The Midlands wild men of rock, Temple Of Lies are on another mission, not an impossible one either. They’re back with yet another powerfully rocktastic beast of a record. ‘From Sand’ is the second deliverance for hungry fans to munch their way through. You will need no starter, nor dessert I can assure you. This is a meat feast platter, fit for the table of any doom, stoner and heavy rock fans. Although reliably well known for being one hell of a killing machine live, TOL are just as comfortable in the studio as their two album releases thus far, are proving.
This is a big rock record with big rock anthemic songs that cannot be ignored, with bang on the money snarly, gruff vocals and topped off with exquisite riffs putting the icing on the cake. They have also made the decision to rework a few of the tracks from the debut album ‘Monumental’, and put them onto ‘From Sand’ to reflect the far heavier, more mature sound that they now have.
Brace yourselves, because ‘From Sand’ is saturated with down-tuned doom like heaviness, almost seeping into a Pantera/Down ferocious style. These guys just spit and spew acid from the opener ‘Rope’ to the grindy and stoner-esque little number, ‘Mom’.
In between these however, things really kick off with the eponymously titled ‘From Sand’ where the pedigree song writing and musicianship is immediately evident. The bass is intense and Simon Mitchell wears this pleasure proudly on his sleeve. On the strength of this song alone I would have gone out and bought this record. The superb and heavy-hittin’ from Alex Gamble in ‘Bats’ just blew me away; and it has that deep, southern, gravelly vocal and loud pounding riff from Jon Scranney that doesn’t let up in any of the songs on this record. ‘Riff Machine’ thunders out like a deep-bluesy, heavy-soul anthem which makes it nearly impossible not to join in with and sing along. I just loved the sheer power of this song and so it’s my favourite and stand out track, although it really was hard to choose.
The likeness to and influence of other doom-stoner rock bands is definitely apparent in this album, but I have to say hand on heart, although these influences can be heard throughout, this is a truly distinctive sound from TOL. This left me astounded and in total admiration for what these guys have achieved in such a short time. For example ‘Pure Alcohol’ and ‘Crystal’ could very easily sit comfortably on an early Corrosion Of Conformity album, but TOL have bent and twisted the threads to create an intense sound that is highly evocative. Temple Of Lies, with the tools and talent they seem to have abundance, ooze that confidence that is both brutal and somehow alluring.
‘From Sand’ may sound like something that should trickle through your fingers and disappear in the wind. Hell no, this is solid and durable rock music from one of the finest U.K based rock bands I’ve heard in ages, with a fantastic and vibrant new sound that is truly worth your hard earned pennies.
Words by Brenda
FEED THE GREED
FIRE IN THE HOLE