Temple of Void’s “Summoning the Slayer” Beckons the Doom (Review)
Towering doom/death metal act Temple of Void have returned from the murky depths to deliver its fourth full-length album (and Relapse Records debut) Summoning the Slayer. The Detroit quintet—featuring Alex Awn (guitars), Don Durr (guitars), Mike Erdody (vocals), Jason Pearce (drums), and Brent Satterly (bass)—have fine-tuned their artisan brand of filthy doom/death metal. The seven expansive tunes represent the deep, dark abyss, taking the listener on a melancholic journey that captures emotions of sorrow and despair.
Temple of Void’s knack for creating engaging grooves, enrapturing melancholic melodies and well-crafted tunes are just a few of the band’s musical highlights. Armed with an early ’90s British doom influence and an almost gothic vibe in some spots, Temple of Void combines these elements wonderfully into an original and unique concoction. The seven expansive tracks are so well crafted and highly fluid that they fly by in no time, which is truly a commendable feat as a songwriter to accomplish.
"Behind the Eye" kicks off the album with a brooding pace, accompanied by enormous chugging riffs and a monolithic rhythm section, decorated with thunderous basslines. Vocalist Mike Erdody's venomous and gruff range is delivered with a terrifying pitch, which is a perfect fit for the band’s musical sonority. Almost every track follows this slow to mid-paced tempo template, staying mostly predictably within the doom metal realm.
Some of the riffs on display throughout the album are absolutely monolithic. For instance, the seething instrumentation on "Behind the Eye," the chilling and chugging riffs on "Deathtouch," the voluminous flange effect on the slow-burning and menacing "Engulfed," and the classic caveman death metal riffage on "Hex, Curse, & Conjuration." A great example of the band’s proficiency for melody occurs on the magical breakdown segment in the middle of "Deathtouch." Astonishingly, the band throws the listener a huge curveball with the gorgeous album closer "Dissolution," which truly shows off their immense musical diversity, introducing a '70s prog rock-esque acoustic guitar melody and clean vocals. This track alone has a high replay value and provides a surprising dichotomy of musical styles compared to the album’s previous six tracks.
Produced, mixed, and mastered by Arthur Rizk (Power Trip, Sadistic Ritual, etc.), Summoning the Slayer follows a crushing musical template, yet has subtle melodic moments when called for. Summoning the Slayer is a fantastic display of doom metal influences with some surprising melodic elements that elevates the band’s talent and encapsulates the album’s mesmerizing traits. Temple of Void has created something terrific with its fourth full-length album, proving that the band has something very worthy to offer within the doom/death metal genre.
Summoning the Slayer released June 3rd, 2022 via Relapse Records.