I have been waiting for the next album by Phoenix based metal duo Tempel since I heard their debut album. "The Moon Lit Our Path" is everything I was hoping for and more. To call this album "epic" and "massive" sounding would not even cover it. There are 5 tracks and each one showcases Tempel's power and ability. The album kicks off with "Carvings in the Door" which crosses more than one metal sub-genre, which is one of the band's
specialties. The brutal blast beats of black metal, with the expansive post metal guitar work and the riffing that would make any prog band jealous. And this is a good time to mention that Ryan is a
riff master on guitar. Ryan is also the bassist and keyboardist!
Each song has so many great, memorable riffs. Many tracks even have quality acoustic work. The title track has a slower intro which would please doom metal fans. But don't get comfortable because the song does crank up things, becoming a death metal like powerhouse. The one thing that the band does not have is vocals and to be honest, adding vocals to any of their songs would detract from all that's going on. A song like the prog metal epic "Descending into the Labyrinth" paints its own imagery in your mind without the need for words. That is the true power of great music.
I need to also mention the other half of the duo, drummer Rich. Rich is an amazing drummer who like any drummer of his
caliber knows whether a song needs double bass or a massive drum fill or whatever he can do. "Tomb of the Ancients" has an acoustic guitar/piano opening which is an excellent change of pace. It also underscores this band's ability to do whatever the song needs to convey a mood or an emotion. Of course by the middle of the track, the guitars are chugging and the drums are pounding. Ryan is also great at guitar solos and leads which this track has a very melodic one. The final track "Dawn Breaks Over the Ruins" also starts with an acoustic guitar part and eventually when things kick in, there's a melodic dual guitar part that is beautiful.
I could go on and on about "The Moon Lit Our Path," and maybe I already have, but this album deserves it. If people missed out on Tempel the first time around, "The Moon Lit Our Path" is a second chance to discover that it's not the number of people in the band, it's how talented those members are. Tempel is an immensely talented duo.