On the hottest day of the year I’m sat in my pants listening to Temple of Lies third album The Serial Killer Suite. I always think it’s important to establish a level of sweatiness in the opening line of a review.
I’m excited but cautious about reviewing a lesser-known British Metal band as, sadly, us Brits don’t have a great track record with genre. I have preconceptions of how this album will sound, and whilst I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing, I realise i’ve hit the nail on the head immediately.
Temple of Lies have that typical Brit metal sound of fast riffs, technically brilliant drumming and obvious lyrics which is great if that’s what you’re in to, but you can’t help but compare it to the big guns. It sounds like early Slipknot, not because they’re trying to, but because that’s what this particular brand of Metal will inevitably sound like.
From what I’ve heard of the band, they shouldn’t be judged on an album in isolation. It make’s you think “I bet these guys are so much fun live” in a small sweaty venue – everyone shouting and pushing. Standard metal gig practice. However, this being TOL’s third album, you start to expect something more – something to make it stand-out.
The Serial Killer Suite has some real headbangers in the form of Sleep and Symbiotic Parasite – which I personally feel should have been the opening track thanks to its ominous build up. In fact, somewhat unusually, the second half of this 12 track abum is stronger than the first.
The record has what I would term a “Playstation 2 Metal” vibe. By which I mean most of the tracks could easily be found on a game involving motorbikes or monster trucks from around 2003.
Credit where credit’s due, this is a cracking effort considering the hours that have gone into the production, and no review should ever take away from the fact that this is a band who work incredibly hard, and by the sounds of it has a great time doing so. They know their sound and are clearly on the up.
My advice would be to have the album two tracks shorter, develop the weaker songs for a future release and mix up the lengths. It’s an album which falls in to routine – perhaps due to time constraints – with each track around 3:30-4:30 and consisting of those classic metal song ingredients like industrial solos, slowed down chugging and then speeding up towards a crescendo. How about getting experimental? This band can play great by-the-numbers metal, but they could stand-out so much more with a ballad or an anthem in the mix.
If early Slipknot and Disturbed are your thing, give The Serial Killer Suite a listen and without a doubt go see them live.