Woodtemple – Hidden in Eternal Shadow


For those who wanted more of Following the Voice of Blood, Woodtemple approximates this style in longer songs that allow a range of emotion to create a backstory to the dominant mood of darkness and ambiguity. Often these take the form of folksinger style acoustic (or at least sans distortion) strumming of simple melodies which reflect often pastoral moods, before contrast with abrupt tempo change to the darker black metal tremolo or churning slow strum in the style inspired by Mayhem/Thorns but taken to a darker place. While these two tracks sound like they could have come off the Graveland album, the emotional outlook for Woodtemple is both more naturalistic and more varied.

Vocals follow an entirely open pattern that comments at half-speed to the pace of the riff, with guitars enfolding internal texture through strumming speed and variation among strings creating an empty and lonely sound, allowing songs to background drums to a faster pace without making the guitars pick up speed, although creating a background of urgency. Often dual guitar tracks create a clear voice of simple strumming over a brooding, distorted sound, building up a tension of instability and threat within the sound. Songs tend to move in a cyclic pattern through multiple riffs that return to a chorus riff and vocal pattern through the contrast created by other pairs of riffs warring it out to establish a mood to contrast the dominant theme.

Hidden in Eternal Shadow creates the experiment black metal should have embarked on earlier in creating the intense dark atmosphere for which the genre is known, and then manipulating it like a mural, taking it to different places as a means of creating context and showing the origin of the melancholic morbidity. This follows up on the experiments of the Graveland/Lord Wind early years which attempted to find a folk voice in black metal that was not merely surfacing, as in the “Viking metal” (power metal with Norse lead guitar melodies and styling) of the time, and does so successfully by creating a new form of ambience which both drones and builds upon itself to the point of expression of melody. For this reason, Hidden in Eternal Shadow shows not just Woodtemple at its strongest but black metal evolving to pick up the promise it birthed and nurture it further toward the creation of what might be a new genre.


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6 thoughts on “Woodtemple – Hidden in Eternal Shadow

  1. Dominating F. says:

    No offense Bret but it’s hard to believe that you’re giving Woodtemple such relevance to the genre, going so far as to claim they have ventured into “what might be a new genre”.

    How come you didn’t mention this before back on the Metal Hall days? If I’m not mistaken Kontinual or Alexis dissed this band as a second rate Graveland wannabe. You even go as far as to make it sound like it’s even better than Graveland’s later material!

    Let’s remember this:

    “Hate Eternal
    With members who have worked within two of the most extreme death metal outfits ever, Suffocation and Morbid Angel, this band was formed to make intelligent but crushing music. ”

    Darkly formulated and conceptualized beyond human concerns, the homage to natural sound and the spirit of intelligent beings that is this release will be appreciated for ongoing time”

    And now, both bands have been deleted from the Archives.

    1. Bigger Bumlord says:

      lord mosher detected !!

      Get a life man!

      Mr. Stevens please do a post on b level death metal bands like Drawn and Quartered, Death ofMillions, Dehumanized, Bane, Inveracity and such.

    2. fenrir says:

      People grow and their opinion may change. Get over it.

      1. Dominating F. says:

        It’s called interacting with the editor. What’s wrong with that?The question is valid and it was not addressed to you. What’s your problem fag? I do not think the editor minded the question and it served him to further explain his notion of what black metal is becoming.

    3. You know, I’m glad you asked. The new genre is black metal becoming a mostly instrumental long-form atmospheric hybrid with folk/neofolk/ambient/soundtrack in the way Summoning, Ancient’s EP, Graveland/Woodtemple and Burzum pointed it toward being. This genre is “progressive” in the original sense of having melody and artistic considerations define song form as opposed to standard form, and is not the neo-progressive styling where bands take simple songs and heap riffs, sweeps, jazz breaks, etc. on top of them.

      As far as the Archive itself goes, the purpose is to archive bands that people should purchase and keep with them if they want the best of underground metal. Neither of those bands fit, much as I like — on a personal level — both Steve Tucker and Kanwolf.

  2. thewaters says:

    Woodtemple was often mentioned on the DLA actually.

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