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Titanic - Eagle Rock CD (album) cover




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3.78 | 29 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Third album from heavy Hammond-driven hard prog rock outfit from the land of the fjords and icebergs, Eagle Rock came in a wild gatefold with a fish-tailed eagle artwork (unless you choose it to see the beast as an eagle-headed fish)which augured well for a hard rock classic album. The major line-up change was keyboardist Aas leaving and replaced by Helge Groslie, providing a bigger and better organ sound.

Starting on the soaring 7-mins+ title track (actually One Night In--) with a slow but haunting intro, the Hammond organ is like an air-raid siren, with the perfect descending chord on a few verses, and plenty of dramatic vocals and histrionics from the guitar and constant tempo changes make this track a pure gem and a pure bravura track, easily thumping over most of Uriah Heep's classic material. Bassist Siggs is the main writer on this album, but the least we can say is that when he's alone writing, he's eclectic and not very even. Indeed the short and straight up All Around You and the more interesting (and longer) One Of Your Kind are of average interest, the former sounding like a filler, really. And what to say of this weird side-closing Haeia Valenga and its wild pagan war tribal chants?.

Opening the flipside is the inspired Dying Sun that started on guitar arpeggios, this time sounding more like the Deep Purpkle era between the firing of Rod Evans and the release of In Rock, with a twist of Wishbone Ash. Great stuff, rivalling most of UK's Hammond- driven prog. The following ballad And It's Music includes acoustic guitarsn harmonica and even Whistling and could easily be source of inspiration for Scorpions' power ballads of the 80's, but I find the track out of context from the rest of the album. Ditto for the overlong Maureen, which although features a few mood changes and a tad of mellotron and a final crescendo, but its close to insufferable chorus line ruins it. Siggs' bass sounds a bit like the future Pastorius on this track. Richmond Express (the only non-Siggs track of the album) is more in line with the album's first side, and it features a drums & perc finale fading out, while the closing jazzy Skeleton is again ruining the album's focus and ends up losing a direction

The Repertoire CD reissue features two non-album singles as bonus track, but none are linked with this album or line-up. Indeed the first two tracks are from the previous year and still feature their former keyboard player. Rain 2000 sounds like Uriah Heep meeting Santana rhythms and feelings. And Blond is an obvious filler stealing its line from Whiter Shade Of Pale. The second single comes from the following year with the dynamic Macumba - don't search for Sultana, even if it has Latino percussions and dynamics, while the Midnight Sadness has some philharmonic arrangement that gives it a special flavour. Needless to say that these bonus tracks, as usual, don't resemble the album's direction, but since Eagle Rock's musical direction was very vague due to the wide spectrum of music featured, then the bonus tracks are actually bettering the Cd's value, but not enough to make the album essential enough to claim the fourth star.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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