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National Weather Service - North Sea Station 7-20 - This is Not a Test:

light up the sky the tempest erupting and everything else will be washed away
collect up all your earthly possessions the rest of the world has been reclaimed
the waves will eclipse the tallest buildings everything in its path will surely drown
the world will descend to a watery graveyard its time to head to higher ground

we've modernized our infrastructure
at the expense of our own resource
evoking the wrath of mother nature
now she's come back to reclaim it all
look the sky the tempest is spinning
look the sea the surge will flow
look to the earth the tremors are rumbling
look out humans we're on our own


category 5's are churning up a path of destruction on the gulf stream
F5 tornados are attacking our cities til there's nothing left of society
the oceans temperatures are rising making super-cell hurricanes
causing overwhelming destruction to the point that they've begun to annihilate


we've modernized our infrastructure
at the expense of our own resource
evoking the wrath of mother nature
now she's come back to reclaim it all
look the sky the tempest is spinning
look the sea the surge will flow
look to the earth the tremors are rumbling
look out humans we're on our own


mother nature has come to purge us removing the virus to which she gave birth
putting an end to human existence and restoring the balance to planet earth



Music & Lyrics by Trewavas Blackwood Armstrong


The gentle and heartwarming "A Cold Gray Morning" and the stark disturbing near silence of "Into The Dead Calm" are suddenly awoken as "The Tempest" rises up from Pete's dark ominous synth pads creating a template with which the album suddenly comes alive. Henry Rogers' high hats and Eric Blackwood's alarming lead guitar and Rick Armstrong's overlays alert you that things are about to change. The "disturbance beyond the dead calm" is rapidly approaching and finally arrives on shore with a massive and infectious guitar vamp that takes you from the calm of the ocean to the point where you are ready to jump out of your seats.
The Tempest has arrived.

The song actually reads lyrically like a "Special Weather Warning" which is why the artwork on the vinyl starts the lyrics with ... National Weather Service - North Sea Station 7-20 - This is Not a Test:  That "Warning Message" is actually a "tie in" to the song Threnody of "The Disturbance Fields Part II" (Due in late 2020 - Early 2021) ... (the 23 minute finale of Edison's Children's next "5th album" was originally on intended to be on The Disturbance Fields but was cut because it had simply grown too long ... much in the same way Silhouette was cut from "In The Last Waking Moments" for growing to 67 minutes long... and instead became the focal point of The Final Breath Before November)

light up the sky the tempest erupting and everything else will be washed away
collect up all your earthly possessions the rest of the world has been reclaimed
the waves will eclipse the tallest buildings everything in its path will surely drown
the world will descend to a watery graveyard its time to head to higher ground.


For one of the most up-beat songs Edison's Children has ever written... it's lyrics couldn't be any darker. The Tempest is here to take out everyone... not just the bad ... but all of human nature and start over again. What lies ahead for future life on this earth is uncertain. We got this way thanks to corporate greed ... companies polluting the oceans to save a few dollars instead of disposing of chemical waste properly, governments turning a blind eye so that they could get money towards re-election. This has a direct correlation to rising ocean temperatures which have caused devastating storms that have annihilated swaths of the earth. Meanwhile the continued decimation of the rain forest has caused the extinction of thousands of species of animals that hasn't been seen since the "meteorite" took out much of the dinosaurs. Mother Nature has come to realize that "Human Nature" is so inherently filled with greed and disrespect for her world that perhaps it is time for another life form to inhabit the earth... one that will better respect the beautiful gifts she has to offer and isn't here to use the planet to fulfill its own selfish needs.
This song actually began as a ballad in 1984 as a song called "Forever Thoughts". It was penned by Eric Blackwood for a High School assignment by his guitar teacher who asked the class to write something new and uniquely their own. Eric had never written a song before ... he had just played along to other musicians that he loved like Pink Floyd and Cat Stevens, Kansas and Dan Fogelberg and a new band that were suddenly emerging as his new "favorite of all time" ... Marillion. His high school guitar instructor was less than impressed with the ballad and gave Eric a C+ on the assignment but Eric thought there was something to it and kept messing about with it... speeding it up and strumming the original chord vamp faster and faster (losing the fingerpicking altogether) to give the song a new feel and an almost "Rush-like" sound when put through digital delays and choruses. This newly revamped "Forever Thoughts" would be renamed "An Imaginary World" and there it remained throughout Eric Blackwood's musical career as a song he would one day make into a single... he just didn't know when or exactly what to do with it lyrically and melodically.

