Tales: Of Humanity And Greed is the new album from French melodic death metallers, Temnein. They focus lyrically around myths, legends from different universes; everything from unsung tales from Asia and Inuit lands to The Legend Of Zelda and Doctor Who. It’s a unique take on melodic death metal to have such wide-ranging selection of themes.
Opening with The Storyteller, the album begins with a cinematic, atmospheric build up. The gradual introduction of drums and the distorted guitars delivers a huge depth of sound. The vocals really bring in a dark, demonic element. Segueing into the following track, The Blind And The Gre, their sound becomes heavier and the energy steps up. By contrasting fast rhythms in the verse with slower tempos and drawn out leads of the chorus, the dynamics of the track really enhance the overall drama of the track. The lead guitar motif is simple enough and yet forms a great hook for the track, nicely contrasting the heavier, distorted instrumentation. The percussion plays a significant part in their sound. Placed fairly high in the mix throughout, the texture of the drums and cymbals features on a similar level to guitars. The aggression and energy of the drums really comes through on Rise Of The Sontarans. This track really suits the theme – for those who are unfamiliar with the Sontarans, give Doctor Who a watch! The chant style vocals capture the characteristic of these characters fantastically in a melodic death metal form.
A few subtle touches make a world of difference in enhancing the sound of some of their tracks. A Few Drops Of Blood sees the presence of a choir mixed subtly into the background of the chorus. It adds a sense of the theatrics to the atmosphere of the music. This track is interesting also in terms of its progressive elements. The sudden appearance of a Muse style shredding riff in the breakdown is rather unexpected. Adding another layer to the track, it doesn’t feel out of place as such but is perhaps a little randomly placed. The heavy rhythmic outro works really well, and the layering of the lead riff enhances the range of sounds used in this section. The dissonance in Dirge For Termina produces an eerie effect. The heavy distorted guitar riffs, punchy cymbal hits and aggressive vocals deliver a dramatic sound. Yuki Onna follows on in the same dark sound. Adding in a brief section of spoken vocals and a melodic soaring outro, this track, once again, is very atmospheric whilst being tailored to its theme. Concluding the album on a melodic note, Scums Of Hamelin, the longest track on the album at over ten minutes, features a catchy guitar lead that easily becomes stuck in ones head. The latter half of the track takes a progressive turn with cleaner guitar tones bringing to life a number of contrasting leads that intertwine with one another. It gives the track a serene feel. Temnein seamlessly introduce heavier tones and vocals to return to their signature heavy sound as the track draws to a close.
There’s a lot going in their sound with black metal style guitar sections, soaring progressive clean leads, and vocals that appear to rise up from the very depths of hell. Temnein have a unique concept with their lyrical content which they interpret musically in a dark manner. Who’d have thought that Doctor Who would work so well in melodic death metal form?!
For fans of: At The Gates, Dark Tranquility, Insomnium
Words by Holly Royle
‘Tales: Of Humanity And Greed’ by Temnein is released on 22nd May on Bloodblast Records.