The Temple - Forevermourn - Review

The aesthetics of doom metal vary widely. This, of course, springs from the artists themselves and their representation of the inner to the outer, while using heavy, big and slow riffs. But the feel of it, the sensitivity and the emotional communication between the musicians and the listeners can be unique, especially when you come upon a band that has its own cloak surrounding their music.

The Temple are moving on the sensitive, emotional and devout spectrum of doom and this can be attributed on the vocal performance of the singer, Father Alex and the leading melodies that come in contrast with the big body of riffs. The approach, the execution, the lyrics and the performance of the singer stand out from the very first song. He is not only singing, he is mourning, he is chanting, he is crying, he embodies tragedy, despair, hopelessness and aloneness. In other words, he is performing on the grand stage set by the music and this creates a beautiful and mournful environment. A congregation of grievances among people that are not necessarily in a period of grief, but can bring about the feeling, reenact memories and express untold emotions through their music.

The listener is invited to take part in the rituals of the devout with a sense of loss and pain; to move with them; to cry with them and, like a macabre dance around the fires that burn in the night alongside the dead body of a loved one, to be released and redeemed. 

Tragedy is an aspect of art that represents grief, hopelessness and deep psychological pain as it is experienced by all of us, but in an aesthetically pleasing way. Art that has tragedy as its core, unites people under one shared truth: grief is part of everyone’s life. The Temple merge pain with redemption, sorrow with tears, grief with shades of hope, beautiful melodies with grandiose riffs, funeralistic marches with devout sermons and they do it in a way that can be emotional and moving but not unbearable.

When it is done successfully, the listener is drawn in the dark ambience of their Temple, as a part of a religious flock where emotions are flowing with the movement of the bodies. On the other hand, there are instances where the singer strains his voice and the effect is not communicated as it is intended, where other times the lead guitars will play a melody that feels out of place. These instances occur in places in some songs and can be considered flaws in execution, which may draw the listener’s attention for a moment and then immediately sink back in. 

The Temple worked on writing vocal lines that resemble religious chanting, a form of singing that is not only difficult but can be devastatingly emotional. Listen how Father Alex begins his performance in “Remnants”; listen to the poetic rhythm of the words and the stability in his voice; a soft, sensitive expression, which plays with double recorded vocals; listen to the riff that creates a big but soft body of sound surrounding both the voice and the lead guitars; listen to the march of the drums and the bass vibrating behind everything. It will engage with you and move you.

The composition maintains a balance between the metal element and the sensitive performance of the singer, creating a deeply emotional ride in the dark side of life while it feels enjoyable and close to the heart. “Forevermourn” flows for almost an hour, welcoming those with affinity to sadness; it invites them to expose themselves to it, time after time, since the emotional imprint turns out to be positive. “Mirror Of Souls” for example is a doom song that allows rays of hope to shine. The end of the album will leave you with a feeling of lightness, less burdened and troubled and that is what tragedy should communicate; a path to redeem ourselves from pain and sorrow. 

Let us pray.

Recommended track: Remnants

The Temple Fb Page

Label: I HATE

Released on 18/03/16

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