Cryonic Temple - Blood, Guts And Glory
True Metal will never die and Swedish Cryonic Temple manifests this once again with their second full length album, Blood Guts and Glory. Their debut, Chapter I, was released in 2001 and became a very critically acclaimed album and especially in the underground media. The band then got signed by Limb Music and their first years have seen a very promising career start.
Cryonic Temple is also a band that meets as good as every genre cliché there ever was. Leather, studs, swords, steel, and very ridicoulous stage names and so far this feels very hackneyed and something we've faced I don't know how many times before. You can easily say that image-wise there is practically a non-existing individuality but that they have liquid metal instead of blood flowing in their veins remains highly indisputable. Some of you embrace this completely right away and simply adore the concept while others get more or less instantly sick and in despair heavily sigh something like "oh no, not again, will this nonsense ever stop". Personally I end up somewhere in between those and feel that they can get away with it if the actual music doesn't drag an already exposed genre even more in the dirt.
But if you absolutely insist that you just have to have an image like this, your material had better be something worth talking about otherwise you'll remain very invisible. The set list must definitely make the grade, you need a singer with a voice that makes a profound impression, preferably some guitarist that can knock off some killer solos, licks and riffs, a bass player and a drummer that can provide a serious and bombastic background support. And that's exactly what Cryonic Temple has to offer. Vocalist Johansson (Glen Metal?- sweet Jesus!) is absolutely just cut out for the sound and has really found his meaning with life. During the verses parallells can be drawn to Eric Adams (Manowar) and overall he sounds the most like Steve Grimmet (Grim Reaper) but still with enough individuality to stand out. His best efforts definitely come in focus during the refrains where they get more soaring and he goes at it real vigorously. Way to go Johansson!
The guitar duo Esa Ahonen and Leif Collin can surely play and puts a brilliant show on display for us. The intro to Inquisition for instance, is one of the best riffs Rock'n Rolf ever wished he had composed (visit Limb's homepage and find out) and on more than one occation their fingers and plectra find tone combinations that easily could have made it to any Maiden album. These leads and harmonies also get company in shape of swirling solos that are a feast for even the most critical ears. The solo/interlude sections are also very long and even epic on many tracks and it's been a while since I came across this kind of playing from a newer band. Ahonen and Collin have really pulled off something very extraordinary that both technically and melodically feels very solid and mature.
This six-headed bunch is also one with very talented songwriters. The tracks are mainly in the up tempo speedy department but Long Live the Warriors is as "Manowar hymnic" as a song can get and overall there's enough variation on the album that it never feels too single-tracked or unimaginative. The extremely catchy singalong refrains seem to get stuck in your brain and stay that way long after the stereo has gone silent. That the metal is of Swedish origin is undisputable but with so many well adapted influences they fall out of that category in many ways and to start comparing them with collegues like Hammerfall would be close to an insult.
Hence, everything here is very much along the typical metal model but where so many other bands have tried and failed, Cryonic Temple definitely come out on top. I'm also sure that the pioneers of the genre probably also very much appretiate that even newer younger bands can embrace this classical concept and succeed so well.
After this splendid performance by Cryonic Temple they probably will be able to convert many fans to the dedicated True Metal troops. Don't waste either time or money true metalbrothers and sisters 'cause Blood Guts and Glory is out there waiting for you. Go abuse that creditcard of yours!