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Led Zeppelin - Presence CD (album) cover

PRESENCE

Led Zeppelin

 

Prog Related

3.38 | 437 ratings

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JLocke
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I adore this record. After LED ZEPPELIN IV, it seemed as if the guys couldn't sat afloat any longer and were truly becoming the very thing their title mocked. A crash-landing near, Led Zeppelin released their last great record in PRESENCE.

The artwork featured is great, in that this strange object's 'presence' is seen in each and every painting that would otherwise be something you would expect Normal Rockwell to paint. The eerie monolith-like structure gives off the impression of something odd or wrong amongst what otherwise seems like a happy-go-lucky sunday afternoon in Beaver Cleaver-ville. I always felt very disturbed by this slight distortion of everyday 50s life, a feeling of disprupted peace, as it were. Very effective, whether or not this was Plant's intention, I have no idea, all I can say is how it made me feel no a personal level.

The songs found within the unsettling packadging are equally odd and out of place, with the album as a whole not really going in one direction or the other, per say. Which I actually like. The piece feels inconsistent and uneven, so the feeling of balance that one had with ZEPPELIN IV is now all but non- existant with PRESENCE. What a different venture, but still very enjoyable.

The obvious winner on all levels here is ''Achilles Last Stand''. A Heavy Prog epic if I ever heard one. The soaring guitars, the epic lyrics, the hard-hitting vocals, pulse-pounding drums, spine-tingling bass, need I go on? This song is perfect in every way. I may even go so far as to say that it is a better song than ''Stairway to Heaven'', though I will probably be crucified for even uttering such a balsphemous opinion, yet it is still my opinion. Listen to the two back-to-back sometimes and see which one truly feels the most epic and progressive.

Other tracks of note would have to be ''Royal Orleans'', ''Nobody's Fault But Mine'', ''Hots on for Nowhere'' and ''Tea for One''. While the remaining two tracvks are also fine, we have heard incarnations of them befoere on previous Zepp records.

So there you have it: Five worthy tracks out of seven in total, with the two left overs still worthy of a listen. In short, this is a very solid effort from the boys. In long, PRESENCE is the last epic progessive rock album LZ ever recorded, and is my second favorite out of their entire catalogue, beaten only by the Zoso release. If you want something slightyl different and more hard-rocking than typical Led Zepp works, PRESENCE is absolutely for you. A Heavy Prog masterwork. Four out of Five stars.

Happy Listening.

JLocke | 4/5 |

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