Sep 13, 2012
Magister Templi - "Iao Sabao!" ...
By trad-doom standards there is not much you can say about this EP/demo. It is old-school trad-doom, pure and simple but it is really good. The band isn't a 70's proto-doom throwback nor are they cashing on the current occult-doom trend. Magister Templi is more in the vein of 80's bands like Trouble and very early Solitude Aeturnus and just like those bands, it is about as classy as it gets for the trad-doom genre. Excellent playing that is full of style, great vocals and a ominous atmosphere but for the experienced doomster ...... you have all heard this before many times over but again, and I stress ... this band writes great songs.
The magic is in great riffs, vocal melodies and insanely infectious hooks. The opening track '1st Enochian Call' surprisingly, is the one track that strays from the trad-doom formula ever so slightly. Sounding more in the vein of psychedelic and stoner-doom bands, this track bubbles along nicely with an engaging blend of complex and simple musical passages. The following track 'Bornless' unloads a nice doomy gallop which reminds the listener of a more energetic Solitude Aeturnus or Candlemass. The lyrical angle, along with the huge melody lines are pure epic metal and the vocals of Abraxas d'Ruckus are nothing short of commanding. The absurdly named 'Goose Boy' comes on next but despite the funny song-title, it is very mournful, dark and full of weeping, sorrowful emotion. The EP is bookended by the two most retro-influenced tracks and this second one verges on the generic sabbathy approach but again, it is still great.
The first time you hear Magister Templi there is a sense of, damn how many times have I heard that riff or shit-a-brick, this sounds like something else. However within just a few minutes the hooks, melodies and mesmerizing riffing feels like an old friend. If there is a band to truly steal the Candlemass trad-doom crown, it would be this mob from Norway. What it lacks in originality, it more than makes up for in gigantic, catchy meaty riffs and epic, sorrowful melodies that ooze with atmosphere. This is the kind of release that traditional doomsters go crazy for and if they can only just inject their own personality into their music in the future, then this band should be massive in doom metal circles all around the world. Available now and also available on vinyl through Freshtea Records.......8.5/10
Tags: Magister Templi