Following Colosseum's demise after their US tour in 1971, drummer Jon Hiseman retained bassist Mark Clarke for his next project: the considerably hard-rocking Tempest. With Paul Williams providing lead vocals, the ace in the hole was guitarist Allan Holdsworth. He had previously played in 'Igginbottom, a band that recorded an obscure (and unexciting) album for Deram Records in 1969, and had just played on Ian Carr's Belladonna album. Their self-titled debut, Tempest, opens with "Gorgon," revealing the band's heavy mix of blues and rock. Williams has a strong but not necessarily original voice: The track owes more than a passing reference to Jimi Hendrix (both guitar and voice). However, Holdsworth's "Up and On" is more interesting, allowing the guitarist's distinctive technique to shine. Clarke handles all of the vocals for his "Grey and Black," with Williams switching to keyboards. "Strangeher" is a straight-up swinger, with some impressive guitar from Holdsworth; but the album's closing number, "Upon Tomorrow," is the standout. Written with Clem Clempson, the angle is much more progressive. Clarke and Hiseman are a powerful rhythm section; but unfortunately, the material doesn't always live up to their promise. Not to be missed, however, is a session for BBC Radio 1's Pop Spectacular from June 1973; it's a legato slugfest between Holdsworth and second guitarist Ollie Halsall, who joined Tempest just days before! Reduced to a trio, Hiseman, Clarke and Halsall would perform at 1973's Reading festival, opening for Genesis. Holdsworth would next join drummer Tony Williams—first for the unreleased Wildlife recordings (also with Jack Bruce), and then on to the New Lifetime proper in 1975 for a pair of fusion albums.
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Taken from The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock, here is an Album of the Week to enjoy and discuss.
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"Always ready with the ray of sunshine"