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North Star


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North Star Tempest album cover
2.92 | 18 ratings | 5 reviews | 6% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Tempest (6:54)
2. Yes, I Know (5:02)
3. Bathroom By the Bongos (6:23)
4. Prelude in C (2:38)
5. Opus V (6:00)
6. Raudra (9:09)
7. Getting' Guigué Wit It (3:21)
8. Plastic Bombastic (7:00)
9. Goodbye Mom (6:09)
10. Colossus (4:43)

Total Time: 57:19

Line-up / Musicians

- Dave Johnson / electric, acoustic, & bass guitars
- Glenn Leonard / drums & percussion, keyboards (on tracks 4 & 5)
- Kevin Leonard / keyboards, bass (on 1 & 3)
- Joe Newnam / sitar

Releases information

CD Space Monster Optional Entertainment CD-0500-4 (2000) USA

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NORTH STAR Tempest ratings distribution

(18 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(17%)
Good, but non-essential (61%)
Collectors/fans only (17%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

NORTH STAR Tempest reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lor68
3 stars Well You know I don't like such derivative bands (within the so called "Neo Prog" school) very much, nor I get crazy for this US traditional sound resembling the "early Genesis", which is not so different. Nevertheless -in comparison to their disappointing debut album "Triskelion" (according to my personal tastes naturally), I find interesting music features inside, even though these latter are not always well connected together: the output is a bit uneven, but their personal imprinting starts growing! Actually a few parts of a melodic guitar are memorable, but generally the melodic lines inside their songs are remarkable and this time their emulation of such English stereotypes is acceptable.

I don't want to remark a particular track, cause the compactness of the sound and of the compositions as well, don't disturb my relaxed lacks of a certain cohesion, but at last this album is worth checking out at least.

I prefer derivative works like those ones by Glass Hammer for example, anyway make your own choice and you could find some surprising elements also within this "Tempest"!!

Review by progrules
3 stars It took me quite a while to make up my mind about this album before I wanted to do the review. The reason is this is one of the most varied albums I own. The only common ground I discovered was the fact all tracks are instrumental. It's almost as if the band wants to show all sorts of possibillities for instrumental music. I'll sum it up for you:

1. Tempest. If North Star would have done all their songs this way I would have considered a four star rating probably but unfortunately this track is misleading. It's likely the best track according to my taste and shows pretty impressive guitarwork as main feature. 4*

2. Yes, I know is much more distorted with keys as dominant instrument. Weird tones and tunes and darkish in mood, quite original with windsounds towards the end. 3,25*

3. Bathroom by the Bongos starts with percussion sounds taken over by keys and guitar later on. Sort of improvisation this one, not really the best composition you will ever hear. 3*

4. Weakest track of the album (Bach's Prelude in C) showcasing tempo shifts and variation in detail on xylophone. Maybe a nice invention but a bit boring when you listen to it more often. 2,75*

5. Opus V is much more jazzy over sudden than previous songs. I always love the jazzy stuff so bring it on I'd say. It just proves my statement in first paragraph by now. But there's more to come. 3,5* for Opus V

6. Raudra sounds totally middle eastern with Joe Newman on sitar. Funny thing is when I checked out this track on my mp3 (along with other bands) I thought this was a typical Osiris (Bahrain neoband) track. But it appeared this 6th tune by North Star. Interesting. 3,75*

7. With "Getting guige wit it" North Star proves they can also handle the semi-classical material. Another really nice one but still I miss the true excellence. 3,25*

8. Plastic Bombastic seems to be a wind dominated song but since there are no winds in the line-up it's probably the keys imitating them. Not one of the best this one. 3 *

9. Goodbye Mom is second best and (coincidence or not) the second with prominent guitar. Just guess what my fav instrument is, hu ? Anyway another very good one. 3,75 *

10. Another one with wind imitation to round things off. Colossus simply proves to me this album just doesn't make the cut as far as I'm concerned. 3*

And the cut being the limit level between 3 and 4 stars that is. In the end the album lacks direction and this one proves that variation isn't a guarentee for succes. The final score is some 3,3 for me. I'm curious what other North Star albums sound like... I'll check them out one day.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Forth album named Tempest released in 2000 and issued at small label Space Monster Optional Entertainment is diffrent from previous Power and aswell from next Extremes. This is entirely instrumental album, this time the band optained for some experimental arrangements, no more symphonic parts a la Genesis, maybe only here and there, Tempest sounds very much diffrent then anything they done before, if they sicceded , well to me only partial. Less captivating then Power and Extremes, they toying with lots of sounds and all kinds of jazzy eclectic elements combined with xylophone and sitar, the vocalist Joe Newnam is responsable for sitar use in Raudra. If overall is ok, I don't like very much the guitar sound, is too muddy for my ears and doesn't have a proper direction, like some pieces aswell, to much of everything is here. No particular piece is better then other, all have same level, so from me only 3 stars this time, great cover art. I think this experimental album from them not quite succeded after all, I prefer their symphonic prog side much more, there they can offer the best they got like on their next album and by far their best Extremes.

Latest members reviews

2 stars This U.S. based band has been compared to GENESIS and this could very well be the case as my only experience with them started and ended with this release. Not that I didn't appreciate some of the music but I found it a bit disconnected and nomadish, meaning there was little continuity throug ... (read more)

Report this review (#5187) | Posted by Trafficdogg | Thursday, May 26, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Now..ive read (my ever reliable colleague) Greger R.´s reviews on North Stars previous albums..and this their 2000 outing......doesn´t get more than 3 stars either. North Star are obviosly a bunch of capable guys.....but..the thing is..they dont seem to get it this record is a bag ... (read more)

Report this review (#5185) | Posted by Tonny Larz | Tuesday, March 2, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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