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High Tide - Sea Shanties CD (album) cover


High Tide


Heavy Prog

3.86 | 229 ratings

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Psychedelic Paul
4 stars HIGH TIDE were a very 'eavy, very 'umble Psychedelic Rock band from England. They released eight albums over the course of four decades, although it's their ironically-titled debut "Sea Shanties" (1969) that's by far their best-known album. The album represents one of the earliest progenitors of the Heavy Metal sound and High Tide are often compared with the American Acid Rock band Blue Cheer. High Tide followed up the powerhouse "Sea Shanties" album with a self-titled album in 1970 and then took a very long hiatus before making a comeback with a new line-up in the late-1980's with an incredible run of six back to back albums in a row:- "Interesting Times" (1986); "Precious Cargo" (1989); "The Flood" (1990); "Fierce Nature" (1990); "Ancient Gates" (1990); and "The Reason of Success" (1991). And so, without further ado, let's give "Sea Shanties" a listen before the tide comes in.

HERE IS A WEATHER WARNING:- There's a storming gale of VERY HEAVY Psychedelic Rock on the way which is expected to reach Force 10 on the Beaufort Scale. Occasional gusts of very high decibels are expected! The opening blitzkrieg of storming Hard Rock and Heavy Metal thunder is titled "Futilist's Lament", and it would indeed be futile to lament the loss of sleep throughout this window-rattling sonic blast. This thunderous assault on the eardrums won't just keep you awake, it'll probably wake up the neighbours too and have them angrily banging on your door. There's no peace for the wicked (or the good) either with the next song "Death Warmed Up" as the non-stop artillery barrage of sound continues. This storming "Sea Shanty" is an unrelenting 9-minute-long pressure wave that's LOUD enough to wake the dead, never mind the neighbours, and it's probably the only time you'll ever hear a violin played on a heavy Psychedelic Rock/Metal album. Yes, really! A violin! Although you've never heard a violin played quite like this before. This even goes beyond the incredible power of Darryl Way's manic violin-playing in Curved Air. Yes, it really IS that awesome! Is this stunning album Psychedelic Rock or is it Heavy Metal? Who knows? Maybe it's some amazing new hybrid such as Psychedelic Metal. Either way, it's a remarkable album of unbridled raw power and energy. Phew! There's a bit of a breather now but not for long with "Pushed, But Not Forgotten". The song opens deceptively gently, but there's another storming outburst of Heavy Metal thunder and lightning on the way. It's not quite the storming hurricane of the first two powerful numbers, because this third song contains some gentler melodic passages, and it sounds all the better for it too. After all, thunderbolt and lightning can be very very frightening (according to Queen). This song is more like a warm gentle breeze with occasional outbursts of Heavy Metal thunder raining down, so keep an umbrella handy.

The enigmatically-titled "Walking Down Their Outlook" doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but who says LSD-influenced wild and crazy Psychedelic Rock has to make any sense anyway!? One thing's for sure though, it's another burst of raw Psychedelic Metal mayhem, featuring an absolutely maniacal violin player running rampant throughout. Who would have believed a delicate violin could ever sound so incredibly LOUD! Not Stradivari or Vivaldi, that's for sure! There's no let-up in the incredible pace of this album, so be prepared for more fireworks with "Missing Out", another 9-minute-long, non-stop fusillade of Heavy Metal cannon fire. This sonic blast explodes into life like a psychedelic shell burst bathed in glowing iridescent rainbow colours. There's more musical madness and mayhem on the way with "Nowhere", and nowhere will you find any gentle romantic ballads on this album. It's another wild and frenzied psychedelic violin ride aboard the crazy train, which brings the album to a magnificent conclusion in a storming blaze of pounding and percussive glory.

High Tide's "Sea Shanties" rides high on a great tsunami wave of thunderous raw energy and power. "Sea Shanties" they are NOT! This is a rolling wave of storming Heavy Metal thunder from beginning to end. Batten down the hatches and hold on tight because it's going to be a wild and windy ride. There's an unstoppable High Tide on its way with a Force 10 gale blowing in on this supersonic blast from the past. Come hell or high water, you won't want to miss out on the storming ballroom blitz of High Tide!

Psychedelic Paul | 4/5 |


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