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Temple Of Baal: Mysterium

Sulphur-spewing Parisians take the direct route to Hell

Subtle Temple Of Baal ain’t, but then this kind of infernal black metal isn’t supposed to be. It’s supposed to sound like the fires of Hell pouring out of the portal the band’s worship has just turned your speakers into.

On this front, Mysterium is a success. With their guttural vocals strangely intelligible despite the murk, what they are singing about is clear (it’s Satan) from the early strains of opener Lord Of Knowledge And Death – something that helps the feel that this is more a set of hymns of praise to the Horned One than an album, like a more brutal disciple of Watain.

There is, however, a sense of fun conveyed from the occasional whiff of death metal in the mix, and this does slightly break the deadly serious aura they seem to be trying to convey – but it does give the album far more memorable moments as a result, and manages to keep the album interesting, and on repeat listens. It’s a trade-off, but a beneficial one.