Blight – Temple of Wounds Review

Summertime, once again, has radiated into my sphere of comfort down here in Florida, bringing with it unmatched humidity so thick that you can swim in it, a cavalcade of invasive critters of the six- and eight-legged variety, and a relentless glowing orb of fire that you dear readers call “The Sun” that won’t go away, or cool things off when it finally shirks for a few hours. So what’s a man-cat to do? Stay inside and blast some black metal, that’s what! Montreal’s Blight have been around over a decade, having released a slew of EPs and demos, but never a full-length… until now!1 Temple of Wounds brings the quartet’s Luciferian onslaught to the masses, and in doing so, it made me feel even grimier than before.

Mind you, I’m not complaining. Blight take the uglier aspects of Rebel Extravaganza-era Satyricon and marry it with the angular, frigid bombast of Outre. The result sounds and feels simultaneously majestic and grotesque. “Elsewhere & Elsewhen” marches with intent, seething and writhing with tremolo melodies so shimmery they almost glow. Pulsating distorted bass lines and constrained, furiously militaristic drumming pulls the shine and majesty into the murky depths, growing more grotesque and malformed as the song progresses to a satisfying climax. Blight have taken 12 years since their birth to put their best foot forward, and Temple is all the stronger for it.

A key ingredient in the success of Temple lies in the vocal cords of G. McCaughry. who bears more than slight resemblance to former Outre vocalist Stawrogen. He veers from maniacal chanting (“Elsewhere & Elsewhen,” opener “Dar-Akh-Qayin”) to hymnal peace and tranquility (“Before the Monolith,” the bombastic closer “We Left Of Our Own Volition”), but keeps it to a mostly frantic, acidic screech that oozes bile and acidity. Hissing and howling with sadistic rage, McCaughry’s leave-no-prisoners-alive approach elevates the music significantly, all but ensuring that eyes (and ears) will be aimed towards Blight on future proceedings.

I say “future proceedings” because, despite being a band for over a decade, Temple suffers from a number of critical flaws. One thing I noticed during my first playthrough is there’s too much bleed-through between songs. Towards the end of the album, it was difficult to differentiate between different songs, as their openers started sounding the same, especially “Palish-I” and “Scrying the Iosis.” Also, every song on here goes on for a minute or two longer than necessary, stretching riffs and concepts to the point of almost ripping on themselves. Those points make Temple a bit difficult to navigate as a sit-down-and-absorb type of listening experience, but add in an incredibly loud and compressed mix, and you end up with a promising album that’s borderline painful at times to deeply dive into.

“Promising” is definitely the word of the day here, overused as it is at times. Blight, according to the supplied one-sheet for Temple of Wounds, already has a loyal following, and upon hearing Temple, it’s easy to see why. They’re certainly going to make fans happy with Temple, and it’s a given that they’ll pick up more listeners due to its considerable strengths. They’re just not quite there yet in terms of songwriting, but it’ll come in due time. Once it does, I’ll most certainly be waiting. Alone. In an air-conditioned house away from critters and “The Sun.”

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Svart Records
Websites: |
Release Dates: EU: 2020.06.05 | NA: 06.19.2020

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