From its predatory nature alone, The Serial Killer Suite ensures ears and an appetite for imposing metal are aroused; add potent individual craft and an instinctively woven web of grooves and rhythmic threat and you have a release which stalks attention. The third album from UK metallers Temple Of Lies, it is a rapacious contagion of sound and intensity living up to its theme and untamed protagonist.
With its first pair of singles making persuasive hints of things to come, The Serial Killer Suite swiftly shows each were accurate clues to, if still slithers of, the adventurous character of the album. The successor to the well-received From Sand, it also sees the Temple Of Lies exploring heavier and darker corners of their sound and imagination; areas as dirty and bloodthirsty as they are groove nurtured infectious and hungrily energetic. Since emerging in 2010, the Leicester hailing outfit has shown an imposing growth in their sound, an evolution now having its head within their third full-length whilst still suggesting the exploration is far from over.
The Serial Killer Suite opens up with Epic Doom and instantly prowls ears with its groove lined swagger and growling riffs and bass line. Like a ringmaster vocalist Si Shaw steps into the middle, sowing the seeds to the psychotic devil in the album’s midst. Equally from the song’s initial breath, Jon Scranney’s guitar spins a web of enticing yet rapacious hooks and grooves, bait matched by the tenacious swings of drummer Alex Gamble and Jags’ similarly grouchy bass. It is an irresistible welcome into the waiting emotional carnage and ill-intent and swiftly backed by the just as gripping exploits of Broken Mind. Again band and sound court the senses with a threatening stealth, the bass pressing intimidatingly as Shaw’s gravelly tones join its trespass. As thrusting beats and harrying riffs add their lures, the song surrounds ears with hungry enterprise, the wiry tendrils of Scranney’s guitar rich spicing.
Illusion of Choice draws on the grungier side of the Temple of Lies sound, fusing it with their ever ferocious and enticing blend of metal. Instantly the track is on the boisterous balls of its feet, rhythms scything and riffs snarling as vocals and hooks collude in a virulent temptation with a touch of Disturbed meets Spineshank to its short but fiercely persuasive body before Modus Operandi lays down its individual creative intent. Often tempting like a fusion of Monster Magnet and Suicidal Tendencies, the track has ears and imagination hooked in no time, every twist a captivating moment, each turn a fresh treat merging the familiar with the unpredictable; an essence which applies to the whole of The Serial Killer Suite.
Latest single Skin is next, the track starting with a great bass grumble and proceeding to place layer upon layer of growling dexterity whilst creating another seriously catchy proposal. Shaw again prowls it all with vocal character and quality, every syllable spawned from the psychotic menace of the album’s heart. It is inescapably magnetic stuff pretty much matched in the irritable presence of I Cut You Bleed, though the song for personal tastes just misses finding the final persuasive ingredients of its predecessors. In saying that, there are also times when the song has ears and pleasure truly in the palms of its venomous hands.
Through the calmer though still instinctively volatile Sleep and the tenebrous tone and heart of its initial single, Dark Energy, the album has ears firmly gripped and enjoyment full. The first is a mellow proposal compared to those around it but deviously dark and tantalising with Scranney again showing his melodic craft and invention. Its successor also offers a less imposing proposition initially but there is a tempestuousness and emotional toxicity which brews and catches throughout the track’s poisonous embrace.
Both are tracks which also do not quite reach the heights of earlier roars yet leave the listener wanting for nothing before being eclipsed by the crabby rock ‘n’ roll of Teeth, another song with a great whiff of the crossover thrash of the previously mentioned Mike Muir led Californians in its snarl. Gamble’s beats leave the senses bruised from within the compelling encounter, the grievously addictive tone of Jags’ bass mutually greedy as Shaw and Scranney again enthral.
In turn Face of Grey hits the spot with its almost carnally toned intent and nature though it too is overshadowed by the following Symbiotic Parasite. As soon as church bells and senses intruding beats rise, there is an air of something special brewing, a suggestion only added to by the nagging riffs and controlled but fiery net of fleeting grooves. Subsequently things erupt in a voracious stomp, a swarm of infection and energy though still on a ferocity rein sparking a gripping tapestry of adventurous enterprise.
Nihilist Dreams brings things to a fine conclusion, the song an epilogue of emotional admission and creative resourcefulness which grows more tempestuous and imposing with every passing second. It is a great end to one of the year’s most enjoyable moments so far. Certainly being picky, it would have been interesting to see Temple Of Lies push the majorly adventurous and unpredictable moments of the album with an even bolder intent, to see it become truly distinctive, but there is nothing about The Serial Killer Suite that leaves disappointment or a lack of rich enjoyment. Temple of Lies is ready for global recognition; whether the world is ready for them time will tell.
The Serial Killer Suite is out now through Attic Records on iTunes and @ https://templeoflies.bandcamp.com/album/the-serial-killer-suite
Pete RingMaster 11/07/2017
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