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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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Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars The title of the album and the obscure cover art (from Wlliam Blake's Nebuchadnezzar painting) certainly prepare the listener for a rather pessimistic and possibly frightening listen... Not quite the same feelings develop while listening to this extravagant record, but some elements of obscurity and mainly heaviness are apparent throughout the 8 tracks of this 1970 creation.

It was not only Black Sabbath that produced dark and heavy riffs and lyrics at the time, and that is noticeable even from the first tunes of the title track. The main theme, of remarkable heaviness and ''darkness'', has definitely influenced latter heavy metal bands. The accompanying pianos and hammond give this overall majestic feeling to the creeping tempo of this memorable song. The "sinister" atmosphere is not maintained throughout the album, although it returns from time to time.

That initial dark feeling is usually replaced by virtuosic tracks flourishing in heavy rock passages filled with hammond - in the vein of Deep Purple works - like in the instrumentals (and highly challenging) VUG and Gershatzer. Otherwise, the late 60's heavy psychedelia takes control, particularly in the middle part of the record, with heavy guitars being the dominating element. Seven Lonely Streets and Sleeping for Years are the heaviest and "roughest" moments after the title track and within my personal favourites.

On the other hand, but still in the late 60's vein, there are more "joyful" and melodic moments, abundant in piano and keyboard work, like in the "hit" Tomorrow Night and the ballad-like Nobody Else. In these softer moments, the approach in the music of Caravan comes in mind. The extra tracks featured in the re-mastered version provide a few more minutes of enjoyable heavy prog riffs and some interesting (but not necessarily essential) outtakes of album tracks.

This release from Atomic Rooster is definitely an excellent moment in heavy prog music and takes a quite different approach when compared with bands of the same genre at that time (i.e. Uriah Heep). Caravan fans might also find some interesting moments here.

aapatsos | 4/5 |


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