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Erebus Enthroned: Temple Under Hell

Aussie black metallers trace a path into the darkness

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.

Camped out in Southern California, Joe pens features, reviews albums and covers live shows for Metal Hammer and Classic Rock. When he’s not bothering his neighbours with Rammstein, Joe’s typically off playing ice hockey, fumbling around on a bass or letting his dogs guilt him into a nice long walk.