Temple of July
February 12, 2024
Three young fellas from Italy are releasing what seems to be their first exposure to the music word.The name of the trio is TEMPLE OF JULY and their debut album is Kingdom Cult. I have never heard of the band but from the scarce promotional material available, it does not look much like metal to me visually. We start with “You Die” (of boredom) which I can describe only as a song that you can put together in your room using Garage Band or any other studio software. No memorable guitar riffs, no vocal melody and plenty of repetition of an irritating chant saying -you die- like if I was playing a video game. Where is the music? I am not impressed.
We follow with “444” and now we seem to get something we can chew on. Heavy guitars and a gutural melody invades the speakers. The drumming of Mirko Augello is quite impressive and with some double bass expertise. The band relies heavily on keyboards and some elements of electronic music as well. We reach “Vampire” which is the tune with the Youtube video. An electronic music introduction with keyboards dictating the riff starts the tune and when the vocal melody came, everything made sense in my mind. LINKIN PARK! That's what it sounds like. I have never been much of a LINKIN PARK fan, but it seems that the guys are aiming for this direction. However, the balance is a little off. The previous tune was really heavy and the guitar and drums were in the forefront. This one is much more on the soft side with almost no guitars. It lacks some consistency and it does not sound heavy enough to me.
In the middle of the album we have “My Identity” with the usual electronic introduction but then it turns into a good heavy tune with a nice melody. Ryno Argentino seems to be a good guitar player and does not compromise. No guitar solos unfortunately however. The drum pattern on this one is also interesting making the most cohesive song of the album so far. The next one is “Kingdom Cult '' which is also the album title, and is another electronic beat with heavy guitars. The singer Hudson Franzoni has a good voice more to the melodic angry teenage side but he can do the rispy throaty side as well and some gutural. The songs are well composed and performed and this one has interesting moods within.
“Artificial Paradise” starts and not much to my taste. It sounds a little too pop and electronic and once again feels a little disconnected from the heavy ones. Sounds like the soundtrack of the latest Tik Tok artist of the day. The guitars are used in the end bringing the song into a heavier crescendo and a nice chorus. Hard to review this one. Songs that I like, songs that I dislike, and songs that I like and dislike at the same time.
Maybe I am sounding a little uneven in this review… Just like this album. Reaching a little deeper in my brain, I have heard this kind of electronic music, sometimes soft, sometimes heavy and usually dark. My daughter listened to these kinds of songs! Just get any soundtrack for Five Nights At Freddies (The game or the movie) and you will find a bunch of similar bands. Is this a new kind of metal? We end our journey with “Honest” and you can see that the band also drinks from the fountains of PRODIGY and perhaps MUSE. Nice melody on this one with some crushing guitars, drums and vocals mixed with the electronics wisely this time around.
I found that this was a good effort in a somewhat uneven album. Sometimes heavy, but sometimes too soft and electronic. Some tunes are guitar driven and others there are no guitars to be found and it gets too close to pop to my taste. The band needs to know how to blend these two sides better making a more cohesive album where the songs are more connected showing their proposal more clearly to the listener. Guitar and keyboard solos are always welcome and greatly improves the song and in some cases, makes it more memorable.
6 / 10