Album Review By Barry Vest Sr
In a world where instruments reign supreme and a lyrical beast gutturally spewing forth a venomous barrage is nonexistent, Telepathy shines like a supernova. With such an epic producer at the helm of this ship Jaime Gomez Arellano, who has such work as Opeth and Ghost under his belt, Telepathy have released their best work yet. Now I have heard many instrumental versions of epic albums and love works by Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Dream Theater and Animals As Leaders just to name a few. However, Tempest has taken me somewhere few albums do. I am transported to another dimension. As the cover foreshadows, I was met with waves of emotion that crashed down on my shore. The waters covered up any expectations I may have had and elegantly left me with a glistening sun-drenched smile on my face.
This sophomore release does what most instrumentals do not. Telepathy keeps me coming back for more. It’s like a musical score for living life, a kind of tumultuous riff laden wonderland with organic undertones that are as untamed and wild as the outdoors portrayed within the work itself.
Juxtaposition comes to mind while listening as I find a lot of contrast in the work. The contrast of gentle waves crashing to shore in the intro to the sludge laden riffs that follow in Smoke From Distant Fires. I also love the time changes and changes in direction which keep me engaged, excited, and hanging onto the proverbial ledge.
Celebration Of Decay is without a doubt a masterpiece composition that proves my scoring of this album. With such excitement, I am torn between the thunderous opening and the melody that haunts every moment of this piece. Their ability to balance this masculine broody powerful tone against the ambient sounds of flying through the clouds is uncanny. It’s as though they are writing a score about acid rain. A pummeling of decay amongst the beauty of the rain reflecting a thunderclap and lighting. What an epic masterpiece of power vs. constraint.
Much like the opening Echo Of Souls has us standing at the shore again. As though we are looking out at the ocean without intent. I feel as though a storm is brewing as I stand at this shore of tranquility. An ample and all too real scenario seemingly ripped from the headlines of the news as a tropical oasis is hit with a sudden devastating storm. Blast beats are preceded by cries of anguish as if a multitude of suffering is occurring. So incredibly easy to close my eyes and see this scene whilst listening. Nature coming in and wiping an island clean of inhabitants only to return to a tranquil setting as though nothing ever happened.
In comes a couple of works that will drive Telepathy in a much different direction sonically. Sludgy doom gets melded with an infectious guitar melody that reminds me of some death metal instrumental work. With highlights of clarity and submissiveness Apparition lends itself to a struggle of two different people within the same space. As if caught in an eternal struggle which is ultimately dominated and abruptly ends a story that feels incomplete.
However, Hiraeth seems to continue the story, as much like the title portrays, with a longing for something. Imagine, if you will, a traveler captured and telling their story through the instruments over the course of two tracks. The start feels like being stuck in a room sitting against the wall and reflecting. Getting madder by the second at this isolation. Looking for an escape and a way back to their homeland. After a long attempt to escape you can almost see them running through the woods. Pushing ever harder to freedom. Suddenly as if jumping off a ledge and taking flight Telepathy changes direction and slows things down making my vision all the more real as a slow-motion figure transforms and takes flight as a bird of prey. Coming back and swooping doom on his/her assailants. The very idea that I am making up this story in my head shows the power of the music here. The end of this piece seems to take the assailants into a watery grave. I will assume the bird pushed them off the cliff and bashed them into the rocks below and washed them into the river. What an amazing soundscape.
Speaking of water, Water Divides The Tide takes us back to the ocean. Back where it all began. Serenity is felt until the guitars tell us something else is going on here. Even with all the ebbs and flows of this track I still feel a calmness. It’s a reflection of a more tumultuous period, a letting go of emotion. I can feel myself letting go as well. All the drama is heard and felt and at the same time it feels transformed. Raised up to something or somewhere else. Impact and surreal serenity washes over me. I somehow feel better than I did before. As the light guitar carries me out to sea by the end all the drama is washed away.
Metanoia proves some serious chops with a heaviness, a gloomy and murky heaviness that pulls you under. It feels like I’m going down into some abyss. Falling below the tide as the inevitable end comes. You feel it getting closer. You feel yourself sinking deeper and the band says goodbye with an intensity of deep sludge and doom. As the longest track, they use every second to ensure you sink to the bottom and when you hit… well. The end is upon me and I feel as though I have traveled and returned; however, the travel is life and the return is a watery grave.
The most important thing about an instrumental is departure from the present. You need to feel elevated, transported, or enveloped in the work. All of them are present and accounted for with this amazing record. You must listen from beginning to end and multiple times. Many times, as a dear friend knows, as you will not grow tired of this quickly. Quite the contrary, I feel I’m being transported each time. In conclusion, I must say that everything I thought it would be pales in comparison to what it is. I just can’t get enough. Thank you Telepathy! As for the rest of you, go get this right now, throw on your best headphones and close your eyes. Enjoy the ride.
Piotr Turek (Guitar)
Albert Turek (Drums)
Richard Powley (Guitar)
Teddy-James Driscoll (Bass)
Smoke from Distant Fires
Celebration of Decay
Echo of Souls
Water Divides the Tide
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