In 2016, German Black Metal outfit Stygian Temple dropped ‘In The Sign Of The Five Angels’ and it is deserves to be heard. ‘In The Sign Of The Five Angels’ is a portal transporting us back to the beginning of the 2nd wave of Black Metal. With their grim and quite atmospheric approach to their sound, Stygian Temple manage to pay homage to those that came before, while making their sound unique, dark and very much their own. The overall mood and feeling of this record is very grim and haunting, a near perfect debut.
The guitar work on ‘In The Sign Of The Five Angels’ is very well written and performed even better. The tones are gritty and chocked full of chilling atmosphere. A blend of “Scandinavian” and “German” Black Metal styles can be heard here in a torturous blend of Black Metal bliss. From highly dissonant single note runs to blistering chord progressions and the perfectly times melodic overtones give this record its solid foundation. The vocals are in no way out done by the musicianship. The vocals here are performed masterfully. Straying away from many of the bands of this era, you will not hear the high pitch shrieks and screams throughout the majority of ‘In The Sign Of The Five Angels’. The vocal performance is very depraved and visceral. Deep and dark is the best way to describe the howls of this great vocalist, as his vocals sit much lower in pitch and are full of grit and relentless power. The drums are also well recorded and add just the right amount of base layering to the vile atmosphere of this record. At the first listen of the track ‘Cathartic Nimbus’, I was beyond hooked. This track delivers everything I come to expect from great Black Metal. Raw and chaotic, but somehow they pull it all together into some of the best modern Black Metal to date. From start to finish, ‘In The Sign Of The Five Angels’ will give the listener chills while delivering a dark chaotic and evil sounding listening experience. If you have yet to take a listen, I would highly encourage it as this record is sure to get many spins before moving on.