Tempel, a two-piece instrumental metal band from Phoenix, Arizona comprising of Ryan Wenzel on guitars and keyboard and Rich Corle on drums released their second album ‘The Moon Lit Our Path’ via Prosthetic Records on June 16. Tempel’s debut release ‘On The Steps Of The Temple’ was well-acclaimed for the brilliant production which accentuated the essence of black and doom metal in the music, the atmospheric elements, the groovy riffs, the ferocity, technicality and dynamics, thus proving that instrumental metal of such quality in no way lags behind any other sub-genre of metal. The new album ‘The Moon Lit Our Path’ showcases a good deal of aggression and post-metal elements as well as some subtle instrumentation and blackened, doomy melodies thereby establishing a strong thought process in a narrative around a central theme. Tempel does not resort to the conventional habits of incorporating too many atmospheric or progressive elements unlike most instrumental bands. ‘The Moon Lit Our Path’ is only five tracks long and is a well-thought out blend of black, doom, death, prog and post-metal elements through which it explores new dimensions of the genre in unconventional ways. What really stand out in the album are the beautiful transitions of rising and falling tempos, the elegance in the acoustic parts and the fact that the collection of five songs forms a congruent narrative without being repetitive.
The first track “Carvings InThe Door” features a brilliant guitar tone, an eerie atmosphere established by the synth, memorable melodies, unapologetic grooves, some melodic clean guitars and the ferocity of black metal. The title track speaks volumes of the band’s ability to tell a story through well-thought out song structures and balanced changes.
The album puts forth a variety of elements from a slew of sub-genres which create a memorable experience altogether. The awe-inspiring dark guitar tones as well as the acoustic portions boosted by dynamic grooves and blast beats sound absolutely splendid! “Descending Into The Labyrinth” features beautiful acoustic finger-picking, a nice solo, clever drumming dynamics and shifts in tempo laced around a blackened atmosphere. What stands out in the track is the perfect blend of melody and a progressive character around the crux of black metal. “Dawn Breaks Over The Ruins” explores some melodious possibilities within the framework of a rather dramatic composition without compromising on the musical precision. “Tomb Of The Ancients” pushes boundaries by exploring sonic extremes with face-melting riffs, doomy melancholic tones, a relentless blast beat assault and a soaring solo.
‘The Moon Lit Our Path’ showcases a plethora of strengths, the most prominent being the melodic character laced around the doom, black, death and post-metal elements incorporated in the music. The album despite being unconventional does not completely surrender accessibility and sure doesn’t fail to impress.
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