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High Tide - Sea Shanties CD (album) cover

SEA SHANTIES

High Tide

 

Heavy Prog

3.80 | 156 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

tired_feet
4 stars This is a definitive classic, and unfortunately criminally underrated, then and now.

The opening track, Futilist's Lament, is right up there with 21st Century Schizoid Man, as far as heavy and scary prog-rock tracks are concerned. Hill gets in a fantasticly distorted and dirty riff before getting in some jaw-dropping interplay with House's violin. And of course Hill doing his Jim Morrison impersonation vocally very well. A true classic!

The rest of the album is not nearly close to the opening masterpiece. But still there are some great songs here. Death Warmed Up is a 9 minute instrumental jam that just keeps the intensity up for nearly the entire track duration. And Hill's guitar-playing just gets more and more demonic as we go along...

Two shorter tracks also make the grades. Pushed But Not Forgotten is the closest thing to a ballad here, with very medieval and gentle sounding verses before picking up steam. Walking Down Their Outlook is generally more uptempo throughout, and contains possibly the best vocal lines on the album.

Unfortunately, High Tide didn't manage to keep it up all the way in. The two last songs (Missing Out and Nowhere) have their moments, but are on the whole a bit non-descript and without direction. Unfortunate, but understandable.

I have the remastered version with 5 bonus tracks. The Great Universal Protection Racket (Version 1, version 2 is on the S/T remaster) is a cool jam, but a bit overlong at 11 mins. It sounds like a bunch of cool ideas and riffs thrown together at random. Dilemma is a great track which should've substituted Missing Out or Nowhere on the original album. Not so much Morrison-inspired vocals on this one. Nice demo versions of Death Warmed Up and Pushed But Not Forgotten, slightly faster than the originals. And the finishing Time Gauges is another instrumental jam with abysmal sound quality. But still some great ideas there, too.

4 stars from me, because the two last tracks of the original album just makes it impossible for me to give a 5. Groundbreaking album for 1969.

tired_feet | 4/5 |

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