Temple of Gnosis Album cover 2016It’s been said that in order to truly change as a human being or other living organism, one must undergo a transformation of truly horrific proportions. Sure, we all know that butterflies derive from caterpillars, but we don’t actually see the caterpillar going through a grotesque shape-shift in order to become an object of beauty, nor do we see a lowly seed split apart and become a mighty oak tree. From those painful, oftentimes disturbing metamorphoses, one finds enlightenment. Serbian one-man doom/death group Temple of Gnosis uses this idea, and many other beliefs originating from Western Esoteric practices (including alchemy), to craft the band’s debut, De Secretis Naturae Alchymica, channeling the project’s “unique” death/doom amalgamation.

Normally, I don’t bother talking about long-winded intros, as I like to cut right to the chase with the music. In this particular instance, it needs to be addressed as opener “Unto the Earth” exemplifies just how successful lone member HMT is with setting up the album. You have ambient sound effects, whooshing keyboards, and HMT talking for almost five minutes about witches, being from the earth, and who knows what else in the goofiest of pitch-shifted voices. If it were cut down to, oh, a minute in length, this wouldn’t be too much of a problem. Five minutes of this is more than enough to test the patience of even the most ardent of funeral doom aficionados. And it just goes on and on and on…

So when you finally get to “Serpentivm,” and hear that guitar strum a power chord over a pipe organ, you’re excited to finally hear some doomy deathy alchemical goodness, right? It starts off ominously enough, until HMT decides to take a page from Nachtmystium‘s playbook and incorporates the “BOOTS-AND-PANTS-AND-BOOTS-AND-PANTS-AND…” drum pattern, in which I start giggling. Folks, when you are conjuring up darkness and eerie vibes, making me giggle is never a good thing. I will say, though, that I’m thankful HMT resorts to a death growl instead of those pitch-shifted diatribes, as there’s plenty of that joy to be spread around, with “Tree of Life” being the biggest offender, being half boring song and half boring spoken-word piece about eating from the Tree of Life and dying. In fact, other than those two instances, I had a hell of a time trying to find anything to grasp onto that would qualify as either an incredible moment. It’s also of god-awful length, and I spent a good part of the past week with this thing.

Temple of Gnosis Band 2016Soundwise, it’s pretty quiet and muffled. The guitars take a back seat to the keyboards, which have very little variation in terms of sound patches, and the vocals take too much of a front-and-center focus. The drums sound way too passive and never reach the level of anything interesting in terms of sound or playing. But the biggest issue I have is the aforementioned length and quality of music. This is essentially one forty-six minute song that feels like a two-hour marathon of patience with absolutely zero tension or build-up, and with the exception of the giggle-inducing “BOOTS-AND-PANTS-AND…”-athon, it happened to make Acheron interesting in comparison.

You can question my kvltness or tr00hood, or ask me why I didn’t take nearly enough drugs to fully appreciate De Secretis. Such claims would be rendered moot, as De Secretis is a long-winded, patience-destroying slog of epic, pretentious proportions. If you’re going to discover your new Inner You, there’s better soundtracks to listen to while metamorphosing.


Rating: 1.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: kbps mp3
Label: Aeternitas Tenebrarum Musicae Fundamentum
Websites: templeofgnosis.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/templeofgnosis
Release Dates: EU: 2016.03.04 | NA: 03.18.2016

 

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  • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

    Album cover is Leap Day Williams colors

    • Martin Knap

      they must have ripped it from some book about Freemasonry :-)

  • Dethjesta

    With a 5 min talking intro and the 3 min talking outro on the embedded track – what is the percentage of spoken dogmatic scripture on this record?

    • Bart the Repairman

      I wonder too. It looks more like avdiobook than mvsic albvm:)

    • Grymm

      It’s about a 50/50 spread,

  • Goldicot

    When the best thing about your album is the name of the label it was released on, you have a problem.

  • William Hebblewhite

    Sitting in my bedroom acting the part of a meal for a nest of mosquitoes who danced on the squalid air of a West Sydney evening, I paused Anathema’s ‘Weather Systems’ to embark on perusing the latest review on AMG. The warm glow of my monitor, nor the words penned by Grymm did not prepare me for the dread that would engulf my soul and my ears as I listened to the embedded track. Fare thee well Heavy Metal, I hardly knew Ye.

    • Wilhelm

      You should leave Weather Systems on pause…forever.

  • Martin Knap

    Grimm is just jelly because these guys are so deep ;-)

    • William Hebblewhite

      When Women saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate. ~ HMT 2016

      • Martin Knap

        sounds like the Old Testament :-)

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    I stopped at the label name

  • METAL OTTER

    1.0? That’s a grymm (dia)gnosis alright.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    Short but sweet review. Sadly lacking a unicorn at a thrift shop looking for some trousers and footwear.

  • basenjibrian

    I liked the EP he put out before this, actually. This sounds goofy.

  • The embedded track was better than what the review had me expecting until the spoken outro. Excessive doesn’t even begin to describe that.

  • Berit Dogg

    This review had me giggling as well. Great writing Grymm! Also, the sudden appearance of majestic moustache in the background tells me there’s a record of the month on it’s way! Allow me to be the first to complain about it not being Hyperion’s Spherical Eugenics. Boo hoo.

    • Allow me to be the first to claim Majestic Moustache as my new band name. Pat. Pending.

      • Berit Dogg

        Please put at least 3 umlauts in it.

  • Tom Hardy

    Is that an album cover or symbol overload of a map confusing the heck out of everyone on a good Sunday morning 7 mile hike up a mountain trail? Somebody send this to Dan Brown so he can write about it in his next shitty book.

    • basenjibrian

      Gawd, is he one TERRIBLE writer. Wooden and klunky. I made it through three pages.

      • Tom Hardy

        3 pages is an accomplishment, basenjibrian. Well done.