Album Reviews

The Temple – Diesel Dog Sound

(neil daniels) UK release date: 19 April 2004


To say that Portugal has produced metal bands (any bands?) with international reputations is an overstatement. To argue the claim is futile but The Temple could soon break the mold. They have a furious sound that is exemplified in their latest opus for Copro Records.

Formed in 1993 the Portuguese metallers have recently signed a worldwide three-album deal, which excludes their native country. The Temple should therefore have much to look forward to but one would not think so from listening to their current offering. Diesel Dog Sound is an angry album, which for the most part is extreme and hard-hitting but effective.

As soon as the first track Millionaire begins, we are blatantly in metal territory. Pounding drums from Rui Alexandre, and the heavy guitars riffs of Jose Carlos and Joao Afonso are all too familiar – there is nothing new there.

It is vocalist Jo�o Luis who screams attention. There is a sharp contrast to the sounds he can produce. He can bawl and shout but also show a calm side and on The Snake he displays depth and intrigue. Luis isn’t a great singer, but he has an effective punk-ish intensity that is quite profound – it adds integrity to an album largely made of thrashing guitar riffs and furious drumming.

Diesel Dog Sound displays talented musicianship. Despite the lack of Hugo Oliveira’s bass and any memorable riffs, songs like Paper Chains, with acoustic intervals and strong emotion in the lyrics, show good craftsmanship and an desire to experiment.

Falling, featuring Moonspell‘s Fernando Ribeiro, bizarrely sounds like Metallica playing traditional French music. This illustrates that The Temple are more than a one-dimensional metal band and their music employs willingness for progression – which is a good sign, knowing that there will be more albums to follow.

Recorded in London last year and produced by Dave Chang, Rui Alexandre confesses that England – what he calls “the land of rock” – was integral to the ideas he had of the tracks. Perhaps that’s why the punk attitude, heavy sound and at times sombre feeling are so apparent. The lyrics show carefulness and thought; they are introspective, as heard in Drum and Bankrupt, or critical of the many facets life and love. It is an interesting journey.

Much of the album has elements of Marilyn Manson in that it is death, thrash and industrial metal combined with a screaming voice wanting to be heard. Playing for just under 45 minutes, the 14 tracks have a solid and sometimes exhausting sound. Diesel Dog Sound has been produced by a band who know what kind of music they want to make and who are destined for greater things. A tour is rumoured for the autumn – I urge you to go along.


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