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Jethro Tull - Stormwatch CD (album) cover

STORMWATCH

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

3.45 | 488 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Zombywoof
4 stars I don't know if this is a 'prog' masterpiece, but it's certainly one of my favorites. From the opening Flute / guitar lick on "North Sea Oil", we are instantly placed into a Tull record, with this fantastic interplay carrying on throughout the song. "Orion" is a darker piece with bleak lyrics and gorgeous verses, followed by the ballad, "Home" and leading into one of Tull's last epics, "Dark Ages", a piece with multiple tempi and crunching guitar work from Martin Barre.

This record was recorded at a time of tragedy for the band (the bass player, John Glasscock, was dying of a heart condition) and it shows throughout the album, particularly on the epic, "Flying Dutchman". With this piece, Ian Andeson tells the sad tale of the man doomed to sail the seas forever, complete with an almost "Man-Erg" - esque (in mood only, the similarities end there) piano intro by John Evans and a well placed and surprisingly fitting folky section that brings a glimmer of hope the the dark piece, before taking the listener back to the verses and an epic ending, "So come all you lovers of the good life, Look around you, can you see? Staring ghostly in the mirror --- it's the Dutchman you will be ... floating slowly out to sea, in a misty misery."

All in all, a very sad, moody, and beautiful record. I suggest buying the remaster for the improved sound and bonus tracks: Tull were always a band to have songs left off the album that were as good, if not better, than some that made it! "Kelpie" springs to mind with one of my personal favorite flute solos in the middle. It's one thing to have the space to stretch out an improv, but it's quite a bit harder to get the "juice" of the improv in a short burst, which is what both Ian and Martin achieve perfectly in this piece. If you love Tull, I suggest you get this one. I never understood why it receives such poor ratings.

Zombywoof | 4/5 |

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