Review: “Khaos Divine” by Temtris

A tale of a dark and troubled dystopian city where a new world order has taken hold of the population with the offer of a chance to live an almost eternal life but at the cost of freedom is the concept that forms the narrative behind the seventh album “Khaos Divine” from Australians Temtris. Introducing a strong female character of the story in Ember on their album cover, vocalist Genevieve Rodda and guitarist Anthony Fox continue a song writing partnership that stretched back 23 years when Labyrinth rebranded as Labyrinthia before they forged ahead under their current moniker. Drummer Nicholas Bolin and second guitarist Nadi Noroozian joined the pair for their last album “Ritual Warfare” while for bassist Vane Danov this album represents his baptism of fire…

A Traditional Heavy Metal band with roots in Power Metal and Thrash, Temtris have long built their reputation on the sumptuous lead guitars of Fox and the vibrany of those on opening instrumental “The Grand Design” is absolutely awe inspiring. The other cornerstone of the Temtris sound are the gorgeous clean vocals from Rodda and she does not disappoint when the title track comes into play, wrapping herself up on the swirling Megadeth inspired riffs like the velvet cloak of a widow as she introduces the City of Khaos Divine along with the protagonists and how they view their questionable Utopia. At points she reaches almost Operatic heights with her Power Metal inspired tones, holding onto notes exquisitely in mesmerising fashion. “Eternal Death Machine” sticks to the storyline like Gorilla Glue¬†while detailing the contract that the citizens of the City of Khaos Divine have all signed with the In_HUMAN corporation and what that means, which is not always the case for a concept record while the face melting solo in the centre of this one is an absolute ripper. There are also little nuances that surface over multiple listens like the bass bleed out between chunky rhythmic riffs which my may not notice at first but become something you listen out for once you do hear them. “Dreams Or Reality” asks if we’re trapped in The Matrix, a galloping cut that continues the urgent, adrenaline pumping sonic demonstration of power as the new rhythm section of Bolin and Danov get a chance to shine and confirm that this latest line up change works incredibly well. It maybe a verse or chorus over long for those who haven’t met Temtris yet but for anyone who has, they’ll know what time it is.

By the time “The Lies Become The Truth” unfurls its angelic wings “Khaos Divine” starts to feel like the lyrical narrative is about the ecological disasters here on Earth with Governments signing off on fat cat Corporations in exchange for the dollar at the expense of the planet before lying through their teeth to the population. As powerful a moment as is found on the album, this one finds Rodda searching for hope with arguably its finest vocal performance, an extra certain something found from somewhere perhaps indicating that this particular cut is closer to her heart. “The Path” offers up a smouldering performance with some interesting bass lines providing a funky, groove laden under current for the guitars to dance. Again vocally heartfelt, this passionate display finds the band ascending the shades of night into Dream Theater territory before the band plough into the pre-Thrash ritual of “Revenge“. A rhythmic powerhouse littered with nuance when the guitars reach their height, it serves as a cut to smooth the flow of the record for the heavier “Evolution of Hate” which is an absolute pile driver that smashes though everything in its path. A rip-roaring head bang worthy cut it finds Fox and Noroozian at their most prolific, the riffs intertwining with the speed and efficiency of Trivium as the cut plays out. If the guitars were heard alone and named a demo from the Florida natives, no one would be any the wiser, a testament to the effort that the pair of guitarists have put into crafting this one. Aching off kilter piano haunts the introduction to grand finale “Ground Zero” before the band put the pedal to the Metal and the riffs scream from the amplifiers, breaking the atmospheric in the best possible way. Its a fretboard smoking tour de force of what Temtris have been about since day one, solos flying in all directions accompanied by pummelling percussive battery while Rodda creates a storm [8/10]

Track Listing

  1. The Grand Design
  2. Khaos Divine
  3. Eternal Death Machine
  4. Dreams or Reality
  5. The Lies Become the Truth
  6. The Path
  7. Revenge
  8. Evolution of Hate
  9. Ground Zero

Khaos Divine” by Temtris is out 17th March 2023 via WormHoleDeath Records

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