Photo courtesy of Prosthetic
Tempel intrigues me. It's rare enough to come across an instrumental metal band that resists the temptation to dissolve into pointless wankery that seems to afflict so many of the newer breed (Pelican wept). It's rarer still to find one that ignores the "progressive" tag entirely, and choses to use the extra space provided by the absence of vocals to explore other realms. Arizona duo Tempel is that rare jewel that achieves both. Yes, sludgy doom and quiet atmospheric passages abound, but Tempel also draws on melancholy Second Wave-inspired black metal, as songs like the dynamic "Descending Into the Labyrinth" and colossal album closer "Dawn Breaks Over the Ruins" make abundantly clear. The combination is immensely appealing, and surprisingly accessible without meandering into wishy-washy territority. The guitar work is top notch, too, without veering into inorganic widdling. Really, who needs vocals when your songs are this good?
Tempel's upcoming new album, The Moon Lit Our Path, is due out June 16 via Prosthetic Records, and is available for preorder here. For now, we're premiering "Descending Into the Labyrinth" right here.
Kim Kelly is still talking about Obituary on Twitter - @grimkim