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Paladin - Charge! CD (album) cover

CHARGE!

Paladin

 

Crossover Prog

3.48 | 58 ratings

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Psychedelic Paul
5 stars PALADIN were a short-lived English Heavy Prog band, named after the knights of Charlemagne's court - the French equivalent to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Having chosen a suitably proggy bandname, Paladin embarked on their musical quest with the release of a self-titled album on the Bronze record label in 1971, which unfortunately failed to attract much attention from the record-buying public with its plain black album cover. Their second album "Charge!" (1972) featured fantasy cover art by Roger Dean, but the album still suffered from poor sales, and the gallant musical knights of Paladin dismounted their trusty steeds and hung up their armour forever in late 1972. To secure Paladin's place in the prog history books, a later 2-CD re-issue of the "Charge!" album was released in 1996, doubling up the original seven songs on the album, and a compilation album of Jazzy tracks was released under the title of "Jazzattack" in 2002.

Paladin are armed and ready to do battle with "Give Me Your Hand", a funky 8-minute-long Jazz-Rock number that definitely doesn't need "more cowbell", as there are cowbells in abundance on this lively rocker. This is like the kind of electrifying high- energy opener you might hear on a Santana or Savoy Brown album. These gallant Paladin knights are charging full-speed ahead on a burst of frenetic energy and raw adrenalin in a storming crusade of guitars, keyboards and pounding percussion. The soulful vocalist packs an impassioned punch too with this rousing chorus:- "Give me your hand, lead me on, Through this moment of despair, oh, Give me your hand, lead me on, Show me something that's still there." ..... This peerless band of musical knights have really set the bar high with this very impressive album opener. Can we expect Paladin to keep up the incredible pace throughout the album!?? "Well We Might", because that's the title of their second searing offering. There's no doubt about it, "Well We Might" is a super-charged Blues-Rock song that barrels along relentlessly for five breath-taking minutes like a diesel locomotive on full power. These intrepid knights sure know how to ROCK!! It's another dazzling display of roof-raising keyboards, guitars and percussion, all jousting to see who's the loudest and mightiest musician of them all, with amplifiers that probably go all the way up to eleven. The band barely have time for a breather with "Get One Together" either, as Paladin have got together again to deliver another real hell-for-leather barnstormer of a song. This pummelling instrumental rocker sounds like a funky cross between Uriah Heep and Santana, which can best be described as Funk Rock that's as hard and heavy as a block of granite. The fourth Very 'eavy and Very 'umble song "Anyway" has shades of Deep Purple and Uriah Heep. It's a rousing anthemic number which dramatically gathers in pace, reminding one of "July Morning" by Uriah Heep or "Child in Time" by Deep Purple. Either way, "Anyway" is an uplifting and inspirational song to close out Side One on a spiritual and emotional high-point.

"Good Lord", is that the time!? Yes, it's time for an extended fruity jam session where the musicians give a High and Mighty display of heavy Stormbringer prog at its absolute best, in the best Demons and Wizards traditions of Uriah Heep and Deep Purple, spiced up with the funky sound of the Allman Brothers and Santana. This sensational band have it all! Can it possibly get any better than this!?? YES IT CAN, because on the way now is "Mix Your Mind with Moonbeams", which might sound like some weird, stoned-out psychedelic acid trip, going by the title alone, but it's really a full-blown Heavy Prog epic, guaranteed to lift you up into prog heaven and beyond. This roaring soaring prog anthem is another stunning highlight of the album, alongside the marvellous "Anyway" at the close of Side One. We're taking it easy now and getting into a mellower mood for "Watching the World Pass By", with a deceptively light and breezy harmonica and keyboard opening. This just serves as a prelude though for another monstrous blast of powerful keyboard prog for a storming conclusion to a terrific album.

Paladin are the mother of all funky Jazz-Rock bands, with influences to be heard from the Allman Brothers, Deep Purple, Santana, Savoy Brown and Uriah Heep. These chivalrous knights are charged-up and ready to do battle in a dynamic explosion of thunderous keyboards, blistering guitars and pounding percussion. When it comes to Heavy Prog, Paladin are like gallant knights in shining armour charging full-speed ahead in a searing blaze of take-no-prisoners musical glory!

Psychedelic Paul | 5/5 |

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