The Arizona duo, Tempel, has produced a fairly impressive album with the six-song “On The Steps of The Temple.” Tempel is able to produce a diverse sounding doom metal experience while at the same time giving the occasional nod to death metal, black metal and sludge when it’s appropriate. It’s actually a very impressive debut.
The first track, “Mountain” is a multi-layered affair with tinges of the aforementioned metal sub-genres. It comes off slow with an acoustic guitar, but kicks into blastbeats and sinister guitar work in the black metal vein. This track demonstrates the duo’s ability to successfully layer tracks with clarity as well as impressiveness. It’s easy to pile a bunch of sounds on top of each other to try to make a song seem “epic.” But Tempel has eased back from that a bit and focused on the much needed clarity of sound and precision of placement. The second track, “Rising From The Abyss,” is the first song on this record that I’d actually call doom. The way the song is structured with the atmospheric elements and ambient synth in the background, the song truly takes on the attitude of being from a horror movie by the same name.
As the album progresses, each track is more atmospheric in nature, staying within the realm of doom, but not being afraid to explore new avenues with the use of synth. Tempel employs some hypnotic structures, but isn’t afraid to throw in the occasional time change to keep it from being a droning mess. The timing changes are sometimes done with the drums–other times with the guitar. “On The Steps of The Temple” is an album one can get lost in, not because the brain has been taken over by the music, but rather because the brain has been stimulated and wandered along new paths of its own accord. The bottom line is Tempel is modern post-metal/doom done right.