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High Tide - Sea Shanties CD (album) cover


High Tide


Heavy Prog

3.86 | 229 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Sometimes first is not best.

There are those who suggest that 'Sea Shanties' is the very first prog-metal record. If that's so, we've come a very long way, for there's precious little prog here at all, and virtually no metal. Instead, the album is a heavy psych/blues record a la BLUE CHEER filled with great riffs and extended guitar/violin jams, akin to much similar material released at about the same time. What marks it out is TONY HILL's excellent guitar work and the dreadful vocals of - er - TONY HILL (listen to how he murders the album's third track). The nett effect of the combination of raucous, grinding guitar and insipid, LATIMER-like vocals is like listening to the bastard child of CAMEL and early BLACK SABBATH, with JIMI HENDRIX as midwife. Though it's often hard to tell, so poor is the sound quality.

As for the choicest cuts, the first two tracks tell you everything you need to know. 'Futilist's Lament' is hard and heavy, and 'Death Warmed Up' is a protracted jam. That's it: apart from a softer track (Pushed but Not Forgotten) you've heard everything this band has to offer after two tracks. As for the myth of this album being the 'heaviest' around, it's laughable. The guitar is distorted, yes. But 'heavy' music is far more than a distorted guitar. It's about a spirit of aggression, and this has none. I've got a copy of THE HUMAN INSTINCT's second album, 'Stoned Guitar', an average album from an obscure New Zealand band, and it sounds much like this - as do many, many albums of the era. And just like 'Stoned Guitar', 'Sea Shanties' has not dated well.

Not the best, and not really even the first. For the best in heavy prog, shop elsewhere.

russellk | 2/5 |


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