Friday 3 March 2023

TEMPTRESS ~ SEE ..... review


TemptressAndi Cuba (drums/vocals): Christian Wright (bass/vocals) and Kelsey Wilson (guitars/vocals), have been "tempting" us for a while now, first with their excellent self-titled 2019 EP "Temptress" and since with a pair of singles "Serpentine" and "Hopeless" released as teasers for "SEE" (Metal Assault Records), the full length album we are reviewing today. 

Floydian is how Desert Psychlist would describe opening song "Death Comes Around", its guitar textures and colours are Gilmour-esque in both flavour and execution, its drumming is straight out of the Nick Mason less is more handbook. and its low slung and liquid bass lines would even make that old curmudgeon Roger Waters smile. Vocals are delivered harmonious, hazy and melodic with Wright's deeper tones only just winning the battle for prominence over those of Cuba and Wilson. Coming in at just over ten and a half minutes there was always a danger of the band meandering off into a musical cul-de-sac but they avoid this by filling up every second of this stunning opus with subtle shifts and unexpected twists and turns that ensure interest from start to finish. Its all change for next track "Into My Soul" out go the Floydian textures and in come the crunching chord progressions and heavy hitting percussion, despite these heavier dynamics the vocals, sung in the main by Wilson, possess a melodic catchiness, especially in the chorus, that you might not expect given the ferocity of the music surrounding them, As the song progress so does its heaviness with Wilson's clean vocal taking a backseat to allow Wright to exorcise his demons with some throat ripping harsh and blackened roaring, the band finally taking things to a close on a doom tinted jam. "Waiting" follows and sees the band getting down and dirty on a dank plodding groove over which Wilson and Wright execute vocal trade offs while "Cry" is a soaring and atmospheric lament beautifully sung by Wilson, her serene emotional tones only just matched by her swirling guitar solos which are perfectly framed by Wright and Cuba's sympathetic bass and drum grooves. "Serpentine" marks a slight departure from the Floydian psych and the metallic heaviness that has been prevalent up to this point, here we find the band going fully cosmic with clipped vocal tones poetically intoned over a backdrop of wordless wailing and thick crunchy chords, the song still heavy but in a quirky, off-kilter way. "Hopeless" brings things to a close with a song that is an old school sword rattler and has a touch of Celtic folkiness running through its veins, listeners to Irish black metal/folk extremists Primordial might recognise some similarities in the way the riffs here are structured and also in the way Wright pitches his vocals, especially in the upper register.,

SEE" is an album that draws from the full gamut of the metal spectrum , it is an album that has the swagger and strut of stoner and hard rock, the bluster of heavy metal, the dankness of doom and the headiness of heavy psych. Add to this hotchpotch of diverse styles a three way vocal attack that ranges from hazy and clean through to gruff and growly and you quickly come to the realisation that Temptress are not your atypical underground rock band and that they have something very different going on.
Check 'em out .... 

© 2023 Frazer Jones

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