10 May 2016

Tempel: "On the Steps of the Temple"

Eloquent and lengthy compositions that amaze and confound
With the djent craze spiraling out of control, and the rest of progressive metal mostly resorting to over-exotic twiddle-twaddle space-tech guitar snobbery, there is a great shortage of worthwhile bands to be found unless you do some digging. Though not a progressive band with every atom of its being, Temple serves up some great prog tendencies in an environment that reeks non-conformity.

Endeavouring into the ethereal realms of progressive post-metal, Tempel is a duo from the state of Arizona, USA. Their debut, sporting the introductory title On the Steps of the Temple, embarks on a journey through grand, cinematic soundscapes with imposing atmosphere and forceful vibes. Entirely instrumental in composition, thoughtful guitar riffs, basslines and sparsely used keyboards accompany indulgently expansive drum works.

"...you get the feeling that Tempel is a band driven by diversity, but never indecisiveness."

As mentioned earlier, Tempel refuses to depend on any trend or singular style. Instead their tracks vary greatly in feel, composition and arrangement. Mountain, the opening track, seems infused with slender black metal leads, while Final Years offers shimmering distortion reminiscent of certain post-rock groups courted by vague symphonies. Add to that a track like The Mist That Shrouds the Peaks which feels almost funeralesque in tempo and disposition, and you get the feeling that Tempel is a band driven by diversity, but never indecisiveness.

Tempel are an entirely different breed than most other rock or metal bands. Through all the different chapters of their tale, it never quite becomes as esoteric as their level of experimentation would suggest. Neither does it feel as ambiguous as the impressive variation could lead to. Even though On the Steps of the Temple is a strangely intricate equation, it doesn't seem hard to follow or lacking in heart. The six compositions offer their own layer of depth and of mesmerising melodies and enthralling atmospheres.


Released in 2012 independently (2014 by Prosthetic Records)

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