Last month we posted Allen Griffin’s enthusiastic review of the self-titled debut album by Sweden’s Temisto,. To borrow Allen’s words, “Temisto seem to simultaneously channel both pre-Entombed Morbid and Nihilist while also invoking more technical acts such as Atheist. At their fastest and most brutal, Temisto nearly reach Angelcorpse levels of kinetic violence.” But as Allen also explained, Temisto’s music displays ambitions and talents that extend well beyond the realms where tooth and claw reign supreme.
Make no mistake, Temisto do indeed display blood-lusting ferocity, with flesh-stripping tremolo assaults and bone-mangling drum and bass fusillades, not to mention bursts of flame-throwing solos and ghastly vocal excretions. But they also interweave electrifying thrash-influenced riffs, hammering punk-inflected grooves, and the grim bite of northern darkness in their melodies.
Yet that still doesn’t exhaust the stylistic scope of the music. “Succubus”, for example, a song we premiered previously, integrates dissonant melodies, unearthly atmospherics, and swarming ferocity, juxtaposing slow, wraith-like passages of ominous gloom with explosions of unbridled barbarism. It’s a black/death head-spinner that crackles with electricity, joining together blazing instrumental pyrotechnics and inhuman vocal viciousness, while also demonstrating the band’s ability to generate a sense of haunting dread.
“Abyssal Depths”, on the other hand, includes a dreamlike, almost hallucinatory instrumental passage at the end that pulls the mood off in an unexpected direction, while “Medusa” features a fluid dual-guitar solo that proves to be a welcome surprise. By the time you reach “The Ritual” in the middle of the album, you may have figured out that Temisto doesn’t follow a straight or very predictable path, but you may still be caught off guard. This slow, flowing guitar instrumental is beautiful, yet ominous at the same time.
Two more instrumental tracks wait for you in the album’s back half. “Demiurge” could almost pass for a post-metal song, with big sludgy bass and guitar riffs, the soft moan of strings, and a gorgeous, rippling guitar melody that casts a seductive spell. The album’s closer “Seance” links arms with “The Ritual”, the layered guitar performances carrying the mind away in a waking dream that’s haunting as well as hypnotic.
In between those tracks, you’ll be head-whipped by the technically acrobatic, prog-minded, blackened savagery of “Bestial Visions” and “Temple of the Damned”.
The talent of the two men behind Temisto is daunting, and they took some risks in displaying those talents through an album that juxtaposes so many diverse styles of heavy music and changes course so dramatically between intense storming and languid drifts. Yet this is one of those genre-bending albums that succeeds precisely because it is such a multifaceted journey, with nourishment for so many hungers. After all, we can’t live by blood alone. Can we?
Temisto was produced and engineered by ex-Morbus Chron frontman Robert Andersson with Elias Scharmer (ex-Abduction, ex-Mutilate), and it was mastered at Necromorbus Studio by Tore Stjerna (Watain, Desultory, Repugnant, etc). The cover art was created by Obsessed By Cruelty (Enforcer, Sabbat, Wolfbrigade, etc).
The album will be released by Pulverised Records on February 26. To order it in the format of your choice, use these links:
You can find the band on Facebook here.