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Asterix - Asterix CD (album) cover





2.81 | 30 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars ASTERIX was a short lived band that was the precursor to Lucifer's Friend. The band formed in 1969 when British born vocalist John Lawton moved to Germany and met guitarist Peter Hesslein, bassist Dieter Horns, organist Peter Hecht and drummer Joachim Reitenbach, who were members of a band called The German Bonds. These Germans also played in many of the 60s beat groups such as The Giants, The Rattles and many anonymous studio albums released as budget albums through The Air Mail, Electric Food, Hell Preachers etc. After hitting it off with Lawton, the other members found the chemistry was perfect and released one self-titled album under the moniker ASTERIX.

ASTERIX is the logical precursor to the classic Lucifer's Friend sound. While not a progressive band per se, ASTERIX had amply revved up its hard rock creds sufficiently to take it all to the next level where they could develop all the progressive twists and turns of the next incarnation. This is actually a pretty good hard rock album with all the great markers of a great period piece that implements heavy rocking bass driven grooves, bluesy guitar riffing and accompanying percussive drive. While not really progressive at this point, there are touches of jazziness but most of all the music is highly melodic and augmented by Lawton's strong vocal performances which always add a whole layer of zest to a stellar hard rock performance.

Despite being German, ASTERIX sounded more English most likely due to Lawton's British beginnings. In fact, i wouldn't have been surprised if someone told me that this was a Free album or even an early album by The Faces before Rod Stewart jumped on board. While labeled as Krautrock due to nationality, this sounds more like classic turn of the decade British hard rock through and through with even a bit of Little Feat in the bluesy piano and organ use. As it turned out, ASTERIX was simply a warmup act and the moniker was scrapped fairly quickly in exchange for the more ominous Lucifer's Friend which would suit the band's new heavier sound and progressive qualities.

This is a really good album for the period and much better than i could've imagined since the 69-70 timeline has some gawd awful crap that was released in that period. This is highly melodic, heavily charged with all the musicians having honed chops that flawlessly deliver their heavy blues laced rock. Lawton is an under appreciated singer in the history of rock and roll as he had one of the strongest and most powerful voices that was perfect for the style. He even sounds a bit like Robert Plant at times without the whiny nasal thing and all. It's no wonder he would go on to play with Uriah Heep amongst others. ASTERIX was a great start but Lucifer's Friend was better. Nice beginning.

3.5 rounded down

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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