Magister Templi - Lucifer Leviathan Logos
Cruz Del Sur Music
Epic Doom Rock/Metal
7 songs (37' 8")
Release year: 2013
Cruz Del Sur Music
Reviewed by Andy
Surprise of the month

I didn't intend to review two doom-influenced albums at once this week, but after hearing brand-new Norwegian doomers Magister Templi's first LP, I really can't resist this one. Some might say it's another band trying to get in on the currently-hot occult metal trend, and maybe that's true -- I have no idea. Even if so, it doesn't stop them from excelling in this album, Lucifer Leviathan Logos, which combines the guitar hooks and occult themes of Mercyful Fate with the doom of early Candlemass. In other words, it's heavy as hell.

I say this because the whole sound is low-frequency and reverberating throughout -- the bass thumps at the ears with every note, the guitar has a bit of a reverb on it, and the drums echo like they are being played in a long hallway -- yet the songs are fairly fast-paced most of the time, not quite thrash metal speed but definitely out of traditional doom territory. Frontman Abraxis has a voice equal to the band's sound, ranging from a deep, clean baritone sung straight from the chest to the occasional high, falsetto scream. Master of the Temple gives him plenty of time to ramble through confusing lyrics on occult and magical themes (19th-century occult, that is -- think Aliester Crowley, not New Age hippies). Most of the following songs go back and forth from slow doom riffs to mid-tempo galloping, but every once in a while they speed way up, and the resulting barrage of sound is immediately headbangable -- especially on The Innsmouth Look and Leviathan, both of which I particularly liked. Leviathan's speedup is right at the end and is very melodic -- most of the time this is a band that knows how to write a cool hook.

The only parts that really bug me are the spoken-word parts. They're solemnly intoned by Abraxis without any smirking or irony, but they're long, there are too many of them (I'd have been perfectly content with just one on the whole album), and they get annoying fast. The songs also sometimes feel like two different song ideas got jammed together, and the result can be confusing. Overall, though, the musical abilities of Magister Templi paper over most of their drawbacks. In a very short break from the thundering doom and Abraxis' shouting, Vitriol, the final song on the album, spends a lot more time with quiet acoustic guitar, but the riffing is still done as if it's a metal song, which gives it a cool sound -- and then the distorted heaviness kicks in again. Despite its occasional incoherencies, its magnificently heavy-yet-speedy sound makes this one a keeper.

Killing Songs :
Master of the Temple, Leviathan, Vitrol
Andy quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Magister Templi that we have reviewed:
Magister Templi - Into Duat reviewed by Andy and quoted 90 / 100
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