Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Album Review: "Skulthor Ebonblade" by Temptation's Wings

As a strong proponent of all things categorized as European power metal, it is the highest compliment I can offer to describe something as such.  Although Temptation's Wings are usually considered a doom metal band, the ancient vibe, fantasy themes and intricate song crafting remind me as much of Blind Guardian and Kamelot as they do bands such as Witchcraft or High on Fire. 

To this end I would explain Temptation's Wings as European power doom.  Yet, this mastery of the Teutonic arts does not emit from the Alps, but rather from the less storied mountains of North Carolina.  If Carolinian Power Doom was not already a thing, it is now, and it is amazing.

Not since Black Sabbath and Megadeth has there been such a relentless onslaught of mighty riffs.  One right after another, a cavalcade of crunchy power reminiscent of Texas riff lords The Sword.  The vocal style is a combination of  Messiah Marcolin of Candlemass and former Wolfsbane/Iron Maiden singer Blaze Bayley.

The lyrical content is steeped in fantasy with an emphasis on battle themes.  The vocal melodies contain a cadence and intrigue rivaling the riffs themselves. The album tells the story of  a warrior whose village has been destroyed by an evil witch.  He embarks on a quest for a legendary sword which is the only weapon capable of destroying the witch. As much as any album I have heard in the last year I really enjoyed listening to the lyrics of Skulthor Ebonblade.     

Temptation's Wings
Especially notable is the prominence and power of the bass lines by new bassist Chad Barnwell which are clear and thumping, even when played on my crappy car stereo.  Micah Nix's guitars are again as epic as fans of the band have come to expect.  The energetic and precision drumming of Jason Gardner adds a unique power to every track. Simply put, I am extremely impressed by this great album.

If you think the Great Smoky Mountains are incapable of producing a sound to rival those emanating from the Carpathians, Ardennes, Alps or Jotunheims, Temptation's Wings are here to prove you wrong.

Release: March 10, 2016
Genre: Carolinian Power Doom
Label: Self Released


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