The first time Tempest came through town, I missed them and I kept hearing talk of this amazing band from Vancouver who absolutely blew everyone away. Luck would have it, while grabbing a slice of pizza with some friends one night, we ran into the guitarist of Tempest (a former Edmontonian) and he had a handful of demo tapes on him, so I coughed up the $5 despite not having a working tape deck. Money well spent (when I finally got to listen to it months later). When they played in Edmonton with Ghostlimb a few months ago, again, they blew everyone in the tiny hall away, despite being the opening act for a bigger name touring hardcore band.
I wish I knew more about the style of hardcore they play so I had a bit more frame of reference for it. All I know is Tempest plays fast, heavy and loud metal tinged hardcore. While stylistically dissimilar, listening to Passages conjures up the same feelings that City of Caterpillar's self titled does. Claustrophobic, exhausting, and terrifying. Lyrically, vocalist Roger tackles issues like animal rights, overpopulation, religion, and like the music, is pretty heavy and bleak stuff. There is a bit of emo vibe to Tempest that references some of the genres heavier and more chaotic bands like Orchid, Mohinder or Union of Uranus. The last 2 minutes of Passages is some of the best hardcore I've heard in a long, long time and gives me chills every single time I hear it. Amazing use of a soundclip.
Once thing I really appreciate about this band is the attention they pay to their lyrics, even going as far as to include a sort of mini zine in the sleeve. Each song's lyrics are included and explained. It's something that can be misconstrued as overly pretentious or preachy, but I think it's an important part of hardcore and something I've always felt separated this style of music from the rest of the BS released to the general population. Passion, consciousness, and pain is what defines this genre, and what keeps me coming back for more. "We are not machines, we are not cattle"
Download this from the band's Bandcamp.