Temple of Gnosis – De Secretis Naturae Alchymica


All the fun of the fair…

Review by Jason Guest


Release: 4 March 2016

Created in 2015 as a “vessel for the katharsis of being, which is needed in order to pass towards the unification with Self and Divine”, Serbian one-man symphonic occult death / doom project Temple of Gnosis released debut EP Mysterivm Magnvm on 5 June 2015. Not a project to waste time, mainman H.M.T. is back with the band’s first full length, De Secretis Naturae Alchymica. And with a title such as that, there are no prizes for guessing what the album’s central themes are, or what it will sound like.

No doubt intended to welcome the listener back into the realm of the alchemic and the esoteric found on the EP, set to an atmospheric backdrop, the slow and down-tuned spoken intro sounds, well… naff. Rather than fortify the occult atmosphere H.M.T. was going for, the opening five minutes of this album sounds more like the horror house at a theme park than anything resembling “the other side”. Not a great start.

And not one that the album picks up from either. Why? Because the slow, down-tuned vocals are here to stay. For the duration. All the way through. From very-slow start to unexciting end. It would be almost tolerable if the tracks didn’t sound so similar. Flick from one point in any track to any other and the same flat riffs are there, the same flat drum patterns are there, and the same “atmospheric” keyboards are there in an attempt to pad out the endlessly bland, one-dimensional drudgery. If these are the secrets that await us on the other side, then we don’t have much to look forward to.

What’s so frustrating is that all of this worked on the Mysterivm Magnvm EP. But now, of course, it’s apparent that the EP’s brevity was suited to H.M.T.’s ideas. Here, frustratingly, stretching those ambitions across twice the timespan has stretched it too thin for it to be of any substance or in any way convincing. Strip this of the vocals, or cut them down, or even speed them up, throw out the passages that are too dreary or those that resemble too closely those found elsewhere on the album, and reshape this into an ambient / atmospheric EP and Temple of Gnosis would have a very good piece of work on their hands.

Temple of Gnosis – 20165 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Unto The Earth
  2. Serpentivm
  3. Sol Katharsis
  4. Tree Of Life
  5. Discipvli H.Trismegistvs
  6. The Twelve Keys
  7. Absolvtio