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Steamhammer - Reflection CD (album) cover

REFLECTION

Steamhammer

 

Crossover Prog

3.14 | 27 ratings

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GruvanDahlman
3 stars Steamhammer has been a part of my life for the past twenty years and I'm very glad for it. Starting out as an almost orthodox bluesrock band they evolved over the course of their four albums. Each new record brought new elements and it all ended in the glorious "Speech" in 1972. Having said that we will now delve into the first incarnation (soundwise, anyway) of this spectacular group. I feel they are a bit underappreciated. Perhaps they failed to make enough of an impact at the time and certainly failed to make much of an impact later.

Anyway, "Reflection" starts off with a wonderful little instrumental of just 50 seconds, "Water (part one). The flowing water over a gentle, slightly jazzy guitar is beautiful. This is all changed with their biggest "hit", "Junior's wailing". 3 minutes and 17 seconds of pure blues rock heaven. However much I like blues rock as a genre it is from a progressive perspective perhaps more of interest as a precursor to the mighty prog movement and while "Reflection" consists of music very much in the vein of "Junior's wailin" there are exceptions that points to the direction (or directions) to come. "Lost you too" is a wonderful ballad with a strong jazzy bottom. "She is in the fire" is also a slightly jazzier track with an amuzing trumpet intro. "Even the clock" is driven by flute and jazzy drums, "On the road" is another slow track with great feeling and a guitar solo played backwards. It all ends with "Water (part two)" which is, if possible, even more exquisite than the first part. The two "Waters" constitutes a great opening for the album and an even better closing.

From a strict progressive point of view "Reflection" is interesting mainly of the same reasons that Jethro Tulls "This was" is. It shows the eclectic approach to blues rock, adding hard rock and jazz and folk, eventually turning it all into, you guessed it, progressive rock. If I was to point out a prog album to a newcomer I wouldn't go for "Reflection" but if you're into prog with a jazz and blues bottom, not unlike Colosseum for instance, or like Steamhammers later output I would very much recommend this album. As far as prog is concerned I have to give this album three stars but as an album as such, a blues rock album with jazzy undertones, I'd give it four.

GruvanDahlman | 3/5 |

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