I said in my review of Temtris‘ last album, Rapture, that the band were ready to take the World by storm… Obviously that won’t be happening for a little while yet, but the good news is that, in new offering Ritual Warfare the band show no signs of slowing down, honing their sound to a rapier-like sharpness, progressing in all the right places yet retaining enough of the core sound that fans know and love.
That core sound, you’ll remember, is strident, anthemic power metal, melodic in all the right places yet retaining at it’s centre a sledgehammer heaviness that really does threaten to level anything that gets in it’s way. One For All carries a hint of Manowar circa Warriors of the World about it (especially the hammerforce drumming of Nicholas Bolan), but that’s one of only a couple of places on the record where you can put your finger on something that sounds recognisably like someone else. The key to this unique sound is undeniably the vocal prowess of Genevieve Rodda, whose declamatory style lifts every song it touches to the next level.
Vocalists with this much natural power sometimes struggle with the ‘quieter moments’, but Rodda handles the gentler parts of the excellent Seven Sins of Man just as comfortably as the full-on bullhorn assault of Forever; this enables the band to break up the default heads-down madness with just enough light and shade to keep things moving along nicely, but whilst that’s undoubtedly all well and good it’s titanic moments like the closing note of Forever that really do mark Rodda out as a World-class vocalist.
Recent video release Ritual Warfare sees the band at probably their most accessible, Anthony Fox and Nadi Narouzian pouring on the harmony leads in exuberant fashion, but, as already noted, for all it’s undoubted heaviness, Ritual Warfare as an album is littered with memorable hooks, be it instrumental or vocal. The hallmark of the great ‘classic’ metal of the eighties was the sheer hummability of the music, and that ability to pen a refrain that sticks in the mind is put to great use throughout this album. Classic metal indeed.
Talking of classic metal, Tempus Aeturnum is just that; Bassist Nik Wilks churns away like Jimmy Bain on Holy Diver as the band build an epic sound around him that could rightly be described as ‘Dioesque’ without ever actually resorting to mimicry. It’s stirring, hair-raising stuff and no mistake, and proves that there’s more to this band than simple power metal overload.
Temtris prove again on Ritual Warfare just what an accomplished, important band they are; if you’ve still not experienced their majesty yet, what are you waiting for?
Ritual Warfare releases on April 30th.