Album Review: Temple of Dread – Blood Craving Mantras (Testimony Records)

In 2017, guitarist/bassist Markus Bünnemeyer decided to use his many years of experience as an active musician (e.g. Thrashhammer, Slaughterday) and metal fan to start a new band in the vein of old Death Metal heroes like Death, Benediction, Pestillence, Morgoth and the likes. Together with his school friend Frank Albers he developed a concept for the project Temple of Dread.

In 2018 Bünnemeyer started composing songs while Albers wrote the lyrics. The music clearly payed homage to fast old school Death Metal, but a very own style emerged. On the one hand this might be due to Bünnemeyer`s special residence – the North Sea island Spiekeroog – as the islanders are usually said to have a mind of their own. On the other hand, it is also due to the creativity arisen from many years of experience.

The lyrics of Temple of Dread are also remarkable. Albers – psychologist and extreme metal aficionado – writes about the generally threatening, suffering and human abysses. However, he writes his lyrics in a way a little untypical for Death Metal and seasons them with portions of dark black humour.

After the main features of the first songs were finished, the search for a drummer and a vocalist began. The quality of the material convinced Jörg Uken (Drums, Soundlodge Studios, Slaughterday, ex-Stormwarrior, ex-Rumble Militia and many more) and Jens Finger (guitarist of Slaughterday, ex-Obscenity), who wanted to contribute the vocals immediately.

The band Temple of Dread was born and on August 30th 2019 their debut album, Blood Craving Mantras will be released via Testimony Records.


The fire and brimstone kind of death metal, Temple of Dread’s debut is a beastly listen. Hefty tomes filled with all manner of spitefulness, anger and an unquenchable thirst to deliver an old-school death metal experience.

That is exactly what we get here on Blood Craving Mantras with Suffocate the Fire setting the bar early on. Riffs that are sharp enough to draw blood, it’s a strong opening. Followed up by the equally impressive Sentenced to Life and Question of Honour. Both tracks so old-school in every way, death metal’s heroes would have to give a curt nod of approval.

It’s a filthy listen but clean as a whistle in regards to sound and it’s no negative to say that everything you would want from a old-school death metal is present here.

Now You Will Die lights up thanks to short but intense bursts of guitar soloing, Straying the Battlefield is a huge effort where the drums really do the heavy lifting and Gone But Still Here is wild and uncontrollable rage.

The album ends in pure head-banging glory with Cottage in the Backyard. The power in the guitars and drums will snap necks but the grins on faces will be unmistakable.


Temple of Dread – Blood Craving Mantras Full Track Listing:

1. 8.16 AM
2. Suffocate The Fire
3. Sentenced To Life
4. Question Of Honour
5. Now You Will Die
6. Straying The Battlefields
7. Gone But Still Here
8. Cottage In The Backyard


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  • Carl Fisher

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Temple of Dread - Blood Craving Mantras (Testimony Records)
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