Yet another fine death metal release on the Testimony roster, this time by Germany’s Temple Of Dread with their second album ‘World Sacrifice’. The band’s debut ‘Blood Craving Mantras’ was no slouch either from 2019, indeed I’d say both albums are a match for each other and I’d be hard pressed to decide which I prefer out of the other but the focus is on the sophomore of course.

What I can say is that the German’s like their death metal in the vein of the US style, particularly like the much revered Floridian style of the late 80s and early 90s and before you think that the band is cloning the era they most certainly are not. Revitalising or reinvigorating a style so that it becomes your own unique identity is not easy but the German band has done just that. True you will hear tenets of various acts of the scene back in those days from, Death, Malevolent Creation, Obituary etc. but pick up any death metal album these days and tell me you can’t hear those bands or other pioneers of the era to some degree within them!

The title track launches this monster of an album and immediately you will think this album is going to be fantastic, the riff hooks you instantly with its old school catchiness as the guttural vocal roar bellows into your ears. The colossal drop in pace is brilliant as spoken radio like vocal ensues that allows a slower double kick to filter with very cool results. ‘Enforcers Of The Vile’ continues the bombardment as the blast beats rain down like missiles and the lead breaks do indeed have that Chuck Schuldiner ring to them. Macabre and eerie ‘Symbiotic Delusion’ has an overtone of repugnance to it before the super catchy double bass floods in; I guarantee you will find it difficult not to find this album so damn catchy as ‘Machine’ batters the living shit out of you and has huge Malevolent Creation traits within in it.

Favourite track for me is ’Dedication’, the song is an absolute riot of terror, right until the riff change which albeit brief is extremely effective. The copious riff breaks seem to arrive like a tsunami piling into the song with remorseless intent making the track a feast of utter wrath. The band does a fine cover of Morgoth’s ‘Sold Baptism’ which originally appeared on Morgoth’s ‘Cursed’ album, before closing the album with ‘Blood Craving Mantras’. Being the longest track it has a slightly more experimental nature with a monastic chant opening creating a dramatic intro. The steady beat showcases a gradual intensification in power via the double bass which is very effective especially with the lead work. As it evolves it unleashes a fantastic riff that is possibly the best on the album signalling the song to step on the accelerator making this a fine finale.

Those of the old school death metal persuasion should look no further, Temple Of Dread are what you dream of; skull slamming riffs, pulverizing bass, a drum demolition… what more do you want!

(9/10 Martin Harris)