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Hawkwind - Warrior On The Edge Of Time CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.09 | 672 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Warrior on the Edge of Time sounds like a lost early-1970s Moody Blues album performed by Pink Floyd with vocals by an especially manic Peter Hammill. It's got a lot of what you'd expect from a Moodies LP: rock songs interspersed with a few poems, an acoustic-guitar-and-Mellotron piece, some echo-chamber vocal harmonies, and mystical subject matter. The hi-hat is even forward in the mix, just like on a Moody Blues LP. But in practice, Warrior on the Edge of Time sure doesn't sound like it's being performed by Justin Hayward and company. To begin with, it lacks the restraint of the Moody Blues, whose use of sound effects and synthesizers would have been much subtler, and whose vocals would have been much more sober. And as psychedelic as the Moodies could be, Warrior on the Edge of Time is way trippier - - even Floydian. While only the two-part opener "Assault and Battery" / "The Golden Void" actually sounds like Pink Floyd, most of the album seems to be in the spirit of Piper- era Floyd.

My first - - and until now, only - - experience with Hawkwind was The Best of Friends an Relations, a 1994 compilation CD not listed on Prog Archives. I figured that if this was not only the best of Hawkwind, but of their friends and relations too, I'd spend my time listening to some other band. Not long after I started visiting, I saw that Warrior on the Edge of Time was one of the top "Psychedelic / Space Rock" LPs (#3 among non-Floyd albums). And then it turned out that Steven Wilson liked it enough to do a remix - - and I do value his opinion. So when I had some spare credit I downloaded the Wilson mix of the album, which also includes the non-LP b-side "Motorhead."

Hawkwind still isn't my proverbial cup of tea, but Warrior on the Edge of Time is better than I would have guessed. The soundscape is more varied and songs are more engaging than were those on The Best of Friends an Relations. Plus there's the fact that this is an intact album, the songs of which hang together pretty well.

Nonetheless, Warrior on the Edge of Time is a little too flaky for me, a little too sophomoric - - but not in the sense of sophomoric humor: I'm talking about the earnestness with which the group approaches the knights-and-wizards themes, both lyrically and sonically. If you're into fantasy themes, I'd check out Camel's Mirage or King Crimson's In the Court of the Crimson King (neither of which are entirely fantasy-based) or maybe Jon Anderson's Olias of Sunhillow or Bo Hansson's (instrumental) Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings. On the other hand, if space rock's your thing, I'm sure you're already well acquainted with Warrior on the Edge of Time.

patrickq | 2/5 |


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