|Tempestora - 'The Battle Begins' (Self-Released)|
|Written by Mark Ashby|
|Wednesday, 13 June 2012 04:01|
Young Gloucester trio Tempestora have been whipping up fair a storm over the past few years - first attracting Uber Rock's attention back in 2010 with their self-titled and self-released debut EP and their blistering live performances. Now, they re-enter the metal fray with this debut full-lengther, also self-released - although hopefully that will change very quickly, as the record industry moguls are bound to start noticing them very soon, if the strength of this opus is anything to judge by...
Opener 'Relentless' lives up to its title, kicking proceedings off in pretty intense style, driven along by the absolutely stunning performance of drummer Alex Hawes: indeed, young Hawes' performance is the most impressive aspect of this eight track album - his basic rhythm work is nigh on perfect, his fills superbly timed and placed and his use of triggers and (very occasional) blastbeats so restrained that they are brutally effective when used.
That's not to detract from the performances of the other two band members, of course. Bassist Sam Shiers complements Hawes' rhythm keeping extremely well, and the, quite frankly awesome guitar work of Jason Deakins, (although sometimes lost in the mix such as in large portions of 'Relentless' and at the beginning of 'A New Age Dawns') is equally impressive and powerful, with some huge riffs ('Halls Of The Slain' and the crushing 'Too Blind To See' - the third of three tracks from 2010's debut EP - stand out in this regard) and some excellent solos (the aforesaid 'A New Age Dawns', 'Conquering The Masses' and 'Too Blind...'). Frontman Shiers' vocals also fit perfectly into the musical mix (even if the production sometimes pushes him too far forward, at the expense of the guitars), and he strikes the right balance between aggression, intensity, melody and passion - something characteristic of the songs themselves, as the band aren't afraid to ease back slightly on the throttle (such as on the mid sections of 'A New Age...' and 'Conquering ...', the brooding opener to the searing 'Sanity Deprived' or the massive closing track 'A Bloodline Broken', which itself is one of the best metal tunes this critic has heard in 2012).
At first glance, it would be very easy to dismiss Tempestora as yet another young band jumping on the dreaded metalcore bandwagon, and yes the album does stray towards melodic deathcore in some places, but there is so much more to it than that: with large chunks of good old fashioned thrash, and truckloads of groove, lyrical themes closer to that employed by the exponents of battle metal, and performances and songwriting which are certainly head and shoulders above those of the vast majority of so-called 'scene' bands, this threesome (and we do love threesomes!) sit more comfortably alongside the likes of Furyon, Huron and Primitai in leading the revival of British metal.
This is a highly impressive statement of intent and will appeal to fans of the likes of Pantera and Machine Head as much as to those of Bring Me The Horizon et al. The battle has begun and blood will be shed...