Review | Temic – Terror Management Theory

Despotz Records

Temic is the band of Diego Tejeida (Haken, Devin Townsend) and multi-instrumentalist virtuoso guitarist Eric Gillette (Neal Morse) joining forces with drummer Simen Sandnes (Shining) and Frederik Kemp of Maraton. Though in the making since 2016, the band had to halt due to the pandemic, only to reboot their engines recently. Temic’s debut is nothing less than a smash orbiting upon first spin. 


Like starting a classic Formula 1 engine, the band warm up on the short ,,TMT”, bursting into the modern prog ticker ,,Through the Sands of Time” no holds barred. The song shoots in all directions with its rhythm changes channelling, which makes progressive metal so impressive. The emotional appeal of the vocals lands deep while complexity is jaw dropping. Much like Soen, Temic manages to inject ambiance instantly gripping. Connecting melody and oozing, soothing laurels, Temic presses forward with meaner guitar and keyboard interplay dominating. Gillette and Tejeida dose their energy intricate prowess to create downright sublime tracks as red threat woven into the colorful rich sonic canvas. It is this insane contrast of emotional dynamics that makes Temic a band to explore. 

Songs like ,,Count Your Losses” and ,,Falling Away” display the flexibility of the band’s compositions. Channelling emotion and musical mastery to create sonic prowess. Kemp lays wonderful vocals atop and sings the intricate lyrics directly into your gut. Outlined with rich instrumentation, the balance often tilts to heavy and extremely heavy. This contradiction is best executed in ,,Paradigm”. Emotive vocals and the droning growl of bass make great momentum and the polyrhythms intensify constantly. Gillette’s riffs and hooks are potent and heavy, Tejeida doubles down on the atmosphere while adding a modern veil to his playing. This interaction and linear empowerment are what infuses the benchmark driving power of Temic. 


,,Skeletons” carves modern signing into the crushing riff-driven metal, a rapped section with synth signature keys, shooting up the fretboard with Gillette displaying his astounding solo-capacity. Bass and drums shoot salvos that are halted for a modern jazz section displaying the enormous interplay. Welling ‘church’-atmosphere reverts and Kemp chants out in higher pitch. Returning to form he belts out restrained power chords laced with melodic drama. The whole song fuses intricate passages and melodic extravagance with pompous segments full of atmospheric bliss

The atmospheric timings are present on the cinematic ,,Friendly Fire” that rifts with colorful passages and heavy raw riffs fired. The sound effects added bring the song’s embroiling tenure to the front. Dream Theater on acid, without lacking their very own Temic uniqueness. Pitching this musical mastery, the band delves deep into the progressive genre with ,,Once More”. Uniting the greatness of Asia’s atmospheric and symphonic register, while powering up their engines in the song constantly. The overhaul of the track is extremely dynamic and heavier than metal, but there’s this wailing soar scattering off its edges. Impressive how Kemp maintains to be on top of the musical explorative soundscape, checking the boxes. The drive of the song and its intricate shred riffing is tremendously powerful, the lush chorus and bridge is melancholic while the song screams bloody murder musically. 


 ,,Acts of Violence” is the variance needed to break midway. The song wells with constrained emotion and is crafted around a simpler theme of riffs and stabbing keys. Sandnes lays down a heavy groove and solid beat, with wonderful dynamics of tom and floor interplay. The twist is in them idle with the song rocking out louder maintaining its melodic appeal and Kemp belting out more dominant.

This contemplating construction returns to the fold for the mega-melodic hooked ,,Mothallah”. Riff salvos are fired jaggedly, keys stab, Kemp rocks out roaring. The bass drones with sinister growl as the song roars into its insanely melodic chorus. The dynamics are intense and Tejeida lays drizzles offsetting keyboard sections and stabs atop. Toning down for a cinematic segment, the band keenly fuses a grandiose solo into the lush tapestry while boasting it with welling power. The choir chanting enhances the song’s grandeur and Temic’s creative musical prowess.  


`Terror Management Theory’ easily lands in the top ranks of this year’s charts. Temic crafted an original masterpiece that bridges between Soen, Dream Theater and Terra. Very ambient, heavily metalled up, and with insane musical execution, the band blends a stirring emotional cocktail chockfull of potence and thrive, not letting down any single second. There’s a lot going on, emotionally and musically, while maintaining its welling appeal and generic melodic accolades. Every song lands deep in your gut, and only reveals more of its grandeur with every following spin. Must have!

Release date: 17 November 2023



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