Tempel: The Moon Lit Our Path

Eclectic Arizonians find cohesion through confusion

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Arizona instrumental power duo Tempel’s previous outing, last year’s On The Steps Of The Temple, was a crushing and blisteringly raw affair, but also an at-times confused one, channelling as it did through their unique prism about half of all the various styles of metal known to man.

Its follow-up frequently appears to have chucked in the other half, too, yet remarkably its five lengthy excursions represent a far more cohesive and frequently more melodic affair altogether.

The title track, while initially erupting in torrents of power duo 101-isms, soon forges a path that meanders in and out of territory that could almost be described as melodic death metal. The melodic incursions and richly harmonised guitars continue during Descending Into The Labyrinth, while elsewhere the chugging and discordant guitars call to mind Entombed circa Left Hand Path, before out of the mire emerges what can only be described as a power metal solo, with things ending in a wash of acoustic strumming and jangling, alt-country guitars. Epic closer Dawn Breaks Over The Ruins re-finds the chaos, but only just.