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Atomic Rooster - Death Walks Behind You CD (album) cover


Atomic Rooster


Heavy Prog

3.86 | 321 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
5 stars 'Death Walks Behind You' is an album I've been acquainted with for over 20 years, longer than some, shorter than many more, and, at least to me, has withstood my ever-growing discerning tastes (mind you, at times that may be questionable...). I definately find Vincent Crane and his fellow bandmates much more interesting than their oft-said equivalent, DEEP PURPLE. The creative composition and relentless execution on their instruments always leaves me breathless. Breathless with their talent, not their dark aura. We all know now that instigator Vincent Crane was a troubled individual who suffered from manic-depression (don't most of us at some stage ??) and succumbed to the pressure of this debilitating condition (bless him, bless Jean). Fortunately for us, most of his work with Arthur Brown, Atomic Rooster and Rory Gallagher (he also contributed some piano for the new-wave ensemble 'Dexy's Midnight Runners', too) are left behind to remind us of his contribution to the music world, 'Death Walks Behind You' being a superb example of this 'heavy' arrangement and immense talent. Cool sleeve notes have been left by Vincent on the back of the LP for each track - most pieces are long-ish and highlight extraordinary Hammond Organ and vibrant lead guitar interplay. Even drummer Paul Hammond puts in his share of hard work. One thing that's instantly noticable is the lack of a Bass Guitarist - bass duties are now handled by Vincent via 'strong left hand and foot pedal techniques' on his Organ (move over Ray Manzarek). The songs are really fantastic, dark and forboding, exciting and inventive, even complex. The title song kicks off the album, 7+ minutes of piano infused heaviness. Great intro, top riff and a bluesy piano interlude. The song is really good. There's one thing that gets me though - the 2nd track 'Vug' is clearly an instrumental, the sleeve notes say " For deliberate reasons, we mixed the vocals way back on this number " - what vocals ??? Anyway, it's a brilliant piece of music which shifts rhythms throughout and show-cases some rather complex organ and guitar lines. 'Tomorrow Night' is a song that reached the Top-Ten in England at the time, and is understandable why ; catchy melody, great design, memorable tune. Minus my ramblings, the next few tunes are all well structured and satisfying, even the ballad 'Nobody Else'. Album closer, the 8min 'Gershatzer', is an instrumental that rivals E.L.P. and Deep Purple at their boldest - absolutely *wild* organ inventions, fiery guitars and even a well recorded drum solo (better than many) lace this composition, designed as a 'stage number'. Some beautiful piano playing can also be noticed. This is simply a must- own album of progressively flavoured Hard-Rock and stands up proudly as one of my 5 star masterpieces - it may be one of yours, too.....
Tom Ozric | 5/5 |


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