Tempest Rising: Calm Before the Storm

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Tempest Rising: Calm Before the Storm
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Tempest Rising: Calm Before the Storm
Alternative Metal, Metalcore
Self-release
February 1st, 2013
Release length: 17:03
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Tempest Rising was born in Westen Australia just last year. This group pulls together a mixture of Alternative Metal, Thrash Metal, and Nu-Metal according to the press release, but aren’t afraid to throw a little Metalcore in the mix as well. Earlier this year, they went into the studio to lay down four songs that would make up their début self-released EP, Calm Before the Storm. With their first full-length slated to be released later this year, does this little introduction work to push the band’s name and sound forward in a positive manne, or is it enough to make you lose interest all together?

One thing is for certain, this EP really could have had a better audio quality. While not impossible to listen to, the guitars and bass find a great deal of static to them that sounds more like something from a cheap studio, or poor sound engineering on the levels. The drums sound decent for the most part, but have some heavy washout on the cymbals, and the vocals are pretty crisp, but drowned out by the louder guitars. This really hurts some of the richer or heavily melodic tracks like “The Descent.” That static, as well as volume level, simply becomes obnoxious to deal with, which is sad since this is as a very well done song. The hooks really do grab the listener and match the slightly higher pitched clean singing quite well. When the music does gain some edge, such as towards the end with a simple breakdown, the static does die a bit, and there is a genuine, though not that powerful commanding performance that slips through with brief shouting to wrap things up.

“No Remorse” finds plenty of hooks at work as well, and the same issues occur. The main verses sound more like something In Flames would be responsible for, and the raspier vocal approach works well, shifting to clean singing for the more Alternative chorus. There also is a spoken word section when the pace slows down prior to a breakdown. This one does include some rapping in the main verses, which isn’t too bad given the harsher vocal approach, unlike “My Extascy” which belts it all out like the long-lost Rap-Metal phase of the once anointed “Nu-Metal” style. The vocals range from hushed higher pitched harmonies to harsher shouting reminiscent of early Ill Nino, all dropped for another catchy melodic chorus. Then there’s “Hollow Dreams,” which is a slower acoustic piece finds some symphonic keyboards with softer vocals at a lower tone. The music itself is pretty simple, but it conveys a depressing emotion quite well. Things do shift slightly at the end when the drumming shifts to a Civil War-esque march to war, but doesn’t really stray from the environment established. This should have been the final track, as it makes a better conclusion than “No Remorse.”

While Calm Before the Storm isn’t a bad EP at all, it has a lot working against it. First of all, the audio on this is garbage. The static and washout on everything but the vocals, a trait common among producers who are also vocalists, is simply obnoxious and really hard to look past, especially when the instruments really put out a solid, enthusiastic performance you want to hear. Aside that, the insane amount of genres included on these four songs make it very inconsistent, pulling you from one polar opposite to the next. But, if you take each track as it’s own entity, the songs themselves are all solid and show a band with a great amount of dexterity and talent. Calm Before the Storm is an EP you’re going to really want to like, but chances are high you simply won’t be able to. Hopefully Tempest Rising‘s upcoming full-length finds the band making one consistant offering they can change with each next album for the sake of consistancy, and a better studio, producer, engineer, who or whatever is to blame for the wretched audio, as their music really does deserve a lot better than this.

01. My Extascy – 3:19
02. The Descent – 3:45
03. Hollow Dreams – 5:29
04. No Remorse – 4:31
Initial Pressing Score: 6/10

Tempest Rising
Tempest Rising

Digital review copy of this release provided by Killshot PR.