Interview: Temple of Void’s Mike Erdody Return With Heavy New LP, ‘Summoning the Slayer’

Temple of Void are a doom force to be reckoned with, constantly churning out hard-hitting, heavy record after heavy record without missing a beat. Now they’re back at it again with Summoning the Slayer, out now via Relapse Records.  

“The writing process began shortly after the recording of The World That Was, vocalist Mike Erdody explains. “There was hardly any down time. That album also dropped a week into the pandemic, so it seemed fairly evident that we wouldn’t be doing the release show we had planned for it nor playing any sort of live shows in general for the foreseeable future.  

“So many things were just out of our hands, so we defaulted to writing for the next one because it was something we did actually have some control over. I think that’s why there’s some stylistic similarities in the writing between the two albums and why the new album art loosely connects to the story set by the previous one. I believe we had it all written in less than eight months and had the entire thing completely tracked in about five days.” 

The new record deals with themes relating to the human condition, including lore that threads throughout their records.  

“I tried to springboard off “Leave the Light Behind” from the last album as a way to bridge that lore between the albums, though they both kind of stand independently as their own thing, Erdody says. “Burke’s cover for The World that Was shows Charon ferrying the boat into the mouth of this massive cave bearing the band sigil. It seemed almost mandatory to address the journey into the cave with Summoning the Slayer, so we commissioned Ola Larsson to create this expansive, almost psychedelic scene of horror leading up to this monstrosity at the heart of it all.   

“It was the monster that gave me the inspiration to turn it into a metaphoric representation of the culminations of the worst parts of ourselves and our choices in life that we are confronted with before ultimately passing into the land of the dead, and each song kind of highlights a different step in that journey as the listener gets deeper into the cave.  One of the good things about playing death doom is that the common gloomy misanthropic atmosphere allows for a degree of emotional vulnerability that is much harder to pull off playing strictly death metal. It really allowed me the opportunity to use horror in a very humanistic sense because none of us are perfect, and we’re all guilty at times of letting insecurities, shame, and our own egos influence poor behaviors and decisions that hurt others and ourselves.”  

As if this new record wasn’t enough, the band also have a split release in the works and another planned for 2023, but they will be taking some time to regroup before writing their next record.

Watch the video for “Deathtouch” here:

For more from Temple of Void, find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Bandcamp.

Photo courtesy of Brian Sheehan

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