It’s been a minute since we had some TEMTRIS here in the pages of A&GS. Well over two years, actually. Thankfully that’s all about to change because yours truly, The Maestro, has been given the exclusive first crack at reviewing the brand new release from the band. Titled Rapture, this is album number five, and it will hit you square in the eardrums on October 1 through Battlegod Productions Australia. Being in a touring Heavy Metal band can put pressure on its members, and as a result there has been a lineup change, with Nik Wilks (bass) and Youhan AD. (drums) joining guitarists Anthony Hoffman and Anthony Fox alongside powerhouse vocalist Genevieve Rodda.
The record starts off with “Flames of Defiance”, a classic metal opener if ever I heard one: Dual harmonized guitar leads intertwined with a galloping rhythm over a steady drum beat that is akin to JUDAS PRIEST’S “Hell Patrol” on steroids! Rodda comes out swinging away, belting out some of the most powerful notes I’ve ever heard from her. She has been working with legendary singer Ralf Scheepers (PRIMAL FEAR) and the results speak for themselves. Her voice was already stronger than steel, now it’s like the adamantium in Wolverine’s claws. First single “Run” instantly blew my hair back and knocked my socks off simultaneously. The hard-charging riffage and fast-ass tempo will have all heads banging.
One of the cool things about this album is that no song clocks in under 4:30. Actually, quite a few bleed into the over six minutes territory. What I like about this is the fact that the songs set the scene and draw you in. Case in point, “Breathe” which is my actual, actual favorite of all the tunes, kicking off with a bass-heavy intro, then the riff machine charges full speed ahead. And the chorus is heavenly, from the fiery fretwork to Rodda’s soaring vocal. I know the rhythm section is still fairly new, but one listen to “Fight” and you’d swear they’ve been there for years, as they anchor the track and steer the ship (oy Maestro, with your nautical references!) to shore.
Changing things up tempo-wise is “Carry You,” a track that is still heavy yet somehow more melodic in places. I hesitate to call it a ballad, just because it’s mellow here and there. The opening 1:24 is such a wonderful set up to what lies ahead, and I think people are really gonna dig this one. Oh, and wait till you hear the one-two combo of “Serpent” and “Paradise”, with the former coming at you all stalker-like and the latter being as subtle as a car crash. All piss and vinegar, “Paradise” is a veritable battering ram, and it’s right behind “Breathe” on my standouts, but hell they’re all great.
“Wings of Death” is one of the record’s darkest and heaviest tunes, and closer “Rise of Dawn” brings the hammer down on your skull one last time, ending things in fine fashion, but not without a twist halfway through. I’ve been on board the TEMTRIS train for five years now, and albums like this are the very reason why. If you want some Traditional Metal with a modern flair that features a devastating twin-guitar attack and a kickass vocalist, then you owe it to yourselves to pick up Rapture on release day. That was not a request. You have your orders and you’ll thank me later.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM