Looking for some new fast paced hard rockers to meet all your punk rock/metal needs? […]
By Jon C
April 7, 2019
Tempel - Tempel album cover

Looking for some new fast paced hard rockers to meet all your punk rock/metal needs? Look no further than TEMPEL, a band newly found out of Vestfold, Norway that is "no doubt metal AF," to quote their own bio, but ultimately rooted in paying homage to old school thrash, punk (and even a dash of prog mixed in for good measure). Founded by 3 brothers and their best friend, they are here to release their self titled, debt full length album.

"Tempel" is a flashy and high octane debut, capitalizing on an upbeat thrash and punk sound to carry the album forward. The punk feel is immediate and sets the stage for the album, with "Vendetta" opening with a blistering fury of punk/thrash. It's fast paced and rock oriented.

That being said, as we go deeper into the album, we get a ton more influences along the way, particularly with groove metal vibes and even some prog type feeling, especially in those guitar solos and stretched ambient sections between verses. Tracks like "Wolves" (which is the only song I could find on YouTube and I'm guessing "lead single"), "Afterlife", and "Torches" showoff the proggier side side of things, particularly "Afterlife", where I get strong DREAM THEATER vibes, particularly with the lead guitar and melodic work.

We do also get some chunkier and groove metal esque tracks, which I am always particular to, especially with "Fortress" and also again in "Afterlife" (which is one of the most diverse tracks on the album). The diversity of the album really goes on display in the back half. We get the heaviest song on the album "Forest Cemetery" in slot 6, followed by "Fortress" with the aforementioned groove metal vibes, then the slowed down bluesy rock feeling "Torches", finally followed by the epic closer "Farewell" which starts off with their softest sound on the album, but builds up to an epic stadium rock finish complete with guitar solos that provide some of their greatest showmanship.

From start to finish, a wide variety of songwriting & technical ability is on display. We get diversity and no lacking in range of styles. The vocals are typical scream/yelled all the way through, but not so much in a modern metal style, more so in an old school "punk yell" style. The vocals are one aspect that consistently carries the punk theme throughout the album, even when the instruments are breaking off into groove metal, prog, black, and even some bluesy styles. Despite the wide variety and potential conflict of styles, it is all very cohesive and never feels mishmashed. A huge credit to their songwriting, which is one of the strongest aspects of this album.

Not much was wrong with the album. I can't say I loved the production, I don't know if that was purposeful to pay homage to old punk/thrash production or not, but ultimately it didn't burden the songwriting too much, which was able to shine through clearly. It did also lack originality in the sense of the way they composed, but despite lacking new innovation, the songwriting and musicianship was at a high enough and creative level that it held its own and didn't just feel like a copycat of other bands.

All said and done, this is a very well written and excitingly performed debut from TEMPEL. If you're looking for exciting new riffage, tons of rock and old school metal vibes, with plenty of flashy guitar solos and exciting moments, this is an album you can enjoy. I have no doubt these guys are a blast to watch perform live. I'm glad they're out here playing music they love, the passion for their work clearly shows in this debut.

8 / 10









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"Tempel" Track-listing:

1. Vendetta
2. Wolves
3. Uninvited
4. Afterlife
5. Confusion
6. Forest Cemetery
7. Fortress
8. Torches
9. Farewell

Tempel Lineup:

Espen Gjermundrød - Guitar
Inge Gjermundrød - Bass, Lead Vokal
Jonas Usterud Rønningen - Drums
Andreas Espolin Johnsen - Guitar

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