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Led Zeppelin - Houses Of The Holy CD (album) cover

HOUSES OF THE HOLY

Led Zeppelin

 

Prog Related

3.88 | 610 ratings

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Gustavo Froes
5 stars Although the trilogy of albums consisted by IV,Houses of the Holy and Physical Graffiti(related almost exclusevely by popularity)is clearly less 'humble' and spontaneous than the earliest Led Zeppelin material,these three albums are also fairly more satisfatory in the sum-up of the band's fantastic discography. With the passing of years,these records' pompous pretentions have become slightly clearer for our ears,but that didn't took away the music's excellence.

Here we have the band's struggle to push their music diversity to farther limits(as usual),but in a different way,considering the incorporation of truly different soundings to the album.That would be repeated further on,but so far,the range of styles presented by this band(famous for beying ecletic)had gone as far as rock,blues and folk.Houses of the Holy is filled with reggae,funk, radio pop and the first samples of true progressive rock.This strange mixture grants the album a somehow happy and mellower mood.But is also creates the exact opposite at times,a silent,obscure and delicate sounding.In conclusion,one could say that this greater scope of musical genres was ultimately healthy.

On one side we have compositions such as The Song Remains the Same and Over the Hills and Far Away,which achieve a remarkable balance between pure form classic rock n'roll and a new range of diversity.While the former is arguably one of the finest songs Led Zeppelin ever wrote,with an unique mood and multiple guitar medleys(variating from an agressive tone to a more relaxed tempo),the latter shows a succesfull attempt of radical change from the typical 4/4 blues-based classic pop rock(a style to which the band can take a fair credit for revolutioning only a few years earlier).

On the other hand,there are delicate and indeed progressive moments as The Rain Song,a beautifull lyrical ballad with remarkable synth use as complement for a perfect vocal/strings constrast,and the mind-blowing No Quarter,a journey through the obscure led all the way through by a dramatic and highly melodic organ.This is some of the band's best crafted and more complete material ever,even though it's not the usual Zeppelin school of hard rock.

And if the album lacks the more heavy and rythmic feel of it's predecesors,in the last track we're presented with one of the band's best samples of pure form rock n'roll,with the stunning and groovy The Ocean,a very simple structured song where the electric guitar shines as bright as in the album's opening piece,the aforementioned The Song Remains the Same.

The truth is this album has a relatevely serious quality drop halfway through,leaving something of a gap in between the amazing opening/closing songs.Still,this are still listenable and even enjoyable pieces,and as they take a lead row in the incorporation of new styles(so rewarding here),it wouldn't be fair to let this stand in the way of the 'masterpiece' tag Houses of the Holy truly deserves.

Gustavo Froes | 5/5 |

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