Tephra – Temple   Leave a comment

Coming out of Germany, Tephra who are named after waste material produced by a volcanic eruption have released another album. If you haven’t heard the band, the play a progressive brand of sludge and doom made popular by the likes of Mastodon and Neurosis but Tephra do it very differently. The band take the standard atmospheric sludge/doom metal template and put a very progressive stamp on it. This new album is their most progressive to date but it is also their most challenging recording to listen to and some of it just doesn’t cook the way it should. Tephra works hard at injecting some sophistication into their sludge-doom sound but it often sounds underdone and sometimes it hits with the force of a feather-duster rather than a sledgehammer.

A tune called ‘Ghost’ opens the album with a eastern flavor before heading off in a progressive metal direction that is hypnotically effective and atmospheric. Elements of something really heavy threatens to attack but is held back by melodic guitar work, it is a interesting track and guitarist/singer Ercüment’s vocals have some real power behind them. ‘Chains And Pounding Hooves’ is made of two distinct different halves, the same goes for ‘How The West Was Lost’ with a first half that is slightly choatic and energetic and a second half is spacey and almost jazzy. There is some exciting guitar work and the last section of the song is a total trip – one of the album’s highlights. The rest of the album isn’t so stimulating however, ‘Agra’ has some alright grooves but lacks any memorable hooks but ‘City Immersed In Dust’ is a great track. I really like the hints of oriental-ism in the sound and the arrangement of this tune.

‘Seven Teeth’ is another generic example of post-rock, indie sludge rock but pretty forgettable. ‘Deadman`s Path’ and the closing ‘Tempel’ ends the album on a fairly luck-luster note. The momentum is lost by this stage of the album and these tracks pass without any redeeming features. I have to give praise to the band for trying to make such a complex and diverse album but most of this mostly, instrumental album just doesn’t have enough memorable moments. The second half of the album especially sounds fairly weak to me despite the bands great musicianship, there is just something lacking in the songwriting and it is an album that is instantly forgotten about soon as it ends…..5/10
Tephra @ Myspace
Official Website

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Posted March 16, 2011 by doommantia in Tephra

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