Tech Death Thursday: Temple of Demigod – Onslaught of the Ancient Gods

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Cthulhu might be played out, but if it continues to yield music like this, I’m not really sure that I care.

News:

  • Fields of Elysium have their new album streaming now. Give that a listen if you like big-brain prog death, and look for its release on July 1st.
  • Them wormy boys are putting out some nasty tunes these days. Check out the new Wormed single and look for Metaportal on July 19th.
  • The new Disentomb is sick, but we’ll get to that later. In the meantime, check out this playthrough of “The Decaying Light.”
  • Valsa Pintura continues to do crazy shit you don’t ever hear in this genre, and I’m still waiting on a full album from this dude. This is the sickest shit.

Do you miss the brainy brutality of Kronos? Did you dig the atmosphere of the last Inferi album but were put off by its complexity? Perhaps you’re looking for more tech death with Flub’s mystical synths? If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then good news! Today’s band has exactly what you’re looking for.

When Dubya turned me onto this band a few weeks ago, their sole available track (“He Who Lies in Eternity,” if I recall correctly) led me to believe they were simply an aggressive death metal band that leaned a little towards tech- something like Hideous Divinity or Hour of Penance. While some of that is present on Onslaught of the Ancient Gods, it’s only a small part of Temple of Demigod’s sound. The band has a multifaceted approach to songwriting that keeps things a bit more fresh than the constant blast-tremolo combo of the aforementioned bands, but it’s all focused on creating a particular atmosphere. As such, it’s diverse, but cohesive.

Temple of Demigod describe themselves as blackened death, and while that’s an accurate label, it can potentially set misinformed expectations. Rather than the straightforward rage of bands like FleshmeadowOnslaught reminded me more of the impishness of Enfold Darkness. Songs like “Cataclysmic March” conjure dark ambiance with their riffs, but that atmosphere is offset by twinkling, astral synths in the same vein as early Inanimate Existence. It’s wicked-sounding music to be sure, but playful, too; I get the impression the band takes their music seriously, but not so much so that they can’t have fun with it.

I know that’s a lot of name-dropping, but it’s something of a necessary evil with a band like this; there’s a lot going on here. In spite of the thematic focus of the music, there’s a lot of variety from riff to riff, even within individual songs. The one-two punch of “He Who Lies in Eternity” and “Amorphous” best illustrates this. Both songs play at the same driving tempo and open with complex melodic riffs, but the way they flow is completely different. “He Who Lies” drops in tempo for some massive, imposing leads and a big triumphant outro, where “Amorphous” throws in some chunky diminished chords and blistering dueling guitars. This is just one example between two songs, though, a drop of water in a sea of riffs.

Onslaught of the Ancient Gods was a surprise hit for me; I was expecting to have some fun with it, but I’ve been addicted to it since its release. It’s exactly the right balance of sinister and cheesy, complex and catchy. It’s a great album if you like tech death but need a reprieve from the noodly side of the genre. You can pick it up now on Bandcamp, and you can follow Temple of Demigod on Facebook. That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so until next time,

Stay Tech

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