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Progressive Rock CD Reviews



Review by Gary Hill

Included in the prog section because Tempest is a progressive band, and this band is a spin off of that one, this album is a Celtic work that is strong and quite traditional. Caliban (Lief Sorbye and Michael Mullen) are joined on this release by Robert Berry. Visit the Tempest website at

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review
The Open Door
This lively acoustic number (actually a medley of 3 tunes) has the feel of a song that would be played in an official function at an Old World royal court. This instrumental is rather bouncy and quite nice.
Beginning with nice picked acoustic guitar, the first verses are essentially just acoustic guitar and bass. After a time, violin comes in to round out the piece. This "song of romance and lost youth" is quite beautiful, and the violin certainly adds a lot of lushness to the latter parts of the piece.
The Journeyman
Basically a Celtic folk standard type of piece. The music here is a traditional arrangement, while the lyrics are an original composition by Sorbye.
Tipsy Sailor
This one, in keeping with the title, almost seems to start off in a sea chantey sort of mode. The tune builds from there, running on the original foundation, but building in intensity. At this point it is a fairly intricate, quite inspired and high-energy number. This one encompasses many interesting textures and modes, as it is actually a medley of four traditional reels. This is a captivating instrumental piece.
Oh No
Oh No is a fairly standard Celtic track with a very traditional feel to it.
Jeg Lagde Meg Sa Silde
This piece has a very nice texture and is quite a traditional Celtic number.
The Pony Set
After an extended intro which is an unaccompanied violin solo, guitar joins in. This is a playfully high spirited composition (actually a medley of four traditional Irish jigs) with inspired instrumental work. It is a very strong instrumental number with a lot of drama and contrast.
Bold John Barleycorn
Another traditional sounding folk song, this is a good piece.
Major Malley
Major Malley is an energetic folk arrangement of two traditional Scottish songs.
What Put The Blood?
"An old murder ballad from the British Isles", this is a traditional accapella track.
Company of Wolves
After a nice guitar and violin intro, the piece picks up in solid form. This is a nice Celtic instrumental piece and closes out the album in a good Celtic vein. The number includes many directional changes, as it is actually a medley of five compositions.
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