Graced by unforgettable cover artwork courtesy of Adam Burke, The World That Was takes the listener on the most cohesive journey TEMPLE OF VOID have crafted to date. From that cover art featuring five figures sailing down the river into the gaping maw of a fiery mountain temple, being led by Charon, to the sequencing of the tracks, ending in the epic, nearly 10-minute title track, The World That Was is a winding, windswept landscape dotted with surprising twists and turns, much of it unexpected territory whilst undoubtedly feeling very much like classic TEMPLE OF VOID. Whereas the band’s first album skewed more doom and the second more death, The World That Was seemingly slots in between the two poles, mountainous as ever. More accurately, the scales perhaps might tip more “doom” here, but the manner in which TEMPLE OF VOID express that doom has definitely broadened: they’re proudly a doom-death band, but on evidence of this third album, they’re painting with even more colors in their no-less-crushing palette.
Of note within that palette are the synths and sound design employed across The World That Was, collectively/alternately provided by Omar Jon Ajluni, Meredith Davidson, and Alex Awn. These synths add a cohesion and depth to the album that truly makes it more cinematic and atmospheric whilst not once lessening TEMPLE OF VOID’s heavyweight aspect. Granted, synths have featured on every TEMPLE OF VOID album, but their incorporation/synthesis here reflects a maturity and refinement of atmosphere that eclipses anything the band have done before.