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Hawkwind - Blood Of The Earth CD (album) cover

BLOOD OF THE EARTH

Hawkwind

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.68 | 126 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
2 stars 'Blood Of The Earth' - Hawkwind (4/10)

A psychedelic voyage through space and time... Ironic that something like this would mention 'Earth' in it's title. For a band that's been releasing music for decades, it's surprising that this is my first real experience with them. Having defined 'space rock' in it's infancy, Hawkwind have had an undeniable impact on rock music. However, while I don't doubt for a second that the band has had much better days, 'Blood Of The Earth' still ends up coming out feeling a bit unpolished and shallow in it's execution; proving that alot of neat, spacy production techniques can't mask uninspired songwriting.

Being of a younger generation myself, I was first reminded of the more modern 'Ozric Tentacles' when hearing this, although Hawkwind obviously was the one that did the influencing on that part. While the album as a whole isn't greatly convincing, there are some great atmospheric sections to dive into here, typical of the space rock genre they emerge from. At any given time, you're bound to have some sort of psychedelic weirdness churning about underneath the actual music. While it may seem superficial, this is in fact, one of the highlights of 'Blood Of The Earth,' and a surefire way of enhancing the ambience and intended vibe of the music. The musicians themselves are also obviously very talented, gracing the record with complex rhythms and soaring jam sessions to keep things interesting. An exception on that note however, are the vocals which at times feel undercooked, or even strained at the most energetic points.

The songwriting seems to be the low point of this album. It feels like without all of the fun 'space' effects and the great jamming sections, the album would be all-too bare and empty. Moreover, it is clear that alot of the tracks here are meant to be listened more so as 'ambient' pieces as opposed to being actual tracks with structure. Of these more ambient tracks, the highlight has to be the closer (or a bonus track, to some listeners) 'Starshine,' which really gives the lonely feeling of what it must be to be floating alone in space. Of the more structured songs, 'Wraith' and 'Sentinel' seem to stand out; the former being a good hard rock number whereas the former is a more subdued, 'ballad' of sorts.

Listening to this, Hawkwind obviously has a niche in the science-fiction category for lyrics, which fits in perfectly with their sound. However, the execution of the lyrics doesn't hold much depth to it, although there are some narrative sections (such as the spacy ramblings in the title track) that have a profound, poetic vibe to them. Mind you, there are also lyrics that concern themselves exclusively on 'smiles' and 'rainbows,' so it all seems to balance itself out in the end!

'Blood Of The Earth' is probably not the best place to start out listening to Hawkwind, but I am definately interested in hearing more of what this talented group has to offer. Late into their career, it's impressive that they are still releasing music that is enjoyable to listen to. However, if I were an existing fan myself, I would not be too pleased having waited four years in anticipation for a new album and hearing this.

Conor Fynes | 2/5 |

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