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Warhorse - Red Sea CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

2.95 | 45 ratings

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3 stars Impressive second album by the highly talented if flawed Warhorse, a heavy progressive dynamo that threw together everything from Creedence, Zeppelin, and the Allmans to Tull, Wakeman, and ELP. There is also a Deep Purple connection as bassist Nick Simper was an early Purple bandmember. Much of the singing is not the best and the session would have benefited immensely from a Rod Stewart or even a Joe Cocker, but those vocalists were undoubtedly busy (as was Rick Wakeman evidently, as he failed to appear at Warhorse rehearsals so often he was replaced on keys by Frank Wilson) and this group did, as all struggling musicians do, the best with what they could find.

The title rocks with tough organ from Wilson, Simper and drummer Mac Poole's (later of Gong) firm groove, Peter Parks' sweet guitar harmonies and Ashley Holt's strained moaning. 'Back in Time' follows-up in stride, Holt's primal scream serving well and a reasonable guitar break from Parks culminating in a psych jam. The commercial 'Confident But Wrong' is typical but good Rhythm n' Blues with an organ interlude, but the soggy ballad 'Feeling Better' disappoints and 'Sibila' is classic early stoner rock with more sweet guitars. 'Mouthpiece' redeems them with a fabulous display of each player's abilities.

Why the band failed to take off in the way they might have is debated; bad timing, not enough promotion or record company support... but considering the period [how's this for an interesting perspective from Philip S. Walker's notes; "...Heavy Rock as a style grew out of Progressive Rock sometime in the early 1970s. The trend setters were Deep Purple and Black Sabbath"] 'Red Sea' may just not have been competitive or distinct enough an offering. But a very good prog album is in there somewhere and if you gravitate to this sort of early 70s amalgam of semi-classical organ power and gritty hard rockin', Warhorse were one of the most promising if unfulfilled groups of that era. Five extra demo cuts and a live track are included on the 1999 reissue.

Atavachron | 3/5 |


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