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Live From Soundtek Studios - The Lockdown Sessions

Review by Gary Hill

The music here was recording during virtual live performances in 2020 when the pandemic had much of the world locked down. The songs here find Tempest in fine form, delivering live (sans audience) performances of a number of great pieces of music. For those unfamiliar, Tempest creates a form of Celtic-based rock that often lands under progressive rock, and they are generally considered a prog band. I would say that a good description would be a more Celtic version of Jethro Tull, but that's only so accurate. Tempest have a sound all their own. I think this would make a great introduction to their sound because it covers quite a bit of their familiar territory and the performances are really strong.

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Track by Track Review
Nine Points Of Roguery
This works out as a melodic rocker and gradually turns more Celtic. Then it fires out into a fast-paced movement from there. I love the tasty guitar solo and its soaring vibe.
Byker Hill

This screaming hard rocker gets such a great performance here. The Celtic edges are tempered with stomping jamming and catchy hooks.

Captain Morgan
An up-pirate tune, this is so much fun.
Lines of melody dance around one another as this energetic Celtic rocking romp gets underway. This instrumental is so much fun.
Queen Of Argyll
The proggy angles are on display at the start of this tune. The track is another classy Celtic rocker with a lot of style. The instrumental section on this has both scorching hot guitar work and similarly incendiary violin (or should I say "fiddle?").
Green Grow The Rashes
Bouncy Celtic rock is the concept here. This is a bit less fiery than the previous tune, but it's no less charming. The guitar soloing is classy, and some of the guitar backdrop on this has a bit of a reggae angle.
The Moving-On Song
I really love this song. It's all about the groove and the hooks. It's a very fun tune.
Black Eddy
The proggier concepts come in with this number. This works into other world music as it continues, at times feeling very Klesmer-like. There is a quick "hey," but otherwise this is an instrumental.
Bonden Og KrÄka (The Crow)
Coming in with just vocals and percussion, this works out in style from there. The lyrics to this tune are in Norwegian. The number gets into some cool mainstream rock zones for a while in a mid-track instrumental break. This is another classy and entertaining Tempest tune.
Cat In The Corner
There is some slower, almost bluesy rocking sound at times on this thing. Of course, it still has a Celtic angle. It twists out to a fast-paced rocker for the instrumental section that takes over after the mid-point of the tune. This tears out into a killer hard rocking jam further down the road that is on fire.
Buffalo Jump
I've always loved this song. It has a great energy and groove to it. It's proggy and crunchy. The fierce rocking instrumental movement is so strong.
Eppy Moray
Here we get another growing and dynamic Celtic rocker. This works through a number of changes and has a particularly tasty guitar solo built into it.
Wizard's Walk
Another energized tune, this is one that shows off the prog tendencies more than some of the others do. This instrumental gets into some pretty intriguing zones. Harmonica lends a bluesy edge later in the track for a time. We get some funky bass as that is going on. Then it wanders into some real psychedelic territory from there.
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