Buy Album: https://agoniarecords.bandcamp.com/album/mysterium
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/Temple-Of-Baal-20135072962/timeline/
1. Lord Of Knowledge And Death
2. Magna Gloria Tua
3. Divine Scythe
5. Dictum Ignis
6. Black Redeeming Flame
7. Holy Art Thou
8. All In Your Name
“Mysterium” represents the culmination of 15 years of Satanic ecstasy by French Black/Death metal stalwarts Temple Of Baal. It is their fifth full length album, and seems to be the distillation of all that has gone before. A snarling, bitter hellbeast of an album.
The album opens with “Lord Of Knowledge And Death”, which begins with a baleful musical motif, akin to the soundtrack of “Hellraiser 2”. It comes across as more progressive than devastating, but that is to its credit. It is elegiac and majestic before breaking down into raging fuzzed up maelstrom.
This is followed by “Magna Gloria Tua”, with its razor blade riffing, neotlithic and oppressively cold. It is refined, and terrifyingly atmospheric. “Divine Scythe” is up next, devilishly harmonic, and savagely putrid. “Hosanna”, with its snaking riffs is another beast of a track, which gives way to the chant-o-rama interlide track “Dictum Ignis”, a brief psychedelic pot pourri.
The musical split personality of “Black Redeeming Flame” follows, lurching from beastly Black metal to demonic Death metal and back again. The album hurtles headlong to its conclusion with “Holy Art Though”, a foul, deranged beast of a track, and “All In Your Name”, another slab of inspired, pandemonic Black metal, at once atmospheric, and as ferocious as a shark in feeding frenzy.
There is much to like about “Mysterium”. The guitar sound is bitterly cold without being too grim. The frenetic, tornado like drumming tight and precise. It must be said that the Black metal element of Temple Of Baal’s sound is more impressive than the Death metal. Its seems that the band is more comfortable exploring this element of their collective psyche. Another small criticism is that the vocals at times seem a bit flat and one dimensional, and all in all honesty are the weakest part of the proceedings. However, on a purely musical level, the band are so impressive that the weak vocals are only a minor gripe. Probably their strongest album to date.
Review by Owen Thompson