Australia’s Temtris are not exactly what you would expect from a female fronted-death metal band. Within reason, many pure death metal bands with female singers would lessen the focus on the gender of the vocalist, and extend the focal point on the punishingly heavy music they create. Primarily because many of these vocalists are capable of dishing out vocal strengths that rank up with many of death’s finest growlers – so what does gender matter?
Temtris exhibit the makings of fine death metal music, blended with eloquent flavours of thrash, power and black metal, and the vocals of Genevieve Rodda compliment this hybrid better than you would think.
Featuring anything in between lyrics sung with soaring melody and interspersed with some deep low death growls (courtesy of guitarist Llew Smith), Temtris’ third album Shallow Grave poses an excellently-constructed array of vocal dominance. While this is arguably one of the more standout traits of the album, Shallow Grave’s instrumental portions are also extremely crisp, versatile and as a whole, make for damn good listening. Everything woven together makes an exceptionally enjoyable tight-knit package.
It is in songs such as “Slave To The System” where the elements of fast melodic death metal are best portrayed, whilst the title track displays flavours of modern power metal with neat licks of traditional American thrash thrown in (Anthrax and Annihilator particularly spring to mind). The guitars are particularly versatile throughout the album, with the axe-wielders displaying a knack for constructing a wide excess of riff material. The percussion is considerably fill-heavy and remains polished and technically proficient in all areas – with which the bass is more than complimenting for all the aforementioned ingredients to good death metal.
“The Entity” possesses more of a traditional (and dare I say, technical) death vibe than other tracks on Shallow Grave, and one which features a deeper exploration into melody, whilst still being enhanced with Rodda’s operatic power vocals. Here they are executed in a similar fashion to Epica and Kamelot and perhaps at a stretch, even Iron Maiden. Say what you will but the similarities are uncanny.
It is in “Silent Tears” where Temtris delve further into their genre amalgamation; as a more atmospheric track, they bring their melodic side into full swing here. And it also happens to be excellent. The album’s closer “Your Time Has Come”, also the band’s choice in debut music video, takes conventions from the rhythmic side of the spectrum, whilst still remaining considerably heavy and dark.
Temtris have delivered with Shallow Grave; a thoroughly enjoyable release that encompasses a wide range of genres that do not detract from the overall listening experience. The album flows nicely for one with such wide influence, and they need to continue with this trend to prevent them from falling somewhere they are not comfortable in.
2. Slave To The System
3. Shallow Grave
4. The Entity
5. Silent Tears
6. Forever Haunted
7. Darkness Lies
8. Your Time Has Come (Bonus)
Genevieve Rodda – vocals
Llew Smith – guitar/vocals
Anthony Fox – guitar
Adam Wotherspoon – bass
Ben Hart – drums