Temple Of Void - Demo MMXIII (EP) (2013)


With all of the major news outlets only invoking the name of the city of Detroit to talk about bankruptcy and Hardcore Pawn, it's no wonder their musical exports are being drowned out. Luckily for Temple Of Void, they are still young, and there is time for them to burst onto the scene. In the meantime, they have to make the most of a bad situation; hardships breed toughness. They've managed to come this far, producing a demo that, for all intents and purposes, serves as a declarative sentence: "We are here." One part death, one part doom, two parts not caring about the proportions of the other two parts, this five piece have all the grit and murkiness to catch the attention of people from coast to coast. On their first demo, titled "Demo MMXIII," they try to capture all of that hard-nosed craftsmanship, without sacrificing their strong grasp on what it means to be heavy. Fast, slow, and in between, this might be the best thing to come out of Detroit this year.

When it comes to the dark, sludgy style that Temple Of Void plays, there is no room for delicate intros or subtle openings. "Beyond The Ultimate," which erupts in dense distorted chugging right from the onset, is evidence that you don't need to take the long way to get from point a to point b. This full steam ahead approach works here, beating you down instead of pushing you aside. To their credit, the duel guitar attack factors heavily in the layering of the album, both in solo and verse sections. Even when the mix is decidedly murky by design, as it is on "Exanimate Gaze," there is still depth to the recording. Each blistering scream cuts through you like a knife, leaving no room for melodic clean vocals. Instead, you get healthy doses of growls, completely filling the lower register with gurgled lyrics that go beyond the basic death/doom structures. But perhaps it is "Bargain In Death" that will propel the band beyond the crowded streets of their genre of choice. Turning the speed down and the volume up, they attack your very skeleton, allowing the high levels of distortion to grind your bones to a fine powder. The sampled spoken word is an apt transition from density to groove, as the guitars erupt in a flurry of fretwork and bending strings before fading to silence.

The short list of metal bands from detroit that have been able to strike out on the national circuit is small, and getting smaller by the day. And while that is no real indication as to the future Temple Of Void have ahead of them, it must be mentioned. It isn't always easy for a single three song demo to give you any indication as to where a band goes from here; the fact is, we don't have much to go on at this stage of the game. But based on what we've heard here, all twenty minutes of crushing, unrestrained death/doom, I doubt we'll be hearing any symphony appearances or operatic vocals on the next effort. Sometimes, the most straightforward approach is the best one, and that could pay off. For a city that is restructuring financially, so too must the music scene. Maybe this crisis of business and government is signally a changing of the tide. And with their sight set on the next level, this band might be exactly what the Detroit needed.

7.5/10

Bandcamp - http://templeofvoid.bandcamp.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/TempleOfVoid