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Some bands set out to recreate the genres they love and some set out to re-live the days of old, when their genre began. Temple of Baal is that of the later aiming only to recreate an album that would have fit in perfect with your collection of early 90's black metal from Norway. Do they accomplish this task? I think it's safe to say they do; and they don't do too bad of a job at that, having harsh production and the evil name of the dark lord Satan abound. Unfortunatley the sound they are after was done better by bands like Emperor and Darkthrone ten years ago.
Amduscias handles the guitars and vokills creating a deep black metal rasp along with raw riffs ranging from the mid-ranged black metal style to all out assault. As I mentioned earlier they are heavy on the old-school vibes, especially the mid-ranged ones. As with most true black metal, bass is pretty much non-existent, so Arkdaemonn is hardly heard. Herr Rikk provides the battery and does a decent job providing the blasts when needed and of course the galloping beats. Most of the songs seemingly fall into a bit of a mediocrity rut, but songs like "Deathblessed (At the Hornlike Spears)" keep the ravishing grimness alive and breathing.
Overall this is a decent release, but nothing to praise Lucifer over. The production is grim, but I've heard better. The songs are dark, but again I've heard better. It you really feel the need for a release that harks back to the Norwegian days of old, then Servants of the Beast should serve as a fix and is worth looking into.
“Servants of the Beast” is a decent underground blackmetal album, nothing more, nothing less. Temple of Baal knows how to make songs that keep you listening, but they do not succeed in hammering you out of your chair.
Most tracks alternate midpaced riffing, not unlike Darkthrone, with furious blastbeat parts. The sound is very raw, but the production is a bit weak: there’s too many high squeaks and biting noises in the guitar distortion that get irritating. I haven’t got a real equalizer: usually cd’s and lp’s are played with the “pure direct” sound, but with this album I really feel the need to correct the sound towards the low end to add some power to the songs.
Tracks like “Deathblessed” and “Vomit of hate” have a kind of thrashy impact. The vocals are standard blackmetal vomits: not very high-pitched, but more like deep screams. The drumming is quite good: Herr Rikk was still responsible for the percussions on this album and he keeps the momentum going with decent beats and fills.
This album is not bad and maybe it will return to my turntable a few more times, but when one wants interesting blackmetal from France I strongly recommend to check out Deathspell Omega, Svest/Cantus Bestiae and Blut aus Nord (NOT the “Thematic emanation… mcd – this is a compilation of shite noises that just keep annoying) first, because they are way more original. In their own league Temple of Baal have to compete with bands like Nehëmah, Haemoth, Ad Hominem, Bekhira, and the list goes on and on. Even the overrated bands of the infamous “Légions Noires” have something more to offer, not in being more original per se, but in creating a genuine haunting, depressive blackmetal sound.