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Wishbone Ash - Power Of Eternity CD (album) cover

POWER OF ETERNITY

Wishbone Ash

 

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3.17 | 58 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Driving into Delaware? Take the I 95 over the memorial bridge

Just a year after "Clan destiny", Andy Powell's Wishbone Ash returned with "Power of eternity". While the front line was unchanged, in the powerhouse department long serving drummer Ray Weston had left the band, to be replaced by Joseph Crabtree who has played with Pendragon among others. This line-up remains intact at time of writing, this being the band's latest release.

As with "Clan destiny", the album opens with a mid-paced, rather undistinguished rock song. While the lead guitars on which the song is based have a familiar feel, the vocals of Muddy Manninen remain unfamiliar in a Wishbone Ash context. There's no doubting his vocal talents but his rich, bluesy voice is for me at odds with the band's trademark sound. The most frustrating part of the track though is that it fades out just as a meaty guitar solo is getting going. "Driving a Wedge" is a very ordinary blues rock number which indicates a worrying tendency within the band to settle for the average.

Thankfully "In Crisis" lifts things a bit, although the band's desire to push their US credentials with references to "Driving into Delaware" and various freeway junctions (sic) is rather laboured. At around 6 minutes, this up-tempo track is allowed to develop more fully than its peers. "Dancing with the Shadows" is a slower guitar rock ballad with multi tracked and harmonised vocals by Andy Powell. Here, bluesy lead guitar mixes well with a harder more conventional rock guitar sound on the solos. Together, these two longer tracks represent the best part of the album.

"Happiness" has a real pop feel, Manninen providing the vocals on this jaunty, inoffensive number. "Northern Lights" is not the Renaissance song of the same name, but a band composition. Nevertheless, the track is a beautifully relaxed, if all too brief, guitar instrumental. Things remain laid back for "Your Indulgence", a folk tinged song with a pleasant melody. "Growing Up" returns us to a more standard pace, but the song lacks direction or inspiration.

Surprisingly, "Disappearing" slows things down again for a smoky, soft blues. The laid back nature of the song is quite at odds with the general urgency of a Wishbone Ash album, but the track makes for a fine diversion from the norm. The album closes with "Hope Springs Eternal", a slightly Celtic sounding folk rock anthem of the "The King will come" type.

In all, a more diverse album than usual for Wishbone Ash with some real highs and lows. Overall, this is a largely enjoyable but hardly iconic Wishbone Ash album.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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