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Tempest

Another Dawn

Review by Gary Hill

Tempest has always been a cool band, but it seems that the last few releases they’ve done, they’ve just been on fire. This new album is no exception. There’s just something really gelling these days in terms of their merging of Celtic music and progressive rock. Those who have enjoyed their albums in the past are sure to love this one. If you’ve never checked them out before, this would be a great introduction.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Let's Live For Today

I’ve always loved this song in every format (although, I think I prefer the Lords of the New Church version). The Tempest rendition works quite well. It seems to maintain a good balance between Celtic elements and retro rock of the original and some progressive rock. There’s a killer classic rock guitar solo on this piece.

Verses of Grace
Parts of this piece are balladic. Still, there is a hard rock texture to a lot of it. This piece is more purely progressive rock oriented than the opener. Of course, the Celtic element is ever-present throughout the CD, and this one is no exception to that. There is some exceptional instrumental interplay at many points here.
The New Squire
This instrumental is a real Celtic prog workout. It has a lot of varied structures and sections and is just plain cool. 
Great Departure
One of the most dynamic and prog cuts on show here, this one starts with a fairly mellow approach and grows out from there. It stays true to its Celtic roots while never losing sight of progressive rock sensibilities. 
Never Tire of the Road
This is more of a Celtic folk cut. In fact, I’m reminded quite a bit of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan at times here. This probably doesn’t really qualify as progressive rock, but it definitely fits into the category of great music. 
Jomfru
The first half of this is more pure Celtic in terms of its arrangement and delivery. They take it out into an instrumental segment later that’s definitely progressive rock (although laced with psychedelia and world music) that section goes through a number of changes and alterations and is quite powerful. That segment is also one of the most purely progressive rock oriented ones on the album. 
Dagda's Harp
The first few minutes of this are in the form of an especially intricate and beautiful acoustic guitar solo that’s decidedly progressive rock oriented (reminding me at times of Steve Howe and at others of early Genesis). From there we are taken out into an acoustically driven Celtic-oriented folk ballad type of number. There are still progressive rock elements to that part of the track, but they take the back seat.
The Moving-on Song
This starts off in acoustic modes, but switches to more rocking prog after a short time. It’s a good tune, but not all that special. It’s not that it’s lacking, but rather that the material leading up to it was just so good. 
Black Jack Davy
A harder rocking Celtic jam, parts of this remind me a lot of 1980’s Jethro Tull. It’s a killer track.
High Rise
A real powerhouse, this instrumental does a great job of combining progressive rock with Celtic elements into a jam that just plain works. It’s dynamic and fun. It’s a great way to end it in style.
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