PICK OF THE WEEK: Temple of Void pack cosmic whirring into death, doom with ‘The World That Was’

There’s been a ton of bad stuff going on lately from political situations being a joke to a deadly virus sweeping the globe, and far be it for us to try to a beacon of hope, but there still are some things worth being excited about. I swear this isn’t as red herring that’s paving the way for more complaining.

So, you know Temple of Void have a new record coming out in a couple weeks? Yeah, we’re jumping the gun just a bit with this, but “The World That Was,” the band’s third record, is so explosively good that it’s hard to pull back on the enthusiasm. The Detroit band’s mixture of doom and death metal reaches its apex on this six-track, nearly 38-minute record, a display that has ToV primed to be considered one of extreme metal’s most promising bands, and if you think that’s hyperbolic, listen to this monster. The band—vocalist Mike Erdody, guitarists Alex Awn and Don Durr, bassist Bret Satterly, drummer Jason Pearce—capitalizes on what they’ve done so well over the past seven years and pours that into a volcanic blast of a record that could splatter your guts but also elevates your imagination with their addition of mind-warping synth passages.

Ripping open the record comes “A Beast Among Us” that has doom waves crushing, Erdody’s growls decimating wills, and the track lurching along. Melodies drip and smear over the smudge before the track lays into a heavy pocket, feeling destructive and mean before clean lines snake their way in. The new colors drip as the playing mashes fingers as calm strains numb, and the track slowly dies out. “Self-Schism” absolutely hammers from the bell with the growls punching their way in and the chorus splattering. The unforgiving pace mixes into a section that feels like chilly deathrock as Erdody wails, “Only darkness is left!” Murky keys bubble to the surface before the playing rages and burns, slowly moving monstrously while gaining ground. The growls scrape the earth before the track melts away, leading into brief instrumental piece “A Single Obolous” that unfurls classical-style acoustics guitars, hand drumming, and a strange sense that hangs in the air.

“Leave the Light Behind” begins with cosmic synth whirs whipping through the air before the song bursts open and stomps heavily, as the growls gurgle away. Strong leads push their way in as clean singing drizzles over the chorus, and mean and nasty waylaying keeps adding pressure. The track gets even more grisly before the guitars immerse themselves in stardust, and a strange dream state stands tall. “Casket of Shame” charges open with force as the growls corrode, and the music over the chorus chugs. The track turns deadlier as it puts the screws to you as the playing rains down violently before a slower pace sets up and hits hard. The song turns mournful though it never relents on the intensity, burning out at the end. The title track closes the album by bringing eeriness and sorrowful power, while the vocals work in and destroy the Earth. “Will the future die with us as one?” Erdody wails as the leads reach out and sizzle with light. Clean playing flows in before the band mounts its final assault that ends in a show-ending-style display of destruction that leaves everything in a pile of rubble.

Temple of Void have mixed their doom and death influences perfectly on “The World That Was,” easily their best and most well-rounded effort to date. It’s clear their palette is growing as they advance as a band, and this record is sweltering yet imaginative from moment one. This collection should catapult Temple of the Void deeper into any conversation about who will take death and doom into the future.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/TempleOfVoid

To buy the album, go here: https://www.shadowkingdomrecords.com/pre-orders.asp

For more on the label, go here: https://www.shadowkingdomrecords.com/