His acoustic progressive "Blackwood and Foti" band would mess about with it a little but it never would be recorded or played live. An Imaginary World disappeared for a very long time and wasn't revived again until 25 years later when Pete Trewavas listened to Eric's guitar vamp and then wrote a huge 5 minute synth intro to the piece and changed its original composition into something completely new. While Eric was happy that something different was finally happening to it, he liked the ending of the Synth piece the most ... and cut the first 4 minutes of Pete's new intro off and then rising the last final minute of the "synth intro" as a "Fade In".

Pete's keyboard intro at that point seemed to bring a new and more dramatic sense to the song once it was cut back and then allowed to rise from the ashes of "Into The Dead Calm". Pete added little melodic sounds like the flutey do da do... to give the song a transition from the ominous to the now upbeat rocker it was about to become while Eric played some high pitched lead guitar intros, Rick rode a some longer notes underneath and Henry Rogers played an intro beat on the high hats to take us into the original chord vamp of "An Imaginary World". Pete added a massive foot pedal three beats in to rise the chorus-delayed guitar even more as the lyrics began.

"An Imaginary World" would have its name changed to "The Tempest" as the song became more about Mother Nature and less about the "Solar System". There was a thought about perhaps leaving the song til album #5 where "An Imaginary World" worked better in the "return of the aliens - space like theme" but Rick Armstrong loved the song and thought it was the perfect "Radio Single Style-Rocker" that The Disturbance Fields needed (joining The Surge giving TDF two great solid "Rock songs" for the album). The lyrics were changed around to reflect the more "nautical and weather driven theme" that The Disturbance Fields had veered towards. 
The lyrics were ones that Eric struggled with perhaps the most of any song on the album. Especially since he had to make the switch now to a far more "weather intensive" format of the song. He wanted to make the lyrics of The Tempest sound like an "Early Warning System" showing up on your TV before a massive "disturbance" was about to hit. How to sing that and mix with the very busy guitar work that he had played however was always the problem since he originally wrote the piece in 1983 and why he never used it for any other "project". Pete however guided Eric completely throughout the process of singing the lyrics and fitting the lyrics in ... removing some "clunkier words" and putting in ones that rode better over the guitar line, while Rick pointed out anything that didn't make "enough reference" to the album's "true concept". Eric was also trying to be careful that... while the song was about Mother Nature having had enough of human greed and coming in to take us all out... he didn't want it to become "preachy" either. It was something he and Pete were constantly conscious of throughout the entire writing process doing a sort of "checks and balances" and alerting each other whenever their lyrics got to be too political or as we had just put it best... preachy.

The chorus of the song beginning with "We've modernized our infrastructure" utilizes Eric's unique broken chord structures clanging over open notes... that rather bizarre "middle eastern" feel to his writing that we hear throughout many of his compositions (Dusk, I Am Haunted, The Longing, Captain's Ledger, A Cold Gray Morning, The Morphlux, Solstice are just some that are written this way). Eric wasn't sure how to make this chorus actually "work" within this song's frame and this is another reason he had never performed the song before now. Pete however thought the chorus was exactly what it should be and after putting bass and some keys behind it and Rick's added flavors and again coaching through the lyrical content, it all worked out seamlessly within the song. What Eric thought would be one of the hardest songs to make "come together", Rick Armstrong... felt was one of the bands most driving and strongest pieces of music to date.

On the Original versions of the chorus after the song went from being "An Imaginary World" to "The Tempest"...  the chorus lines went back and forth with Eric singing the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th lines and Pete singing the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th. So Eric would sing "We've modernized our Infrastructure" and Pete would sing "At the expense of our own resource" and then Eric would follow with "Evoking the wrath of mother nature" and Pete... "Now she's come back to reclaim it all" etc...  However Eric began singing very well utilizing the 18th century staircase that they were using to record in, at the old carriage house in Massachusetts and began hitting notes in the upper octave of his range that he had not been able to hit quite as perfectly previously. Pete thought that Eric had done such an excellent job singing that day that he asked Eric to re-do all the vocals again... everything from scratch ... from the very beginning. With the historic stairwell bringing 300 years of history up to ceiling and back down again (in the same way that Into The Dead Calm was utilized) ... Pete decided to keep Eric's vocals throughout the entire chorus and he would drop out of the vocals completely. However... when the song was played live for the Apollo 11 concert in Cocoa Florida (as seen in the video below)... Eric and Pete discussed that it would be far more fun for the audience to revive the original chorus going back and forth between them. Thus... "The Tempest - Live" was performed as it was in its original form with a dual vocal at chorus going back and forth between Eric and Pete.

There was one part of the song however that Eric kept having to re-sing throughout the recording of this song... and its not surprising as it has been mentioned a few times by fans already... "F5 Tornadoes attacking our cities" kept sounding on the demo like "F5 Tomatoes" are attacking our cities. It got to the point that Eric couldn't re-sing the line properly any longer because every time he was about to sing the line Pete and Wendy would burst out laughing... unable to control themselves every time Eric was about to sing the lines over. Then it would take about 20 minutes for Eric to regain his composure enough to try to hit that octave just right again only to have Pete and Wendy crack up in hysterics again. The "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" attacking our cities theme became one of the many things that came up at dinner time... "can you pass the F5 tomatoes please" or ... "stay away from the windows... its windy and an F5 tomato may roll in"; "Waitress... Pete would like some F5 Tomatoes in his Caesar salad if possible" ... and on and on it went throughout the rest of the recording process. 

"Lead Guitar between Vocal Breaks"
Throughout the verses of the song there are lead guitar sections that break up the vocal lines (after "The Rest of the World has Been Reclaimed"; before "Category 5's are churning" and after "There's nothing left of society") and were yet another thing Eric that was never quite happy with... and every time they went back to record the song, he would tweak all the leads over and over again. Still he could never quite get it "right" from his "head to his hands". They had perhaps gotten too complicated and once Pete said... "you're trying to do to much... just simplify it."... Eric finally got what he had in his head out onto tape and re-recorded all of the lead guitar passages (that occur in the vocal line breaks) in one last session.

The "Arena Rock" Bridge
When the The Tempest was finally (and supposedly) "completed" (long after what was thought to be its final recording sessions)... Pete still had this gnawing feeling in the back of his mind that the song needed something special to add to its new "Arena Rock Spirit" that it now possessed. Perhaps taking a page from 80's era Rush or Journey, Pete and Rick created a bridge featuring a completely musical (non-vocal) break down and a respite from the quite "verbose lyrical passages" that made up the verse and chorus. Harmonies of "a dozen" ringing electric guitars mixed with some of Henry Rogers' most memorable "Tom Tom hits" would "play out" in the most classic "Arena Rock" sense at 4:25 minutes in. This gave "The Tempest" a purpose towards building up to the final lyrical section and massive outro guitar solo at the end of the song. The new Rush/Journey like bridge however wouldn't come to life in Pete's mind until long after Eric's devastating injury. Because of this... despite the fact that there are 8 or 9 guitars playing simultaneously in harmony with each other in this section, Eric would sit out the entire recording process during this "Arena Rock" section of the song, letting Rick Armstrong and Pete Trewavas go "rogue" with Henry Rogers concocting the perfect homage to Journey, Dokken, Van Halen, Styx & Rush. Keep in mind that Eric Blackwood's career began with "Crimson Steele" where he and Edison's Children's manager Scott Brownstone (on bass) were often associated with Twisted Sister through A.J. Pero (Crimson Steel's drummer was A.J.'s protege) playing the music of original Metallica (For Whom The Bell Tolls, The Four Horsemen), Venom, Anthrax, Dokken, Iron Maiden and Queensryche on the NYC Metal circuit for many years... so it was sort of sad that Eric had to miss out on this section of the song. Pete however had always been appreciative of Eric's Metal and Hard Rock musical history and it was in many ways an inspiration to him. Just like...the Grunge-Alt Rock ending he put to the end of Eric's dark and malevolent bassline in "Asphyxiation" as an homage to Eric's 7 year history with the Grunge band Sunblister... This Arena Rock bridge was very much Pete paying homage to Eric's Heavy Metal background (which he would also elude to in the song "Outerspaced"). Pete felt quite awful hat Eric had succumbed to his injuries quite so severely by this time so, he wanted to do something that he knew would elevate The Tempest song to yet another level. With Rick already having grown up to playing along to Black Sabbath as a kid... Eric was incredibly impressed with the way Pete was able to seamlessly bring all the sections of the song together and elevate the piece to an all new level. Despite missing out on all the fun... he felt that Pete (and Rick and Henry) couldn't have more perfectly taken a page from the days when Arena Rock still roamed the earth.

