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Tempest - Tempest CD (album) cover

TEMPEST

Tempest

 

Heavy Prog

3.21 | 37 ratings

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Atavachron
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Cream's influence on the heavy psych and blues scenes was about as deep as it gets, as evidenced by the seemingly endless throngs of Baker, Bruce and Clapton impressionists during the late 1960s. Fortunately many of those short-lived outfits progressed past that rather formulaic sound and began adding elements such as modern jazz, heavy metal and ersatz classical, comprising much of what would years later be termed 'Proto-Prog'. Legendary drummer Jon Hiseman's Colosseum was a product of that energetic period and, after their dissolution, Tempest emerged as its heavier younger brother. The Hiseman legacy would culminate a bit later with the crack Colosseum ll, a hard fusion monster. And though this album is no groundshaker, it holds a mildly warm place in the hearts of many progsters and fusionheads. It was also Allan Holdsworth's first real appearance after the negligible 'Igginbottom's Wrench' record, though he displays little of the attack he would eventually develop. Paul Williams shouts his way through much of this with his Jack Bruce-school vocals, and Mark Clarke does a perfectly reasonable job on bass. 'Gorgon' has Holdsworth opening on an acoustic guitar and turns into a plodding stonehouse rocker, 'Foyers of Fun' is pretty much just that with a touch of Sabbath and Mountain lingering in the back - quite good for what it is - and 'Dark House' just drags with tired White Rabbit psych. Finally some style on 'Brothers', a hard clanger with some soft jazz and a few good vamps, followed by the anthemic 'Up and On' and a neat guitar riff. 'Strangeher' is throwaway R&B save an early shredder from Allan, and 'Upon Tomorrow' is decent jazz-rock balladry featuring a very rare violin perfromance from Holdsworth. Nothing to get excited about and the layer of dust on this music gets thicker with every passing year, but it was a sincere attempt by musicians who would go on to be quite important.

Atavachron | 2/5 |

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