Ryan Wenzel – Guitars, Keys, Engineer
Rich Corle – Drums
1. Carvings In The Door
2. The Moon Lit Our Path
3. Descending Into The Labyrinth
4. Tomb Of The Ancients
5. Dawn Breaks Over The Ruins
How often through has it been noted throughout history that the brilliance in a piece of music is through the absence of something, the notes that you’re not hearing?
Vocals and lyrics often take centre stage when it comes to defining genre, era, bands, individual tracks and how their structure is laid out, often reducing what people remember to no more than a sound-byte to be digested and regurgitated at leisure. Conventionally, it’s only perhaps a few moments scattered throughout a song that the musicians behind the front man are permitted to express their creative freedoms outside the constraints of verse, chorus, verse.
Founded originally in 2003 as a full band, Arizona based instrumental duo, Tempel, were eventually only survived by two remaining core members by 2006. Left in the studio to focus their inspirations, the 2014 debut release ‘On the Stones of the Temple’ laid the foundations for their own brand of refined and frenetic doom/black metal. The pair’s the follow-up record ‘The Moon Lit Our Path’ is anticipated to be an evolution in all aspects.
The album is an aural emprise that perpetually manages to seduce the imagination with a prowling rhythmic tenacity that trespasses through your ears with a creative and virulent ferocity. Without the safe confinement of the satisfying conclusion of beginning, middle or end, what we are left with is a sonic cascade through the sound-scape, seamlessly flowing like a stream of consciousness.
Every track is laden with moments that exist as a bridge between a gateway and a new chapter, while painting an enthralling picture of an uplifting aura emanating from a harsh and unrelenting landscape. Moments of melodic elegance draped so neatly across the record almost seem to satirise their surroundings through the peaceful atmosphere they create, each layer providing dramatic presence to an evolving narrative, and are a tribute to the band’s invention.
Standing at eight and a half minutes, ‘Carvings In The Door’ may be the modest track on the album in terms length, but it’s certainly the stand-out track that encapsulates the essence of what the two of them have created. It has a bit of everything. But another pinnacle on the album, the title track, offers a melody fueled lure that flirts between both extremes; between the unpredictably transfixing and the savage and inhospitable.
It becomes difficult to pick out individual moments as the whole thing is a seamless transition of instances that spark waves of satisfaction throughout. In this sense, it’s greatest success is in terms of transcending convention, as it demands to be appreciated in it’s entirety. As a work in it’s entirety, its a varied fusion of sounds and flavours, all of which are accepted and devoured.