Recording information: Soundtek Studios, Campbell, CA (06/1998-07/1998).
Groups that attempt Celtic folk-rock fusion generally go at it from one of two angles: they either take the punk rock approach (the Pogues, Black 47, the Oyster Band, etc.) or the prog-rock approach (Jethro Tull, Wolfstone, etc.). Tempest takes the latter, and the result, if mixed, is generally rewarding. For this ten-year retrospective, the band rearranged and re-recorded some of their fans' favorite songs, which include some great instrumentals ("Milligan's Fancy," "The Sleeping Highlander") and a bunch of fair-to-very-good traditional and original numbers. "You Jacobites By Name" is a stirring old Scottish song lamenting the havoc and bloodshed wreaked by the Jacobite Rebellion; "Queen of Argyll" is a love song written by Silly Wizard alumnus Andy Stewart, and "Hal-AnTow" deals with pagan holidays and Robin Hood, believe it or not. Everything is underpinned with crunchy guitars and aggressive rock arrangements, and it all sounds great except for one or two unnecessarily long solos and Lief Sorbye's rather weak singing (his mandolin playing is excellent, though). ~ Rick Anderson
Dirty Linen (6-7/99, p.61) - "...an essential purchase for devotees and a good starting place for neophytes..."