Some bands do their thing the way it was done back in the ’80s, others modernize their music to the extreme, and there’s everyone else that tries to bring the best of both worlds together. TEMTRIS have been on the race since the late ’90s and using their old school chops, they seem to know how to keep up to speed with today’s sound and maintain the balance between the old and the new.
Hailing from Australia, (btw, do you remember PEGAZUS?) the quintet recently released its fifth full-length album via Battlegod Productions and if you’re in for some face-grabbing heavy metal with female vocals, then buckle up and keep reading.
At times dark and aggressive and at times melodic and uplifting, “Rapture” strikes a fine balance between the heaviness, aggression and melodic elements someone would expect from a band that files its music under the “Heavy Metal” tag.
Don’t let the opener, “Rapture”, fool you as there’s more in TEMTRIS’ music than just galloping riffs and double pedal drum sequences. Take for example the “groovy”, low-tuned “Wings of Death” in which they throw in some tech/thrash elements; or “Serpent” that moves from an acoustic prelude and a catchy mid-tempo chorus to an imposing finale during which Genevieve’s (Rodda) vocals stand out. Also, “Parasite” is another track that stands out, as it features a mixture of thrashy riffs in the vein of TESTAMENT and ANNIHILATOR, blended with acoustic parts that add depth and layering to the overall composition. I’d say it’s probably the magnum opus of the album.
Of course, “Rapture” contains songs that follow a more straightforward approach like the anthemic “Breathe” and the band’s single/video, “Run”, that’s heavily inspired from the US power metal scene. “Carry You”, stays on the same path, but being more of a slow-paced, ballad-like song allows the band to show its melodic and more mellow side.
When it gets down to business, TEMTRIS is not shy of musicianship: with a guitar duo that’s capable of delivering both aggressive riffs and expressive solos, vocals that prove there are more options for female vocalists than just being clones of NIGHTWISH or ARCH ENEMY and a newly-founded rhythm section that knows how to lay the foundation for everything else to step on, the band seems to have picked off from where “Enter the Asylum” left and has taken things to the next level.
Listening to the album I got the feeling that TEMTRIS consists of people that grew up with and breath for Metal, as there’s some sort of warmth in their music that’s difficult to find in most releases nowadays. It’s probably that old-school feeling that found its way through in 2018.
“Rapture” is not a perfect album, but given the few cons I was able to spot were mostly related to the tech side of things, I felt I’d be nitpicking if I mentioned them in my review. That said if you’re into heavy metal with lots of thrash and melodic elements, you’d like to check them out. Use your ears and judge for yourselves.