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Temple of Blood
July 2009
Released: 2008, Independent
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Finally back three years after wowing the thrash crowd with their debut, Christian metal heads Temple of Blood are back (well OK, in 2008 actually) with their sophomore album. Yes, you read that right – they are Christians, get over it.

The band`s first album PREPARE FOR THE JUDGEMENT OF MANKIND was a well-constructed slab of thrash metal that showed great promise, but didn`t quite have the sticking power to make it a classic. At times it was perhaps overly melodic, lessening the impact of the riffs. Well, whether they took the criticism to heart or just wrote from the heart, OVERLORD is an improvement in almost every way over the debut. Heavier, faster, filled with catchier hooks, this album quickly gets under your skin. This is immediately proved with the first song, “Behind the Inverted Star”. Quite simply, if this song doesn’t get your head banging, you’re dead. From there, on through other highlights like the racing “Fearsome Warrior” and the more stately march of “Anthem to the Unseen”, the album keeps your attention much better than its predecessor. There’s just immediacy to the riffs that wasn’t there before, as well as an obvious cranking of aggression.

Jim Mullis’ vocals are as melodic as ever, sounding like Blitz Ellsworth without the screeches. They are definitely a “take it or leave it” style of vocal but they certainly fit in. In fact, they are mixed a little too far back, mirroring a problem I’ve been hearing lately on other albums – the latest Mar De Grises and Samael discs being prime examples. This leads me nicely into the production of the album which, if I didn’t know better, would swear was done in 1987. Weak vocal mix aside, they’ve captured the thin thrash sound of yesteryear perfectly. Stylistically, the cover of the classic “Forbidden Evil” fits right in.

All in all, a hearty Bravo! is in order here. OVERLORD is an improvement in every way over PREPARE... and has me convinced that even better things are ahead for Temple of Blood. But never mind that – OVERLORD is simply a great album that all thrash fans should check out.
Track Listing

1) Descent Into Treachery
2) Behind the Inverted Star
3) Summon the Accused
4) Fearsome Warrior
5) Illusion of Control
6) Black Day of Execution
7) Pawn of the Liar
8) Harbinger
9) Forbidden Evil
10) Anthem to the Unseen
11) The Return


Jim Mullis: Vocals, Guitar
Matt Barnes: Guitar, Backing Vocals
James Lewis: Bass
Lance Wright: Drums

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