Sapphire Lion Records 2012
Norwegian doom, while somewhat of an oddity within that country's scene, is not unknown and there are some really high quality bands playing that style so far up north amongst the fjords and the black metallers. The latest doomsters to call this country home is Magister Templi. Though they take quite a different stylistic path with their art. Eschewing the psychedelia and stoner influences in favor of a more formal and imposing framework Magister Templi have summoned their new 4 song EP and let it loose upon the world. The first track, 1st Enochian Call, is an invocation of arcane beasts and cryptic moods comprised of a spoken word sample and sparse yet primal sounds. A surprisingly uptempo gallop and heavy rhythms open Bornless, but the track then shifts into stoically forlorn riffs and commanding vocals that bring to mind early Solitude Aeturnus. I definitely hear riff patterns and especially vocal phrasing within this track that create a similar epic storytale flow that is like Solitude Aeturnus. A bouncier, more melodic style appears on Goose Boy. Sorrowful melodies and chugging doom riffs roll like the tide and call images of Trouble to mind. Especially during the crunchy chorus with its meaty riffs. The final song, Retort, returns to the funeral trudge of traditional doom and the song is caught somewhere in the wasteland between Sabbath and Solitude Aeturnus. It's slow, rhythmic swaying riffs and angelic, yet foreboding vocals instill a sense of true doom within the listener. Especially when the speed picks up and the riffs saw like a stone mason building blocks for a gothic cathedral. Magister Templi's first EP is a monument to formal, classic doom that fills your ears with the class of bands like Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus, but fills your heart with dread and regret. All sinners must listen to this EP and lament their impending fate.