Temple of Lies’ new video for “Bats” popped into our inbox the other day and I featured it in our video roundup mainly as it was a bloody good song. As luck would have it, they followed up with the full album a day or two later so it jumped onto my personal review pile.
From Sand is already out and – if you’re one of the “too long;didn’t read” brigade – it’s a cracker and, yes, you should buy it. The band have been going for a few years now, and this isn’t their first album. The experience shows.
It’s a gritty, dirty, pounding southern-style metal album chock full of hooks. Due to the little time I have to listen to new music I – as ever – go through albums in the car. Opener “Rope” had me pounding the steering wheel by the end of the first minute. “Bats” is brilliant and if I’d tapped my foot the way I’d wanted to then the car would have been bunny-hopping like it was being piloted by a learner on their second lesson.
“Crystal” is a heavier beast from the opening bars. Less hooky, more pummel-y, with a sound somewhat like an eighties heavy rock track with the distortion turned up and the guitars tuned down. The title track sounds like it’s going to build and build… but never quite gets there. In honesty it’s just not one of my favourite songs on the album, perhaps because it’s so different from the others. It just doesn’t work for me, but as such it’s in a tiny minority.
“Feed The Greed” gets is back into things in terms of liveliness, but the aptly-titled “Riff Machine” is a monster. Laced with molasses, it’s slow and heavy – incredibly bluesy. “Fire In The Hole” which follows would work as a rap crossover with a little editing and if the band could afford to get Ice-T involved on guest vocals. It’s just got that kind of “standing partly crouched with the mike in one hand and the other stuck out in front of you” sound to it. It’s high-tempo, angry and yet managed to have an edge of bounce to it.
“Pure Alcohol” is a drinker’s track for sure. Managing to merge two great southern traditions – drinking alcohol and vampires – it’s got a fantastic (yet simple) chorus. “888” has some of the best drumwork on the album, and a nice staggered rhythm with very enjoyable fills between vocal bursts.
The rather angry “MoM” rounds the album off and it’s a thumper. Back into a low, steady, crushing gear Temple of Lies finish their album off as they started – spitting venom and breaking skulls.