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Tempestt: Bring Em On

Hailing from São Paulo, Brazil, started as a well recognized and talented cover band playing the likes of Kansas, Journey, Dream Theater, and Bon Jovi. Then Jeff Scott Soto asked them to be his backup band when he toured their country. (They will support him on his Spring European tour, also.) That is is fine company to keep. What's even better is that these guys are really good, talented musicians. 'Bring Em On' is their first project and they could not have not done better as an initial offering.

With one spin it's easy to recognize their influences. This is mostly melodic hard rock with enough intricacies and edges to venture into heavy metal, and even some prog rock. Overall, it simply powerful melodic rock. For me the compelling characteristics were two. First, singer BJ's vocals show great range; he can go from smooth and easy as on 'Healing' to strong and gruff for the most powerful rocker like the title track. Secondly, Gustavo Barros can play some mean guitar: his licks are enthusiastic and precise. Yet, as band, this crew simply performs well together; there is some expert skills here.

As for the songs, they're exciting through the whole work. It's hard to pick representative favorites, but I'll attempt to name a few. The title track 'Bring Em On' demonstrates Tempestt's shear hard rock/heavy metal power. 'Life's Alibi' shows marks of progressive rock. Jeff Scott Soto joins BJ on 'Insanity Desire' proving to be formidable duo. 'Enemy In You' again blends melodic rock with some clever prog rock touches. When you get to a song like 'Lose Control,' styles mix with such fluidity you become overwhelmed. And there is more: this work grips from the beginning and keeps you listening.

A final mention should be made of the European bonus track, a cover of Journey's 'Don't Stop Believin.' If there is one weak spot on the album, it is this very interesting interpretation of a this classic song. I stumbled on the almost jazz-like piano about two minutes into the song and its mildly slower pace. Not quite up to the power of Andre Matos' cover of 'Separate Ways' on his latest work, yet it is an impressive cover from a band who has played Journey in the early days of their career.

Tempestt's debut is powerful one; it comes on strong and does not quit. The compositions are diverse and expertly composed. This is one album you want to get your hands on and play again and again. Highly recommended!
  - Craig Hartranft

In Short

Tempestt packs a punch with great melodic hard rock that nears metal at times and adds progressive rock nuances in many songs. I was greatly impressed by this talented young band from Brazil. Great music!

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