Eyes wide shut and ears wide open, this is the best way to listen to this album which was spawned in an obscure temple in the Sumerian desert and released by World Terror Committee on January the 13, year of grace 2017. Released 12 years after the band’s first full length, “Current 11“, “Temple of the Adversarial Fire” sees Shaarimoth transformed into a very powerful entity which has used these years of solitude and silence to its best, only to reborn in chaos, stronger than never before.
Gone are the obvious influences from different cult death metal bands and instead, the Norwegian trio has crafted a specific, personal style of playing. Smartly avoiding the trap of other bands which play in a similar way, Shaarimoth reinvented itself with this album in a way which is beyond this worldly realm.
This rebirth, after so many years of dead slumber, makes “Temple of the Adversarial Fire” one of the best death/black metal releases in the past years.
This hate manifesto contains 11 tracks stretching a bit over 48 minutes of pure anti-cosmic propaganda. From the very song, “The Hungry Omega“, we realize how monstrous Shaarimoth‘s music has become: fierce, hateful death metal, with some touches of black metal and lots of synths and effects. The tracks flow so naturally one into another that you feel like the whole album was intended to be some sort of ritualistic music put together for a special ceremony. On one hand we have the sheer aggression of death metal, while on the other we have melodic guitar solos, spooky synths and keyboards, clean vocals and even a female voice. These complementary elements provide Shaarimoth‘s music a very original approach and transform (almost) each track into an anthem of hate and disgust towards the holy and pure.
The new addition in Shaarimoth‘s ranks, drummer J, plays a very important role in the outcome of this recording as his drumming style is pure art. Double bass pedals, obsessive mid-paced tempo, mind blowing blast beats, all contribute to the heaviness of this black jewel that is “Temple of the Adversarial Fire“.
Besides the drums and the crunchy guitars, the bass guitar has a very important part, adding to the music that full, heavy sound which many albums lack. The production, done by Thomas Tannenberger is immense, highlighting the true value of the songs, making them shine like 11 diamonds in the dark of night.
This album has so many facets, bound all together by a vicious connection of invisible dots, so that you just cannot get bored by its music. The end of “Lord of Putrefaction” is absolutely magic, with the fading guitar solo, while the icy riffs and the fierceness of “Beast of Lawlessness” strike deep in the heart and ears of the listener.
“Faceless Queen of Bloodstained Dreams” continues on he same path of violence, with F‘s harsh vocals leading the procession before obsessively invoking Lilith, towards the end of the song: Ishet Zenunim Taninsam Ama, Lilith Liftoach Kliffot!
The last remaining songs are in the same way as the previous work, a nightmarish soundtrack of death metal whirlwind, engulfing every living thing into a storm of riffs and devilish craft. Every aspect of this album, from cover, lyrics, music and atmosphere is imbued with evil. Sometimes it makes me feel this album is Shaarimoth‘s own version of Dissection‘s “Reinkaos“. Even if the music is different, the same evil atmosphere and message are there, pouring from the speakers each time you spin the record.
After the head-pounding “Harba di Ashm’dai“, with its addictive crushing tempo and choruses, the record flows into “Ascension of the Blind Dragon“, perhaps my favorite track on this amazing album. The beauty of this song is outstanding, from the ferocity of the instruments to the melody of the guitar solo which can be heard towards the end of the track. The way in which these 2 antagonistic elements have been combined is simply unbelievable, proving how much Shaarimoth has developed in these 12 years of absence.
After the subliminal “Altar of Becoming“, with its effects and twisted voices, “Point of Egress” closes this fantastic album. A beautiful, female voice (Patricia Morales) opens the track before everything is transformed into a sinister melange of raucous vocals, aggression and angelic choruses. During these passages I imagined temples crumbling down, seas of blood flooding the lands and drowning everyone in their way, while legions of demons blackened the heavens.
Even if this is the end of the album, you will want to listen to it over and over again until every song is impregnated deep inside your brain so that each time you’ll play them, different visions will unfurl and haunt your mind. Do not forget to close your eyes and open your ears and let the sounds crawl into your head.
I cannot end this review without mentioning the visual aspect of this record, the great cover created by the Russian artist Artem Grigoryev. This magnificent drawing captures perfectly the whole musical and lyrical concept of the album and contributes to the final result: a true underground masterpiece.
Shaarimoth – “Temple of the Adversarial Fire” Tracklist:
1. Point of Ingress (Initiatory Death)
2. The Hungry Omega
3. Elevenfolded Wrath of Sitra Achra
4. Lord of Putrefaction
5. The Fires of Molok
6. Beast of Lawlessness
7. Faceless Queen of Bloodstained Dreams
8. Harba di Ashm’dai
9. Ascension of the Blind Dragon
10. Altar of Becoming
11. Point of Egress
Shaarimoth Line Up:
R – Vocals
F – Guitars, Bass
J – Drums