Norwegian occult rockers, Magister Templi, are set to release their full length debut, “Lucifer Leviathan Logos”, in May of this year. Formed in 2008 by singer Abraxas and guitarist Baphomet and with a demo, EP, and a full lineup, they have been playing shows around while spending time in the studio to get their vibes recorded. This style (I refuse to go to the dreaded “g” word) has garnered a lot of releases and press these last few years, rather than put an albatross around their necks in the figurative sense of a label lets let the music speak for itself.
First impression for me is this is what the second Ghost (BC) album should have sounded like. To be fair and honest I have not heard the entire sophomore release of the evil ones but what I have heard I have been disappointed in, until I gave Magister Templi a spin that is. From the opening riff of ‘Master of Temple’, it is firmly established that this could be a force to reckon with, there is a long way to go but coming out of the starting block, we are hit with waves of riff that could be attributed to the greats such as Iron Maiden or Orange Goblin. This track has that nice galloping feel that Harris has made so popular.The music is tight and vocals are near perfect on this opening track. When Abraxas hits that King Diamond note near the end of the track its cause for a little pause. However, after a couple of spins it fits and is so well executed that one is not left with a case of rip-off or worship, it just fits. Moving into ‘Lucifer’ there are those damn riffs and hooks again, solid and on cue. Baphomet and company have found the spell creating a perfect alchemy. He seems to have cast that spell wide enough to capture bass and drums as they are lock step with a healthy dose of their own creativity.
The two tracks ‘The Innsmouth Look’ and ‘Tiphareth’ do a great job of showcasing the bass work of Akoman and drum work of Grimmdun respectively. On that latter track there are some great high notes from Abraxas as well. Waves and waves of galloping riffs and beats bring it all together. Sheer mastery is coming forth, just pure heavy metal, tightly executed.
I mused at the beginning that this is what Ghost’s second album should have been, I worried a bit that Magister would not be able to sustain the energy and emotion they got from the opening riffs. So lets complete the scorecard, energy and emotion sustained through all seven tracks. Is this occult rock as good as their peers out there now, as good and better. This is no frills, no gimmicks, straight up metal. Pounding riffs, great beats, vocal intonation executed to perfection, in short these boys are on their way. This will be one of the best occult rock releases you many not have heard of, go get it now!