TEMPEST: Self-titled: LP

When I was about sixteen I developed this fascination with grind and metal records that didn’t indicate the correct speed on the label that, upon listening, could really go either way (or in some cases had one speed listed that you swore was wrong). Nowadays things are different because we’re able to check pretty much any record on the internet to ensure we’re listening to it the way the band recorded it, but there’s something fun about that doubt in finding something so extreme that you aren’t even sure you can comprehend what is going on, so you keep hitting the knob on your turntable back and forth to make sense of it. Anyway, I listened to half of this record at 45 RPM before deciding maybe it was supposed to be played at 33. It’s good at both speeds, but at 45 it’s an erratic, blackened screamo mess that falls somewhere between Orchid and Spazz. At 33 it’s a heavy dirge that is still adequately fast but sounds much more cold and insular. Both versions have their own merits, but listening at 33 takes much more patience and commands more of your attention, which I imagine is what the band had in mind. For fans of: heavy, plodding, methodical hardcore-tinged metal like early Thou. –Ian Wise (IFB, ifbrecords.com)