Tempel by TempelRelease date: March 22, 2019
Label: Jansen Records
When I saw that Tempel featured a member of Kvelertak among their ranks in drummer Kjetil Gjermundrød, this was an album I definitely needed to hear. It promised a similar type of experience in terms of wide ranging influences and different styles, but also that it casts the net a bit further than his other band when looking for inspiration. Bringing together three of the Gjermundrød clan (Kjetil’s brothers Inge and Espen are also involved) and longtime friend Andreas Espolin, Tempel have now released their debut self titled album on Jansen Records.
Opener ‘Vendetta’ tells you all you need to know about the album. The driving guitars seamlessly change from a loose rock sound to tighter metal approach in the opening seconds. The strained vocals of Inge really suit this style and he adapts his style really well when the song change mood. ‘Wolves’ and ‘Uninvited’ are hook filled tunes that throw a few faster tempos around at times, but it is on ‘Afterlife’ that the band really shows their potential. Its probably the most metal track so far, starting off with some sumptuous guitar work which returns later in the track. Otherwise it’s a nice heavy track which gets quite doomy towards the end.
From that point on, the end of the album the impetus drops slightly. ‘Confusion’ is a decent enough mid paced tune, but suffers from following ‘Afterlife’, and it just feels like too much of a comedown. ‘Forest Cemetery’ brings things back up to pace, easily the fastest track on here but again its followed by a drop in pace that takes the edge of the record a little. The final few songs lack the energy of earlier in the album. None of these tracks are particularly bad, but put together it feels like a comedown at the end of the album, whereas if they had been spread across the album, they could have worked a little better. ‘Farewell’ is a good closing track, but would have had more impact if it had come after something more energetic.
Tempel is a very different proposition to Gjermundrød’s main band, although there are comparisons that can be made. This isn’t as extreme but it covers a wide range of styles across the album. Think of this as similar to when Entombed drummer Nicke Anderssen looked to do something a bit different when he formed The Hellacopters. It’s still raucous as hell, but just in a different way to his main band. It got plenty of drive and an edgy punk spirit and it’s a lot of fun, but there is a slight sense that they are holding back a little at times. A decent album, maybe I was expecting a bit much being a fan of Kjetil’s main band. It’s similar to Kvelertak, but just missing something. A decent starting point though.