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If the 80s era of Hard Rock / AOR were mostly dominated by American bands, it seems like ever since the demise of that magical period, the dominance over these sub-genres of Rock shifted to the European scene as bands from various countries rose to continue the ways of emotive Rockin' softness.
Human Temple, Finland's version of some legendary names in the business that laid their law in the 80’s like Journey, Autograph, Heart and Toto, made the challenge, as other competitors around Europe, to their Hard Rock legends. Their attempt was to embrace the absolution of Hard Rock / AOR while trying to include the softer side of Hard Rock music with the characteristics of their own, rather cold, self-nature.
Their new thread, Murder Of Crows, tells the well-known story of Hard Rock / AOR with a certain touch of darkness. Such darkness is one of Finland's attributes on most of their musical genres as Metal and Rock (You can take the best example from the title of the album, several of the songs’ titles, and the selected cover art made by the amazing artist Kimmo Toivonen). With this kind dimness, and somewhat ambiguous surroundings of the album, Human Temple were able to sustain the same spirit as 80’s albums of the US even if some of their material turned out to be a strong recollection of stuff heard thousands of times. As any of the other bands that do the same, so did the guys of Human Temple.
Nevertheless, the majority of bands, on occasions, suck on trying to implement the essence of such music with their own and there were many efforts that went sour and sucked. Human Temple made a good effort with Murder Of Crows as it bears all the elements needed for a good Hard Rock / AOR album that hails the force of the 80’s.
Another interesting fact regarding Murder Of Crows, which helped it to become a worthy endeavor, beyond the blood and sweat of the band's members on enforcing a fantastic AOR atmosphere and cool (slightly cold) set of vocals (sort of Kotipelto meets Lande), lands on the guitar section. Human Temple received the help of three great guitarists like ex-Sonata Arctica wizard, Jari Liimatainen, Erkka Korhonen (ex-Urban Tale) and Twilight Guardians' Vesa Virtanen. These guys assisted on creating another addition to the ultimate catchiness of AOR flavored by the melodies of Hard Rock.
Human Temple tenderly touches the mind with Murder Of Crows. Although this title sounds a bit harsh, the truth is rather the opposite. With radio friendliest tracks of good nature as "Ghost Of You", "Lies", "Just One Night", "Secret" and "Not My Fault" to some hard and loud Hard Rockers as "Emily" (The black widow of the night) and the western like "Promised Land". Take a step to a rather hearty release, with some cheesy like moments that stick too much, yet still something to lay your hands on.
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- Lior “Steinmetal” Stein (April, 2nd 2010)
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