Review by Michael on July 10, 2023.
I guess Jens Finger and his bandmates took the last words of my review for the last album Hades Unleashed to their hearts and so here we are just two years later with their follow-up album Beyond Acheron. Again they used Paolo Girardi as cover designer and (again!) he did a fantastic job here. Evoking some nightmarish visions of a ghoulish stormy crossing of the sea (or in this case the ancient Greek mythological river Acheron with the ferryman Charon) it spreads a fantastic spooky atmosphere even just having a look at the cover.
Starting with some desperate, cold riffs the Greek ferryman invites us to a trip into the Stygian depths without return. After the intro has taken the listener into its ban, we are taken into an old-school death metal maelstrom. In comparison to its predecessors Jens' vocals got a wider range and (what also could be noticed on the last Slaughterday album which is Jens' other band) the more melodic and based on traditional metal influences parts in the songs. But of course the thrash and death metal influences which reach back into the 80s stuff like early Slayer, Death or Possessed or 90s stuff like Asphyx stay in the foreground. Nevertheless Temple Of Dread has created a very own niche in the scene. How? Well, the mixture of atmospheric parts paired with a very special guitar sound like in 'World Below' is something I am not aware of from other bands. Let me take 'Damnation' as another fine example for the exclusivity of the Germans. Oriental-like melodies that are very sluggish shape the song in the first half while the second half convinces with some fantastic melodic guitar tunes that once again show the improvements the band did in their technical skills during the last two years. With Marc Grewe the guys got a guest vocalist on 'The Plague' which is a creeping, sinister song with sick lead guitars, amazing breaks and evil vocals. 'All-Consuming Fire' also appears to be such a song first with its dissonant guitars in the beginning but after a short catchy intermezzo it becomes a fast death metal grenade.
Well, I could write several more lines about the songs but this all is theory. Better you get the album and check it by yourself. I promise you won't be disappointed because everybody involved in it did a fantastic job. Starting with Paolo Girardi, the band itself with the 10 amazing songs they composed and Jörg Uken who once again did a flawless production in his Soundlodge.
Rating: 9.6 out of 10589