The "Outro Lead"
Finally coming out of the bridge, Eric had already put a riding steady "Iron Maiden style" driving guitar over his vamp and sang the end of his lyrical blast to corporate greed and Mother Nature taking us all down... "mother nature has come to purge us removing the virus to which she gave birth... putting an end to human existence and restoring the balance to planet earth". It was there that Pete decided in those pretty quaint fishing villages of northern Massachusetts to put an "ending outro lead" that summed up its "Arena Rock existence in 18 seconds"... and after Thanksgiving dinner picked up the Godin Guitar and in one take let out a massive 18 second guitar shredding (At the end of the last lyric "putting an end to human existence and restoring the balance to planet earth" 5:24-5:43) that left Wendy and Eric's mouth agape. Even Pete looked up when he was done and said... "did I really just do that?". It was all done right there in one take and is by far the best 18 seconds of "Heavy Metal guitar shredding" that Edison's Children had ever done. Eric of course took credit for his Thanksgiving Turkey being the reason why Pete was inspired enough to write the amazing outro-lead into the segueway of what was "The Day After".

"The Day After"
"The Day After" was the last of the 17 songs that were originally on "The Disturbance Fields" to be cut from the album and much of it had to do with Pete's "shredding lead outro". "The Day After" is a very dark and brooding piece of music and after the amazingly uplifting single "The Tempest" was complete, "The Day After" seemed to bring the album down a bit and in many ways... got lost admist everything going on. They felt that The Day After by itself was a good enough song that it didn't deserve to be lost in the album. At the end of the final demo mixdown... two pieces of music (aka "The Segueway to The Day After (working title)" and "The Day After") were cut. The decay of "The Tempest" and the "Outro Lead" instead faded into the rising orchestral reprise "A Random Disturbance"... which was able to maintain the album's newly found "energy" that the Tempest had brought to The Disturbance Fields at this point in the album.
Though this song was always meant to be the big single on one of the future Edison's Children albums, this song was left off recording session after recording session because of the amount of work it would take to turn it from Eric's original song "An Imaginary World" into what it would become "The Tempest". The synth intro was actually written by Pete Trewavas at his "shed" in Aylesbury before coming in to America to record "The Final Breath Before November" and was always meant to be a part of the TFBBN album to "liven it up a bit" but like most songs from that session ... it was left off the album because it was just too much extra work and they had run out of time on the album (A CD can be only 80 minutes long and The Final Breath Before November was 79 minutes long... which in many ways was a "double album" as TFBBN is actually longer than the Double-Album Pink Floyd "The Wall"

Eric added the lead guitar to the beginning sections once Pete flew back to Castle Edison and Rick put on his finishing touches in Baltimore Maryland.
The main vamp of the song had originally been written and recorded at Eric's home in NYC (Staten Island) 25 years earlier but was tweaked and the chorus was added at Brad Morrison's (Phish) Black Dirt Studios in Sugar Loaf New York in 2009.
The rest of the "re-arrangement" occured in the historic post-revolutionary war Carriage House in Northern Massachusetts' fishing villages
Wendy Darling was trying her best to create "A Tempest"... a tornadic like disturbance over a city and did so by creating an alien looking world of decaying buildings and crumbling skyscrapers ... some with their lights still on and some which had obviously lost electricity already and were beginning to fall prey to ... The Tempest. 

What's most exciting about Wendy's unique and extremely innovative photography is that if you look closely at the city of the photograph for "The Tempest"... you will notice that it isn't in fact a city of skyscrapers at all. It is in fact... a geode that has been broken open. The buildings are actually rectangular pieces of Quartz that are sticking out from inside the geode. Wendy lit the "buildings" from the side so that the broken holes in the crystals would look like the sunset lighting the inside a decaying building. The stalactites made for a perfect alien city with which A Tempest could form by swirling a metallic and blue swirl over the photograph.