Tasty Guitar Riffs with an Angry Voice
In their second studio album, Temple of Lies has highlighted exactly what makes their band so fun to listen too: Jon Scranney. Scranney has been a life-long musician. He has toured for over 25 years now with several different bands, but his guitar riffs have never been more on-point than they were on From Sand.
Scranney’s influences explain how he was able to produce such deliciously head-banging guitar riffs. He played in a Slayer cover band called South of Heaven, and he brings some of that Slayer-esque guitar riffs to From Sand. No track is more evident of this than “Riff Machine.” According to Temple of Lies’ official website, Scranney’s nickname is Riff Machine which makes sense when you listen to the song bearing his nickname. You feel yourself getting lost in the song immediately with the devastating opening. Temple of Lies’ drummer, Alex Gamble, comes in soon after Scranney begins and complements his heavy guitar perfectly. Tracks like “Bats,” “Crystal,” “Riff Machine,” “From Sand…” pretty much every track on the album almost demands the listener to play air guitar along with Scranney. “Bats” in particular felt like a call-back to a Tony Iommi style.
Scranney may be an incredible guitarist, but a guitarist can only do so much in creating a genuinely good album. That’s where the combination of bass guitarist Adam Ball and drummer Alex Gamble come in. They both add to the overall heaviness and intensity of the album. You can constantly hear the foreboding sound of Ball’s bass in each and every song. While he never takes center stage, he constantly reminds you that he is there pushing the overall feel of the album. Gamble, the youngest member of the band, shows off his powerfully fast drumming style in “Bats,” “888,” and “Feed the Greed.” In “Feed the Greed,” Gamble plays an almost punk-like rhythm at times while switching back to the thrashing, fierce drumming style that can hype up almost anybody.
While most of this review has been talking about the greatness of Scranney and the other band members, Si Shaw is the one who really brings the album home. The lyrics, at times, were not overly creative and redundant (see “Crystal” and “Pigbitch”). But, the delivery of them is what makes Shaw the perfect lead singer for a band like Temple of Lies. The lyrics and Shaw’s tone matched perfectly on some of the songs on the album especially “Fire in the Hole.” When Shaw hits the chorus in “Fire in the Hole,” the world disappears for a few seconds as his raspy, angry tone fully envelopes you into the world From Sand has created.
Overall, the album is a stoner rock fan’s paradise. Incorporating the Riff Machine’s tasty guitar with Shaw’s angry, gut-wrenching voice to create an album we all can mosh too. Just be safe when moshing at home, don’t want to break a table or your TV.