Just as the excellent Australian Reapers Riddle is putting Perth on the map in the sight of a growing legion of fans we find another emerging force in the sinew powered shape of Tempest Rising. Bringing a refreshing fusion of many distinct metal flavours, the quintet make their debut with the Calm Before The Storm EP and a quite formidable attention grabbing slab of power it is too.
Formed in 2012 with influences coming from the likes of Slayer, Metallica, Exit Ten, Disturbed, Karnivool, and Lamb of God, the band has forged a strong status within the underground metal scene at home, drawing acclaim and sparking up an ardour driven fan base at the same time. Consisting of vocalist Vin Trikeriotis, guitarists James Ward-Armstrong and Sheldon Blackwell, bassist Jarrad Cracknell, and drummer Bill Mann, Tempest Rising now set their sights on a wider field of awareness with Calm Before The Storm the hopeful key. Listening to the muscular and fiery release you would not bet against it opening up a new wealth of attention even if at times it maybe lacks enough uniqueness to set it strikingly apart from the constant wave of bands clamouring for the same focus, but with a furnace of passion and openly strong craft to its body it will certainly make a loud enough noise to lure many more into its intensive arms.
My Extascy opens up the release and is easily the best track on the EP, though admittedly seriously challenged by later songs. With a blaze of guitar scorching the ear to herald the entrance of vocalist Trikeriotis who from his first breath and the soon to join thumping drums of Mann, shows strong diversity and strength to delivery and voice which carries right through the whole of Calm Before The Storm . With every sinew making its impact the track explodes with a bruising energy and carnivorous ferocity framed by the now towering rhythms and predacious riffing. It is a furnace of intensity and thrills which eat the passions alive before slipping into a lighter classic and alternative metal flame which eases the intimidation before a return of the flavoursome assault. It is a compelling confrontation and welcome to a band that arguably is offering little new but delivering what it exists in a fresh and inventive way.
The only niggle with the song and EP as a whole is the less than satisfactory and complimentary production which blunts some of the really potent skill and sound of the band, and though the vocals generally seem to escape its touch at times they too get submerged in the unsatisfying production approach. The fact that the song still impresses so much is all down to the band and its quality which is just as striking across the other songs starting with The Descent. The song is less rapacious than its predecessor but just as hungry and inventive and actually has moments where Tempest Rising sound like the previously mention Reapers Riddle, but then with a more purposeful metal structure they also discover a distinct lustful sound wholly theirs. With the guitars carving out another fine design of sonic aggravation and the vocals continuing to ooze strength and passion, the track presses the first for that best of accolade from start to finish whilst lighting a fresh helping of greed for their sound.
Hollow Dream is a ballad which merges keys and acoustic guitar for an emotive hue filled enterprise whilst Trikeriotis shows his slow narrative telling is as powerful as his raging stances. It is a more than decent song though lacking the temptation and hook of the previous tracks in person and in staying as a lingering presence. It does show the depths of the band though and how they have much more to show ahead which is extremely promising. It is followed by the returning rabidity of the band’s sound in No Remorse, a track which again savages the senses as it simultaneously treats them to more classically toned metal. Probably it suffers most of all from the production, the guitars and drums finding their energy and power dissipated by the coarse handling of their potency, but it still makes for an exciting end to an impressive and enjoyable release.
That the Calm Before The Storm EP rises above its main obstacle is more than creditable and shows the strength and promise of Tempest Rising, a power sure to earn the band a greater waiting hunger from around the world for their currently being recorded debut album.
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