Thursday, 7 January 2016

Instrumental Interpretations Part IV: Tempel – The Moon Lit Our Path (Album Review)

By: Phil Weller

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 16/6/2015
Label: Prosthetic Records



Take just one of those riffs, write an entire song around it, crown it with an anthemic chorus and you feel they could be enormous. But that would be betraying what the very foundation of what this band is, and so here we have sprawling and deft compositions that gravitate within their own compelling universe. They throw riffs and dextrous passages at you with abandon, each one succeeded by another of the same, sterling quality.


The Moon Lit Our Path CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Carving 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

The Review:

‘The Moon Lit Our Path’ isn’t so much an album as it is a gothic tome. It’s a metamorphic tale which, upon every listen, conjures within your mind different rancid characters and bloodied plots through their dark and ethereal instrumentation. There are no words, but their music, which nods its head most plainly to Opeth but also to other black, death and progressive metal acts, paints a thousand of them all the same.

That being said, as a consequence of the lengthiness of each song and few repeating and obvious hooks within them, listening to the album in its entirety can become a little overbearing. Yet, when the mood suits, let one of these five slimy and guttural Lovecraftian soundscapes take you away from this somewhat naff world of ours and into the murky depths of your own sordid imagination. When that happens, it’s quite special.

There’s just something about the atmospheres of these songs that bare similarities with the likes of HP Lovecraft, Poe and Stoker for me. The shadowiness, the sense of dread, evil and horripilation is tantalising but torturous all the while. From the Cthulu worship of ‘Carving In The Door’ and the love wrenched angst and fear of the title track, which captures the essence of Edgar Allen Poe exquisitely, I’ve never experienced an album like this before. You don’t listen to the songs, you read them. They don’t remind you of other bands – ‘Descending Into The Labyrinth’ aside, which is unmistakably Opeth, and in a good way – they remind you of authors, their stories and those chilling emotions you felt while reading them.

Though there are few hooks or ‘choruses’ per se, every single riff is intricately detailed and venomously, mercilessly executed. It’s almost, in some strange way, a shame that there are so many killer riffs lined up like convicts on Death Row in each and every song. Take just one of those riffs, write an entire song around it, crown it with an anthemic chorus and you feel they could be enormous. But that would be betraying what the very foundation of what this band is, and so here we have sprawling and deft compositions that gravitate within their own compelling universe. They throw riffs and dextrous passages at you with abandon, each one succeeded by another of the same, sterling quality.    

When the moment strikes, preferably under a funeral moon with rain rattling the window panes, simply pick one of these songs and lose yourself.

“The Moon Lit Out Path” is available here




FFO: Opeth, Cult of Luna, Callisto, Omega Massif


Band info: bandcamp | facebook | twitter

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