Dear listener, hello! You are likely here because you know your stuff. You know what to expect from a pointy, dripping band logo. You see a title like Blood Craving Mantras and realize that a) this is metal, b) Temple of Dread probably did not grow up speaking English, and c) these combined facts suggest quality, or at least comfortable European predictability. So let’s explore together!
Temple of Dread is the middle of a spiritual Venn diagram between Bloodbath and Revocation. While not a super-group like Bloodbath, or as ridiculously prolific and technical as Revocation, Temple of Dread are super-fans of all things old school and worship the almighty riff with shit-eating grins. All of these fine bands know how to have fun. They understand how to reach back into that same tired bag of death/thrash tricks and pull out gleeful riffs.
I dare you to sit still for this record. Seriously, I double dog dare you. No finger twitches as the air guitar materializes in your hands for the Middle Eastern tinged notes of “Suffocate the Fire.” No toe taps as the d-beat stomps along like Benediction. No maniacal grin as Jens Finger channels his inner Schuldiner to inform you that “NOW YOU WILL DIE.” No upthrust arms as Markus Bünnemeyer whammies the hell out of a solo (3:35 of “Cottage in the Backyard” is a personal favorite). Keep your head still as Jörg Uken lays down triplet artillery fire to open “Straying the Battlefields,” I dare you. C’mon, sit still and just listen calmly.
Ok fine, that last request was unfair, as you are only human. So contort your face, grab your invisible oranges, and headbang with your entire body. Start a solo moshpit in your kitchen and scare the hell out of your pets. Drive waaay too fast to the grocery store. Set aside 32 minutes and 53 seconds, and disrespect your surroundings to Blood Craving Mantras. HAVE FUN! Temple of Dread commands it, and your weak flesh will comply. The power of the riff compels us all.