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Tempest - Another Dawn CD (album) cover

ANOTHER DAWN

Tempest

 

Prog Folk

3.50 | 6 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars They (seemingly) never tire of the road!

Ever since 1996 (I have not yet heard their very earliest albums; this band goes back to the late 80's), Tempest have been trying to make the "same" album over and over; same formula, same sound, same aesthetic, same producer, same label, etc. Some of the members of the band have been replaced over time, but the musical direction has remained basically the same throughout. They seem to live by a 'if it works, why change anything'- principle. And it has worked for them as they have indeed made several excellent albums that both Prog Rock fans and Folk Rock fans might find more than worth their while. However, what I have just said somewhat disguises the fact that some of Tempest's albums lean a bit more to the Folk side and other albums a bit more to the Rock side of the band. The present album falls somewhere in between on that scale.

Like their obvious heroes Steeleye Span, Tempest here mix traditional with original material in a Rock context and they even feature a cover of an old Pop song in Let's Live For Today which in the booklet is described as "our Celtodelic cover of the classic 1967 Grass Roots hit". As on all previous Tempest albums, we also once again get one traditional Scandinavian song sung in Norwegian (Jomfru) due to the origin of the multi-talended band leader Lief Sorbye. He has a great and distinctive voice and on this album he is credited with playing mandoguitar, mandolins, octave mandolas, flute, harmonica, bodhran and tambourine. But the sound of Another Dawn is, as usual with Tempest, dominated by acoustic and electric guitars, fiddle, bass and drums though I miss the excellent lead guitar from the Balance album.

While some previous albums featured unusual elements such as bagpipes and didgeridoo (The Double-Cross), female backing vocals (Shapeshifter), synthesisers (played by Keith Emerson on Turn Of The Wheel) and an abundance of flutes, Another Dawn features only the "basic" Tempest line up. Producer Robert Barry is, like on previous albums, credited with playing keyboards, but there is very little keyboards on this album - mainly Hammond organ and never to the front of the sound. Barry, who has been with the band for a long time, is in the booklet elevated to 'honorary band member'.

In conclusion I can say that this is a good and very enjoyable album from a great band, but in order to keep the Prog fan interested over their continued discography, Tempest will really have to start making some radical progression. With the present album they don't push things significantly beyond what Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span has been doing since the 70's. Indeed, attentative listeners will recognize a few of the traditional pieces that has been previously performed by these older Folk Rock bands. While Another Dawn is a recommended addition to any collection that already holds Turn Of The Wheel, Balance and The Double-Cross, I do not recommend starting your investigation into Tempest with this album. Those other albums are all better places to start and a bit more interesting albums from a Prog perspective.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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