Now four albums deep into its nearly ten-year existence, Michigan’s TEMPLE OF VOID returns with Summoning The Slayer.

Lumbering and lurking, ‘Behind The Eye’ stalks forth from shadow, basic, almost Cro-Magnon in its main chord progression, but “basic” in the style of BOLT THROWER and early BENEDICTION, straightforward. No muss, no fuss, just head-down and advancing destruction.

‘Deathtouch’ makes no secret of its melody, oppressively forlorn in the verses ala the burgeoning days of The Peaceville Three, and – as their forefathers – with a chorus that confirms that not only can such a sub-genre as death/doom exist, but can be written/performed convincingly in 2022.

Leading off with a fluid bassline, oozing forth like so much chemical sludge in the Downriver area’s waters, ‘A Sequence Of Rot’ lives up to its name, moments of NOVEMBERS DOOM in the song’s arrangement, but far from parody or plagiarized, more a kinship. ‘Hex, Curse & Conjuration’ begs to be performed live, an unexpected full-on death assault sure to awaken and revive for a pit all but the most cross-armed and “elite” of metal fans, genre be damned.

While TOV has never been afraid to branch out, references to THE MOODY BLUES and NICK DRAKE surely had to be a bit far-fetched, right? Turns out, not so much, and be assured, I love me some NICK DRAKE. Personally, I hear more STRAWBERRY PATH and Ethereal Mirror-era CATHEDRAL in the sparse yet captivating beauty in this finale, but the sentiment, the heart beats true here, not a one-off or filler tune whatsoever.

Quite frankly, it’s bands like TEMPLE OF VOID and albums such as Summoning The Slayer that truly keep my hope for and faith in American metal strong. Thanks, guys. I, for one, needed it.
Review By: Lord Randall

TEMPLE OF VOID
Summoning The Slayer
Relapse
5 / 6