Temptress See

Temptress - See


With a vibrant take on fuzzy Stoner infused with Sludge Metal, Hard Rock, and even some whiffs of Blues the Texan trio injects new vitality into a pulsating musical scene.

You get an inkling that this is going to be a thrill ride already at the start of the first track, ”Death Comes Around”: The band entices you with bass guitar surrounded by sound effects from the guitar. This drifts into heavy fuzzy riffs, deep bass, and steady pounds on the drums, cymbals, and a double take on the bass drum. The groove from the bass and the slightly laid-back female vocals give an impression of an easy-going equable Blues attitude. The drive is heavy and that whiff of Blues becomes a gust when the vocals repeat ”You Feel Death Comes Around”. Then the tempo makes a turn back to fuzzy hard rock as Kelsey Wilson breaks out in a long creative, complex, high-pitched jaw-dropping guitar solo.

Three highly accomplished musicians met and the synergy between them became a three-song EP in 2019, and they started working on this album. The cover of the album might lean a bit towards the drawings on both, the album covers done by John Dyer Baizley for Baroness and Kvelertak. Temptress is just as energetic and rolling, but surely heavier than these nevertheless just as vital and shifting. But one thing sets Temptress apart from these and other bands - the vocals. All three members share vocal duties, sometimes in duets and sometimes, like on ”Into My Soul”, a crystal clear female voice drifting above the heavy riffing music as a contrast to the hoarse male vocals. The vocals are essential to give each song a mood, as in the first song where the vocals conjure the laid-back Blues mood, while in the second song, the vocals are more commanding and give drive to the song´s tempo.

While the vocals certainly are a strong feature on this album, so is the handling of the other instruments. Kelsey Wilson´s guitar work has already been mentioned. This genre or style of music is guitar-driven; without a creative guitarist accomplished like this, it would fall apart but with a guitar player as diverse as Wilson, the others will have to be equally adept at handling their instruments. It should be no surprise that they are. Christian Wright´s low-end bass gives the groove, provides depth and also melody - sometimes it feels like it hits the floor. On the song ”Waiting” the bass probably goes as low as a bass guitar might be tuned before it becomes a mess.

”Waiting” is also the song where Andi Cuba´s drum skills are more distinct feature as she starts the song hitting and pounding the drum set driving the song onwards, sometimes with double take. It brings a sense of a reckless anarchistic take, somewhat like Stinking Lizaveta. The heavy riffing and fast bass give further verve to the song. Male and female voices sing to each other with an urgent sense; the mood of the song seems like a nod to Kylesa and is equally well done. Then the track gets heavier, and a duet by two female vocals joins the distorted music and induces a headbanging pace as the raspy male vocals return.

”Serpentine” is another song on which the vocals are used to give extra dimensions to the song’s heavy characteristics. However, firstly, Wilson tickles her clear guitar slowly zigzagging toward the tough heavy chugging pace that sets the song´s drive. Crystal clear vocals appear soaring above another vocal line that repeatedly sings the song´s title. The song shifts between female and male vocalizing and then again clear harmonies above a fuzzy and heavy soundscape, made deeper by the bass and faster by the drums. The guitar work is extremely diverse, floating all over, seeping into openings as the vocals change from urgent to commanding.

The song ”Hopeless” ends the album with fast guitar and the drummer hitting the hi-hat. Heavy riffing supports the male leads before the song loosens up to a broad melodic theme, grooving bass, and diverse drumming. The riffs and melody are elongated, while the guitar is soloing with a fuzzy attitude. Again, the sense of liberating anarchistic attitude seeps from the music all over and onto the carpet. The song shifts with screaming male vocals as the music rumbles on thanks to the heavy bass and a new complex guitar solo hits us. Driving forward with more effect than speed, the music bursts out while humming vocals appear in the background. As the vocals pick up again, the solo guitar keeps on in the background, the drums flying forward and the bass going for depth and melody until the end.

Stoner Metal, Sludge Metal, Desert Rock, and the likes have many veteran bands and a bunch of newly formed bands releasing albums. To stand out among them with a first full-length album is far from easy. But Temptress really do as the band has its own take on these genres or styles, mixes them, and creates its own distinct style that both embraces the genres, at the same time separating themselves from the usual suspects. Quite an achievement if you ask me. By reading this you have asked, I think.