

TEMPLE OF VOID from Michigan have been getting a lot of hype in the last couple of years. This is my first encounter with them. Well, “Summoning The Slayer” has sure made a believer out of me. This is a record that has immediate impact, yet there are a lot of hidden depths to be explored in later listening. And they’ve also done something else that is extremely hard to do these days...they’ve established a fairly original sound.

They play a very heavy, plodding variety of doomy death metal that fairly reeks of gloom and twilight. The incredible stone-grinding vocal growls of Mike Erdody give TEMPLE OF VOID its death metal component. Mike is a dead ringer for Lasse from HOODED MENACE, but where HOODED MENACE jumped the shark some time ago, TEMPLE OF VOID has found a way to keep their sound interesting, weaving layers of murky melody into the thick, bulldozer riffs. Each song has its peculiarities and quirks, like the cool phased guitar sound of “Engulfed”, which lasts throughout almost the entire track. “Deathtouch” emerges as the album epic, a virtual tapestry of shifting doom and death elements with an intense forward momentum.

“A Sequence of Rot” conjures up immensely catchy riffs that are the closest thing to CANDLEMASS colliding with OBITUARY that I’ve heard. “Hex Curse Conjuration” is the shortest and most straightforward death metal track, yet it also crushes. And for the final cherry on top, the album ends with a somber acoustic ballad “Dissolution” where the haunting clean vocals almost hearken back to the psychedelic 60’s. Somehow it doesn’t sound forced or unnatural at all.

I heard “Summoning The Slayer” the same week as ATARAXY’s “The Last Mirror”, which was an outstanding bit of death/doom itself. I didn’t think ATARAXY could be surpassed. Well, here comes TEMPLE OF VOID…