Formed a mere 16,000 kilometers from the deep, ancient forests of Norway, Sydney’s Erebus Enthroned return with Temple Under Hell, a fresh convocation of modern black metal that owes more to the expansive rhythmic aggression of Watain than to the genre’s seminal lo-fi output of the 90s.
Which is not a bad thing by any stretch. Their 2011 full-length debut, Night’s Black Angel, offered a roughly hewn collection of sacrificial hymns, concussive blastbeats and jagged dissonance that suggested rousing potential despite a frustrating lack of originality. On their latest outing, opener Sorathick Pentecost sees the Aussies waste zero time in reaffirming their commitment to flesh-tearing riffage and muscular production with a sprawling, 10-minute epic awash in blizzards of speed picking and a bludgeoning rhythmic assault.
Recorded live, that the band maintain such unhinged urgency for 47 skull-piercing minutes is a testament to their exacting technicality – which is also why one could be forgiven for wanting more. Though tracks like Void Wind bristle with malicious intensity, there is little here that we haven’t heard before. Still, a satisfying blackened liturgy from top to bottom.