Structures in Chaos
posted on 3/2012 By:
Structures in Chaos is the debut album from Dutch death metal trio Temple. The members of Temple have each served in a host of Dutch death metal bands, including Sinister, Severe Torture and Prostitute Disfigurement. I would certainly not say that all Dutch death metal bands sound the same, but they do lean toward a traditional, straight-forward sound. Temple’s music, on the other hand, has a more exotic feel to it. There is a vaguely Middle Eastern sound to some of the riffs, which combined with the swirling intensity of the band’s performance, gives the music on Structures in Chaos a sort of mystical otherworldliness, not dissimilar to Nile. Temple, though, sticks primarily to traditional death metal instrumentation, and is not tied to any specific lyrical inspiration.
Perhaps what I most appreciate about Temple is that for all its desire to be “not your average death metal band”, it does not forget that it is, in fact, a death metal band. Temple’s exotic sound is generated primarily via its melodies and an unqualifiable knack for creating an out-of-the-ordinary atmosphere. However, the melodies and atmosphere are woven seamlessly into some good, old-fashioned pummeling death metal. Whatever else Temple might do, it never fails to devastate, and there is an odd comfort in that.
One of the primary architects of the aforementioned devastation is drummer Eric de Windt. The guitars certainly wreak their share of havoc and then some, but de Windt is relentless, unleashing a barrage of double bass that seemingly only abates in favor of blast-beats. Such a style can often be fatiguing to the ear, but de Windt’s tight, and tasteful playing somehow bucks the trend. Guitarist/vocalist A. J. van Drenth and bassist Michiel Dekker maintain a similar style of tasteful intensity; despite an often harrowing pace, the riffs on Structures in Chaos are executed with precision, rendering a sound that is heavy, but never muddy.
Temple does an admirable job of weaving diversity and dynamics into Structures in Chaos in various ways without compromising its regimen of punishment. A. J. van Drenth contributes to the dynamics by performing his vocals in two styles, one a deep multi-tracked growl, similar to Nergal circa Demigod, and the other a higher raspier squawk. Reminiscent of Celtic Frost, female vocals make a brief appearance amongst the blitzkrieg that is “Cover Her in Blood”. Tempos on the album are predominantly blistering, but Temple lets off the gas often enough to get some of its more subtle ideas across, and the instrumental “Dead Sun Festival”, in fact, slows the proceedings to a doom metal crawl. The band also makes use of dissonance, not on a Gorguts or Immolation scale, but enough to make certain riffs cut a little deeper.
Structures in Chaos has some awkward vocal moments, and some of the transitions from riff to riff could be smoother, but on the whole, the album is a remarkably well done. Temple may not be on the leading edge of death metal development, but the band definitely seems to be looking forward, and successfully creating a sound of its own. Fans of good, modern death metal are advised to give Structures in Chaos a listen.
Register to post comments.