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Hawkwind - Masters Of The Universe (1991/ Castle) CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.89 | 7 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This record was my very first encounter with HAWKWIND. Like other compilations of the band, the track-list is half-studio, half-live. The studio part features two of the best songs from the space metal thundering album "Levitation": the heavy eponymous track and the futuristic "Dust Of Time". Unfortunately, it also features two mediocre songs: "Who's Gonna Win The War" (weakest from "Levitation") and "Quark, Strangeness And Charm" (weakest from the eponymous 1977 album). These last two choices are the only faults of the disc.

Nevertheless, the live songs clearly are the main interest of this compilation. Pretty rare, for the most part, they cannot be found on known live releases such as "Space Ritual" or "Live Chronicles", and are great while differing from their original versions.

"Angels Of Death" is undoubtedly the highlight. Recorded live at Barnstable Queens Hall 23rd December 1977 during the Hawklords / Sonic Assassins tour, it may have been the first draft version of the track of the same name that will feature on the "Sonic Attack" album. But the beginning is in fact a ferocious and heavier version of "Magnu", the oriental sonorities being replaced by raging guitars. Mindblowing! An essential listen for every space metal lover! The origin of the versions of "Masters Of The Universe" and "Motorhead" are unsure, maybe also circa 1977, maybe during the same tour. Nonetheless, they're also harder and faster than their original studio versions and includes additional sci-fi effects. Very very nice.

Initially a B-side, "Shot Down In The Night" was composed by ex-HAWKLORDS keyboardist Steve Swindells. This nice spacey hard rock song was first officially released in "Live Seventy Nine".

Do not rely on the awful cover art and font, "Masters Of The Universe (1991)" is a very good entry point for newcomers, as well as a quite interesting compilation for the Hawkfans, due to the presence of excellent rare live reinterpretations of some of band's iconic tracks. Give it a listen if you can grab it!

Modrigue | 4/5 |


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