TEMNEIN – Tales Of Humanity And Greed

TEMNEIN – Tales Of Humanity And Greed

Ever since Opeth went completely prog rock, with Lars Mikael Åkerfeldt abdicating the Bloodbath throne, clearly showing that he was over and done with death metal, bands who emulated his old work aimed to match it. To me two actually did: Omnium Gatherum on "Beyond" (2013) and In Mourning on "Afterglow". We can now add Temnein’s "Tales: Of Humanity And Greed" to the fold, an excellent album full of both death metal and infectious progressive harmony, an album I honestly have a hard time putting down long enough to write this review.

Temnein is a Nancy/Metz, Grand Est, French quintet featuring Jocelyn Fidry (vocals), Florian Frandidier (guitars), Morgan Rappe (guitars), Julien De Giorgio (bass), and Valentin Treuillier (drums), formed in 2009, with two full lengths, "404 B.C" (2014) and "White Stained Inferno" (2017) on their belt before this one, neither of which I have ever heard and which I intend to rectify based on the strength of this new album.

Generally, if you like the aforementioned, the original Gothenburg (At The Gates, Dark Tranquillity, In Flames), Be’lakor, Insomnium then you already know your way around progressive melodeath. Characteristic technical verse riffs and clearly drawn melodic choruses, progressive rock transitions, excellent leads, that’s the name of the game here as evidenced by the opener (after "The Storyteller" vocalized intro), "The Blind And The Greedy", something both Dark Tranquillity and Insomnium would hardly be ashamed of. But already the fantastic Be’lakor-ish "The Knotted Bag" reveals Temnein as a band who eschews conventional structures without loss in quality, hooks or heaviness, paying tribute to genre classics like In Flames’ "Colony" while dressing "A Few Drops Of Blood" in death/doom, even more pronounced on the Paradise Lost-ic "City Of Gold". But it is the closer "Scums Of Hamelin", a progressive masterpiece, which shows the French at their best.

Flaws? There is but a single one: the production, especially the drums which sound boring, weak and hollow. But the same could be said for the guitar tone which could have been more powerful and aggressive while the melodies more distinct and emphasized. Hopefully Temnein will adress this on the next album.

"Tales: Of Humanity And Greed" is another progressive death metal album you need to add to your collection if you’re a fan of the genre. One more record like this and we not might, not may, but WILL mention these guys with the aforementioned greats when considering progressive melodeath.