Frank reviews the new offering by Glasgow thrashers TEMPERED and catches up with Steve Beck for a quick Q&A…
Glasgow based five piece TEMPERED return after a rough couple of years with a three track E.P. “Biowaste” that is soaked in the many influences the band obviously has.
A couple of line up changes and a global pandemic soon after their first release, the “Greenwashed” E.P. put the band on the back foot, and as they quoted “the band nearly fell apart”
The opening track “Excess” is a minute and a half instrumental, albeit with a death metal growl thrown in for good measure from new recruit Craig Hewett putting his first vocal contribution to the recording process. This is a straight up Slayer worship track, if you are a thrash metal fan, you will love it, shame it’s not a longer track.
The title track “Biowaste” wastes no time in showcasing what the band is all about, the fast powerful technical rhythm guitar of Steven Beck stands out here. The lead work of Chris Rankin blends effortlessly into the mix. The bass work is expertly performed by a recent addition Sam Hart who plays like he has been part of the band for years. Long time sticks man David Bridges relentlessly beats the skins on his kit without missing a beat. Then we have the barking vocals, spitting out the lyrics in a style that has changed the dynamics of the band slightly, from their previous release. Previous singer Aaron Mcphail provides guest vocals during the second half of the track. The change of vocal style mid-song is something that works really well, a bit reminiscent of Chuck Billy and Zetro on their Dublin Death Patrol records.
The final tack on the E.P. the eloquently named Scum Vortex shows the versatility of the band by changing style slightly. There is definitely a punkish attitude on the track. Thrash metal isn’t one dimensional and TEMPERED are prepared to use as many of their influences as they can while putting their own stamp on it, this can be a difficult task, but from what I have heard so far they are making it look easy.
The overall production is excellent, each instrument has been allowed to have equal measure in the overall effect of the finished product. This is a very professional and polished release albeit a Three track E.P., I’m expecting and looking forward to a lot more from north of the border very soon.
Frank managed to have a catch up with Steven Beck to discuss the E.P. and some future plans.
Hi Steven, I have really enjoyed listening to the new E.P.” Biowaste” over the last few days, your recent facebook announcement describes the downs and even more downs the band have endured over the last couple of years, is the aggressive nature of the tracks a reflection of what life has thrown at you recently?
Hi Frank, Glad to hear you enjoyed it!
We put all our cards on the table on that post announcing our new tape. The past couple of years has been quite a trying time, and with the release of this set of songs we feel like it’s the end of that time and the start of a new one – definitely a better one!
The music has always been aggressive. We’re a pretty angry bunch, and there’s plenty to be angry at in this world. Our art will always reflect our feelings.
Is the reason there are only three tracks this time, as opposed to the six on your previous release “Greenwashed” due to wanting to save material for a full length release? If so have you got a time scale for future studio time?
We have new material ready to be recorded, and will hopefully get back in the recording studio in the first quarter of 2023. The reason behind releasing these 3 songs together is because they were almost finished at the time when lockdown came around, so they represent a different time for the band than the new music we’ve been writing since we were able to get back into rehearsals after the pandemic. We weren’t one of those bands who worked on stuff through lockdown, we just couldn’t be arsed TBH.
Craig sounds great on the new tracks, a move away from Aarons’s sound, was this planned? He definitely puts his own mark on the new material, but getting him on board full-time wasn’t as straightforward as you would have liked.
We didn’t want someone to come in and just copy what Aaron was doing. Craig had sent us some demos when he enquired about coming in to try out, and we liked them a lot. He definitely brings a more hardcore vibe, which is what we had figured would work best vocal-wise going forward anyway.
It wasn’t straightforward with Craig, no. He comes from Dublin, and there was a point where he thought he would have to move home again so he didn’t want to mess us around and left the band. Fortunately, everything worked out for him so he came back soon after. He had us sweating for a bit!
You also had to replace Andy on bass with Sam, was that a more straight forward recruitment?
Yeah that was an easy one. We were gutted when Andy left the band, but we got Sam in pretty much immediately due to a recommendation from our CST bros Disposable. Sam is cool, he’s part of the furniture now.
Were the songs written during the covid lockdown or were they put together after the forced hiatus?
As mentioned previously, the bulk of the songs were written pre-covid, and we put some finishing touches to them when we got back to practice post-covid. Just playing them up to speed again took us a wee while. We had a good bit of rust to shake off.
Did you use the same studio and producer that you had on the Greenwashed release?
We recorded in the same place again, yes. Although The Audio Lounge has had a massive equipment overhaul since the first time and we also recorded in a different room, so it pretty much was a different studio. Yorgo doesn’t actually work there anymore, so one of the other guys Sean Devenny engineered this one for us. He’s a good lad and we are happy with the results he got. FULL YAS!
So you have been busy on the live circuit over the last few months, have you any plans to get around the UK in the near future?
It’s been great getting back to playing gigs, seeing mates and sharing the stage with other bands we like in the scene. We opened for Skeletal Remains, and also opened for Enforced which was pure quality. We’ll be aiming to get around a bit more next year. I believe we are planning to hit Newcastle very soon, and will probably make a weekend of it and play Leeds too. If anyone wants to book us, we’ll come and play – so book us! Shitebag if ye don’t.
“Biowaste” will be released on Friday November 4th (Bandcamp Friday), available on cassette through Macho Records.