Temple Of Blood – “Overlord”
It’s been three years since I reviewed Temple Of Blood’s debut album – Prepare For The Judgment Of Mankind, and it’s good to finally see a second release from this talented US speed metal band.
Overlord continues exactly where their first left off – melodic speed/thrash with fast and aggressive rhythms, highly melodic and sophisticated guitar riffs, brilliant melodic leads, and great high-pitched melodic vocals courtesy of guitarist/vocalist and main writer Jim Mullis.
Bringing to mind some early annihilator along with classic bands such as Intruder and Attacker, the band goes straight for a fast number named Behind The Inverted Star. Great riffs and a bit of a complex structure, musically it doesn’t differ from the band’s earliest material – Mullis’ writing skills have obviously been honed well-before these two albums were released, and he remains a sharp and talented writer.
Summon The Accused slows things down a bit and goes for a bit more of a classic 80’s American power metal feel with some Iron Maiden melodies thrown in for good measure. Mullis provides us with some of his best vocals yet, and the rest of the band provides excellent support with strong rhythm work.
They keep it interesting as things progress, from the more progressive and somewhat doomy feel of Black Day Of Execution, with its clean guitar mid-section and rather depressive feel, to such relentless thrashers as the next number – Pawn Of The Liar, which provides some great twin guitar work from the band.
One thing that does feel better than the first album – is the sound, still clear and crunchy, it feels a bit bigger and adds some needed depth to the guitar and drum work.
A great bonus us is a cover version the band does of Forbidden’s classic track – Forbidden Evil, taken from their debut – one of my all-time favorite thrash albums. They keep it similar to the original, but definitely add their own signature to yet, mainly visible in Mullis’ vocal delivery and a bit more speed on the riffs.
Though the band’s lyrics and overall theme remains etched in Christian themes, they again refrain from overdoing it in the songs themselves, thus not coming off as preachy, the lyrics rather sounding like dark, somewhat mystical allegories pertaining to doomsday and the end of the world – not an uncommon theme among metal bands…
Old school and satisfying, this is easily one of the better current speed bands operating in the US scene today, combing a high technical ability alongside aggression while maintaining a solid grip on melody. Definitely another thumbs up for this great band.