Two years removed from Shallow Grave, Australian metal band TEMTRIS are ready to unleash their fourth album Enter the Asylum (April 9, Battlegod Productions Australia) on the world. Since I am friendly with a couple of members they know I always speak frankly. I originally told singer Genevieve Rodda that the last record was without a doubt their best…I was wrong. THIS record is. I’m not sure why, whether it’s the overall chemistry after some lineup changes, or having original drummer Wayne Campbell back behind the kit, or simply that everything just clicked during the writing. What I do know is that this should be the album that makes people all over the world sit up and take notice of just how goddamn fierce TEMTRIS is.
Well, with all that said let’s dig into this one. Title track, personal favorite, and opener “Enter the Asylum” is a fearsome slab of heavy metal and the twin guitars of Anthony Fox and Anthony Hoffmann are sharpened to a fine point, ready to stab your eyes out. The solos are absolutely badass, too. Right from the get-go it’s clear they aren’t fucking around and are here to put a hurtin’ on somebody. “Mind Games” drills right into your skull, Campbell and bassist Adam Wotherspoon at the controls while the guitars burrow into your brain, consuming all your grey matter. “The Summoning” begins with evil-sounding church organ music before giving way to a battering ram, Rodda belting it out and ripping shit up.
More double-axe goodness abounds on “Break the Skin”, with dual leads and harmonics aplenty. I also got a Rage For Order-era QUEENSRŸCHE vibe from this one, and in no way is that a bad thing! “Darkness Falling” is definitely the angriest and most aggressive song, making it another instant favorite right away. Headbanging will ensue for anyone and everyone who listens to instrumental “Too Deep”, I guarantee that much. It’s got a great melody but also packs a punch. “Empty Room” is straight-ahead traditional metal, the kind many of us were born and raised on, while “Nightstalker” takes off at a gallop.
Chunky-style riffs make up the mid-tempo “Seasons of Decay”, and by this time you can tell the band is really locked in. They know they’ve got a killer record on their hands. “Lament” is a slow, piano-driven song that is very pretty, and after the battering you’ve just taken over the previous tracks it’s almost shocking that you get a reprieve. But it won’t last. Closer “Phoenix” kicks you in the balls, slams your head into a wall, and generally fucks up your day. But that’s what I want in my metal. Beat me, pummel me, and make me come back begging for more.
That’s what TEMTRIS does with Enter the Asylum. This is a band poised for bigger and better things, and this is the album that should propel them to the next level. Everyone is 100% at the top of their game, especially Rodda. She sounds like a woman possessed, a woman ready to seize the brass ring and make it her own. They have done a brilliant job, and are deserving of all the accolades I know will come pouring in. To Genevieve, Anthony, Wayne, Anthony, and Adam…great job, everyone. This is your best work yet!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM