Review: “Ritual Warfare” by Temtris

Hailing from Shoalhaven and Sydney, New South Wales, Australia are a five piece Metal outfit who originally formed 21 years ago as Labyrinth then rebranded Labyrinthia before finally ploughing ahead under the moniker Temtris. For original members Anthony Fox (Guitars) and Genevieve Rodda (Vocals) the unveiling of “Ritual Warfare” marks the bands sixth studio album while it will be the second for LiveWire and ex-Fenrir bassist Nick Wilks who joined the band in 2017. A pair of new members have entered the fray in drummer Nicholas Bolin and second guitarist Nadi Noroozian for this affair, recorded at Main street studios, Wollongong and production by Anthony Fox and former vocalist Anthony Hoffman (Mortal Sin, Baltak) before being mixed and mastered by Lord Tim at SLS studios. The Aztec themed artwork seems to hint at a concept release, but looks can be deceiving…

…For those not familiar with any prior works of Temtris, they are a Traditional Metal band with Power Metal leanings known for the vibrant solos of Anthony Fox and the gorgeous vocals of Genevieve Rodda who are essentially the bands beating heart. That’s not to under estimate the input of any of the other players who have been in the band over the two decades they’ve been around but they have been the major forces in deciding the bands direction in that time. What separates them from the pack of other Power Metal acts looking to get your attention is their touches on other sub-genres within each of their songs. They’re not afraid to blur the lines in order to create things which sounds fresh. For example, while opening cut “Race to the End” is something of a genre standard with some nice touches, “One For All” takes a leaf from the book of “Warriors of the World” era Manowar, making good use of the freshly constructed powerhouse rhythm section and incorporating a spoken word that adds a fist clenching anthemic quality. Introducing melody with a mid-track acoustic passage in “Seven Sins of Man” is well timed and incredibly well executed while it wears its Iron Maiden influences on its sleeve with the breakout riff attack.¬†Fortunately as distinctive and as bold as the vocals are from Genevieve Rodda, she doesn’t carry the band alone, something which we’ve seen with the likes of Jennie Skulander in Devilskin. That lack of reliance means that the band themselves have a lot more freedom and that only serves to benefit the overall material, Fox and Noroozian delivering plenty of sumptuous solos and harmonious leads that are matched by the power of the rhythm section, which is a Juggernaut throughout. Stand out cut “Forever” has a decent quantity of Thrash fueled riffs and some unclean backing vocals crammed in for good measure, something you’d never expect from a Power Metal orientated band.

The album title track has a real “Rust In Peace” era Megadeth vibe to the riffage and is arguably Temtris at their most commercial with those Rose tinted spectacles on as they give us something of a nostalgia trip to the 80’s. They will however need to get a radio edit of the cut in place if they want to go that way with it as it chalks up at just over 7 minutes, there is however a nice piano interlude that has been used to separate the cut from “Tempus Aeternum” (which loosely translates from the Latin as “For Every Ever“) which acts as a palette cleanser before things slow down. The vocals on this one are simply huge, Rodda’s stand out performance as she’s accompanied by some pause break guitar work that allows Nick Wilks’s basslines to shine before the band run with the Thrash vibes once more with “Erased“. It is one that has no sign of any Power Metal what so ever, managing to coax new levels of aggression from not only the band, but their vocalist, who perhaps surprisingly lands an unexpected expletive. It serves to avoid any kind of overdose while affirming the status of the band as an underrated one before “Always United” finds a half way house of balance between DragonForce inspired leads and Thrash rhythms. Closing on such an anthemic tune with sing-a-long qualities is an interesting choice, perhaps a sign of the quality that is here as these are seasoned musicians who know how to craft their visions into reality [7.5/10]

Track listing

1. Race to the End
2. One for All
3. Seven Sins of Man
4. Forever
5. Ritual Warfare
6. Tempus Aeternum
7. Erased
8. Always United

Ritual Warfare” by Temtris is out 30th April 2021 via WormHoleDeath Records

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