A little while ago, I received a package from a good mate. In there was Temtris’ new album Enter the Asylum, you bloody beauty. This is the fourth album from Sydney based (Nowra to be precise) metal band Temtris. As a follow up to Shallow Grave, did they deliver the goods?
The first thing I take note of, is the killer artwork adorning the cover. Great cover artwork isn’t always a sign of a good music but it doesn’t hurt either. So cranking it up the intro track R.A.M. (Random Access Memory). This is an instrumental track which lulls this would-be-victim into a false sense of security. The keyboards remind me of a “Halloween(esque)” type theme. This then leads into the opening riff of Enter the Asylum. The first verse of the lyrics, I think, sum up the feeling of the album - an uneasy journey into the dark depths of one’s own hell. The chorus is really catchy and gets stuck in your head for a long time - I’m walking around singing “enter the asylum where we play”… you just gotta be careful where you are.
The musicianship on display this early into the listening is top class but I love the part 3 mins in when the ripping solo work starts. Genevieve’s soaring vocals compliment the music perfectly. As a classically vocalist her range extends from soft spoken word to a high ball tearing dynamic that places her in the fore front of vocalists - both in a live setting and on album.
The thing I really love about this release is that each song, especially the first 30 seconds of each song, deliver the goods and draws the listener into the world of Temtris. I know this isn’t always the case but a song should deliver something different to keep things fresh but enticing to hook people in.
A fine example of this is the forth track The Summoning, the gothic style keyboard intro definitely set the tone for the next few minutes. The dual guitar work of Fox and Hoff meld intricately to create an atmosphere with each song, complemented by Adam on the bass and the legendary drumming master Wayne B. Campbell.
There is no shortage of killer riffs on this album but the thing I really appreciate as a metal head (these days) are the quieter parts and Temtris deliver this perfectly in Break this Skin. For a band to slow things down but still create an atmosphere where the song flows seamlessly back into the heavy groove is impressive.
The highlight moments for me are two songs in particular: Darkness Rising, a thrash metal song which is frenetic and drives home the power that Temtris have. Too Deep reminds me of playing DOOM in a darkened room many years ago, opening up with an air raid siren, pounding drums and a shot gun being fired off. This is an instrumental track where I could see myself cranking up whilst running through the hallways of DOOM blasting the hell out of shit.
Enter the Asylum is a more of a traditional metal album with elements of thrash thrown in. I love the growling backing vocals. Personally I believe they could be a little louder (but that is getting very picky though). One can hear on display that Temtris have found a real groove going on. I really wouldn’t call this a concept album but there is a flow to the order of songs. When I tried the random function what came out was equally impressive. This tells me that Enter the Asylum is a fricken great listen and there isn’t a band song on the album.
For those who are willing to Enter the Asylum you may enter but not leave the same.