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Album Reviews : Templestowe – Cimmerian

By on October 7, 2009

templestowe_cimmerianTemplestowe’s three song demo, released in 2007, showed a band with a lot of potential so my expectations were high for the release of their debut full length “Cimmerian”. I can comfortably say that they have not let me down in the least as this potential is easily realized via an album that exudes class and is the complete package.

The first thing that strikes you is the distinctive artwork and layout courtesy of vocalist Jon Hocking which, if you’re familiar with the releases of Aeon Of Horus amongst others, again looks magnificent and makes the perfect first impression while reflecting the concepts contained on the CD. (Check out www.jonhockingdesign.com for further examples.)

Of course we all know that it’s the music that counts and, following a brief introduction, the first song “This Wrathful Abyss” wastes no time in making its presence felt and confirming that there is tangible substance at work here as well.

Whilst still firmly based in death metal Templestowe have also blended a number of other elements that become major strengths as the album progresses. The songs are more succinct than those on the demo but that is not to say that there isn’t a lot of ideas in each, it is readily clear that Templestowe have developed greatly in both their song writing and musicianship over the two year period whilst still retaining subtle thematic links to their earlier work.

There is certainly a more modern, sophisticated sheen to the music though, thankfully, they haven’t sacrificed the aggression in lieu of this. If anything the intensity has been taken up a notch, when “Cimmerian” is raging it is superbly primal, yet this is balanced with more melodic moments and even a couple of well placed and performed instrumentals.

It is very difficult for me to choose a standout song when the music is so consistent overall but, if pressed, I would recommend either “Entities“ or “Desolate Obscurity“ as ideal starting points as both encapsulate all of the above elements. That said, “Cimmerian” really does work well when listened to in its entirety and there really isn’t a bad track to be found.

The production is also worthy of note, “Cimmerian” boasts a great heavy sound which comes as no surprise when you note that the album was recorded at Dark Corpse Studio in Canberra, engineered by Mark Lewis (The Black Dahlia Murder, Job For A Cowboy, All That Remains) in Florida and mastered by Goran Finnberg (Opeth, In Flames, Soilwork) at the Mastering Room in Sweden.

Cimmerian” ably demonstrates that Templestowe have put in a great deal of work over the past two years and have left nothing to chance which has resulted in a debut album they should rightly be proud of. As far as I am concerned this is another fine example of the quality metal that this country produces and it goes without saying that their admirable efforts deserve our support. 9/10

Band: Templestowe
Album: Cimmerian
Year: 2009
Genre: Death Metal
Label: Self Released
Origin: Canberra, Australia
www.templestowemetal.com
www.myspace.com/templestowemetal

Track Listing:
1. The Pendulum
2. This Wrathful Abyss
3. Vacant Illusions
4. Entities
5. Embers
6. Oath Of Failure
7. Cimmerian
8. Like Parasites
9. Desolate Obscurity
10. Relics

Reviewed by Peter Schulz

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.