This is a lesson in how covers can deceive. Having not read the promo letter that accompanied the CD and guessing only from the cover and the band logo the first time I jerked the disc into the CD player, I anticipated either grim death doom to hammer out from the speakers. To my surprise, 'Shallow Grave' turned out to be nowhere as evil as expected and more than anything a power metal album, although with more modern metal and even melo-death elements.
On the whole, I like the comparatively dark vocal of front woman Genevieve Rodda (no Tarja Turunen here, that's for sure). Rodda hits a traditional metal note in fine style, whereas the growls by guitarist Llew Smith that run parallel to her voice in a number of songs are completely superfluous and actually seem out of place. The one place where this works for me is the very last song of the album, Your Time Has Come - coincidentally also the song where Rodda sings with a slightly more rough voice. Incidentally, this is the song I'd pick as my favourite from 'Shallow Grave'.
Temtris is clearly a band that strives to create their own mark on metal music, and it's fair to say that they're on the road to doing that. They haven't reached the stage where their music creeps right under the skin and stays there, but perhaps next time, the Australians have found the right recipe?