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Tempest Balance album cover
3.54 | 14 ratings | 2 reviews | 14% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Captain Ward (3:34)
2. Dancing Girl (3:50)
3. Dance of the Sand Witches (4:19)
4. Iron Lady (4:39)
5. Two Sisters (5:26)
6. Wicked Spring (3:49)
7. Old Man Flint (3:28)
8. Villemann (4:35)
9. Battle Mountain Breakdown (2:53)
10. The Journeyman (5:35)
11. Between Us (4:22)
12. Royal Oak (4:00)

Total Time 50:30

Line-up / Musicians

- Lief Sorbye / lead vocals, acoustic & electric mandolins, octave mandola, bodhrán, harmonica
- Todd Evans / electric & acoustic guitars, harmony vocals
- Jim "Hurricane" Hurley / fiddle
- William Maxwell / fretless & fretted basses, bass pedals, keyboards
- Adolfo Lazo / drums

- Robert Berry / B3 Hammond organ, synthesizer, harmony vocals, producer

Note: The actual instrumentation could not be fully confirmed at this moment

Releases information

CD Magna Carta ‎- MAX-9053-2 (2001, US)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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TEMPEST Balance ratings distribution

(14 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TEMPEST Balance reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Muzikman
3 stars Tempest has a new release; it's a Balance of the old and new. With modern sounds of progressive rock and traditional Celtic folk music, Tempest offers a wee bit of the past, and a plentiful helping of the new. It's all done Celtic style.

With the sweeping success of the stage play Riverdance, world-folk music became more acceptable, and popular. Groups like Tempest are now in perfect position to seize the moment. This group has been around for several years, and their music has been critically acclaimed, although not on large scale. It has, nevertheless, been recognized for its value and content. Perhaps now, after getting a few albums (3) under their belts with the progressive rock label Magna Carta, the name Tempest will become more recognizable on a world level, like they so richly deserve.

I could really see a balance between the old and the new on this CD, not specifically with genres, with several different aspects of the musical universe. I could see that by allowing themselves to take off on a musical departure, forgetting about the tale to tell, letting everyone in the group go on cruise control, and giving their astute musicianship a chance to shine, proved to be really good for the band. Some of the instrumentals are the result of this musical freedom. "Battle Mountain Breakdown" and "Royal Oak" (which is a medley of jigs) are real instrumental charms.

They really show all of their colors and hues as a complete group, with a horn-of-plenty made up of song and dance, to offer up the faithful. A live performance by this group must be a sight to behold. I think they have found the pot o' gold at the end of the rainbow. Get ready, because the journey has just started, and there are many more rainbows to be discovered. They stand as one with their music and heritage. They have readily established themselves as storytellers and prog rock-world music maestros. St. Patrick is smiling upon these lads. I just know it.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars The perfect balance!

Balance is Tempest's fifth studio album since their inception in the 80's. On their previous album, The Gravel Walk, they reverted to a more classic electrified Folk, focusing too heavily on traditional material and leaving much of the Prog and Hard Rock ambitions that were so apparent on the Turn Of The Wheel album behind. With Balance they are back on track and in line with the title of the album, there is indeed a very appealing balance here between traditional and original material, between acoustic and electric instruments, between instrumental and vocal material and between the Rock and Celtic Folk elements of their sound. The music has a harder edge than on any other Tempest album; this music really rocks! The guitar work by new member Todd Evans is impressive. Particularly on the two exceptional instrumentals Dance Of The Sand Witches and Battle Mountain Breakdown that are credited to Evans. The latter being something of a Neo-Classical Metal piece!

While the band has been through many line-up changes, the presence of Norwegian-born multi-instrumentalist and lead vocalist Lief Sorbye is what carries the Tempest sound. He is joined here by the aforementioned Evans on lead guitar, Adolfo Lazo on drums, William Maxwell on bass and Jim "Hurricane" Hurley on fiddle. Robert Barry is once again on the keyboards which are mainly Hammond organ and occasional and rather sparse synthesisers. Lief Sorbye himself plays mandolin, mandola, bodhran and harmonica. All involved are excellent musicians!

The album opens with a traditional number called Captain Ward which is one of four traditionals on Balance. The Fairport Convention similarities are very strong here and Sorbye's voice even reminds much of that of Simon Nicol of that band. But Tempest is more progressive and rocks harder compared to Fairport Convention and other classic British Folk Rock bands. Sorbye writes or co-writes about half of the songs here. A trademark of the band is to include one traditional Scandinavian Folk number sung in (some old variant of?) Norwegian! This album in no exception to that and this time is it a number called Villemann. It is hard to point towards stand out tracks on this album as everything is equally exciting. There is so much energy and punch in this music!

Prog fans will probably notice that the songs are shorter this time, no track is over six minutes long. But this should not deter anyone from checking this out. But don't expect too much, however. Tempest's music is still primarily electrified Folk with an edge and some distinct progressive leanings. Many fans of progressive Rock might be more satisfied starting with the brilliant Turn Of The Wheel, but Balance is really great too and both are excellent additions to any Prog collection.

Highly recommended!

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