Of Terror and the Supernatural
dB Rating: 8/10
Release Date: September 4th 2015
Label: Shadow Kingdom
Michigan’s position in extreme metal history is well-defined (and documented, thanks to Choosing Death). But outside of a few, the Mitten hasn’t had much to offer. That comes to an end with Temple of Void. Whereas most Michiganites who opt for the left hand path are American in their musical leanings, this Detroit-based quintet is informed by bands afar, namely Asphyx, Bolt Thrower, Cathedral and Orchid/Morningrise-era Opeth. On paper, it’s hard to fathom anything from Crush the Cenotaph harmonizing with “Black Rose Immortal” or “Destructive Infinity” finding common ground with “Reaching Happiness, Touching Pain,” but miraculously, the songwriters in Temple of Void have figured out the infernal puzzle. The result is nothing short of awesome.
Guitarists Eric Blanchard and Alex Awn are genuine in their homage. Throughout Of Terror and the Supernatural, there are windows into classic Jennings, Daniels, Ward/Thomson and Åkerfeldt (most evident on instrumental “To Carry This Corpse Evermore”). But Temple of Void are more than the sum of their respective and constituent parts. The songs have a life of their own, a vibe that rewinds the clock to the halcyon years of European death. Tracks like “Rot in Solitude,” “The Embalmer’s Art,” “Exanimate Gaze” and “Beyond the Ultimate” are shining examples of throwback death metal done right. Not since Deathevokation’s The Chalice of Ages has a no-name band surprised so much. Luckily, punters have a chance to hear Of Terror and the Supernatural—the original pressing is rumored to have sold out— thanks to Shadow Kingdom.
— Chris Dick
Review originally printed in the February 2016 issue.