It’s not often we get to delve into the world of thrash metal at UK Scumscene so I revelled at the opportunity to review Tempestora’s ‘The Battle Begins’ which takes the modern thrash archetype made famous by bands like Evile and mashes it together with melo-death in the style of later Carcass and even manages to add speed metal elements that remind us of Blind Guardian songs like ‘A Voice in the Dark’. ‘The Battle Begins’ might be a thrash record but it’s taking a fair share of its influences from outside the thrash world and for that reason alone it makes for an incredibly engaging listen.
Album opener ‘Relentless’ manages to showcase all the aforementioned stylistic choices in its four and a half minutes and it’s a wonderfully engaging listen. Vocalist and bassist Sam Shiers screams his way through a barrage of speed metal riffing from guitarist Jason Deakins, while drummer Alex Hawes absolutely abuses his bass drum with an impressive display of Dave Lombardo-esque double-bass drumming. When the song brings it’s wonderfully indulgent breakdown into effect you then begin to get a taste of the melodic death metal influences the band are channelling. There is a definite Carcass stamp on the lead guitar work which adds some seriously memorable hooks to the band’s sound; a definite plus for a band with exclusively harsh vocals.
Speaking of lead guitar, Deakins gets to showcase some incredibly impressive solos like the one on ‘A New Age Dawns’. Deakins is an absolute godsend and a supremely talented guitarist who deals in technicality and melody with finesse. The performances of this one man on ‘The Battle Begins’ is award-worthy and I really hope that the man begins to get the attention he deserves.
The real highlight of the record comes in the form of ‘Halls of the Slain’ which is hugely memorable for its amazing guitar work. The band find themselves in Slayer territory and put together a series of the best riffs put to record and add another amazing Deakins solo which screams, “KIRK HAMMETT!” Metal-heads are really in for a treat when this six minute, thrash behemoth rears its head. Mark my words; there will be no heads left to bang by the end of it.
We haven’t even had a chance to mention the beautiful production work which compliments Tempestora’s accuracy and aggression perfectly. There is no doubt the band are extremely tight musicians and the clarity of the production work heightens this element perfectly. A special mention has to be given to to Hawes’ drumming which has been given a wonderfully raw mix which allows the listener to hear every snare, tom and bass-drum thump but without drowning out the cymbals which is often the case in metal production of this type. Hats off to the band and Craig Daws who have found an amazing balance of clarity and grit. How often do you get to say that about a production job?
Tempestora are an extremely exciting young thrash band who now have an album worthy of their talents. ‘The Battle Begins’ is an undeniable master-work of thrash metal that deserves so much more attention. Tempestora have managed to make an album drenched in extreme metal influences and it sounds brilliantly cohesive with the whole record delivered via the band’s wonderfully tight song-writing. Just get this album and tell all your friends. Tempestora might be the next great hope for British metal and I can’t wait to see this band get the opportunity to showcase their talent on a big stage. They truly deserve it.
Watch Tempestora’s ‘A New Age Dawns’ music video but BE WARNED there is a lot of flashing imagery.
Tempestora’s ‘The Battle Begins’ is available to buy now from Casket Records.