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Atomic Rooster - Atomic Roooster CD (album) cover


Atomic Rooster


Heavy Prog

3.60 | 230 ratings

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3 stars UK heavy rock act featuring the great Carl Palmer on the drum-kit. While Atomic Rooster's heavy rock is quite different from ELP, the drum style is really recognizable and shows the great impact Carl Palmer must have had on the ELP sound. The album is a sort of mandatory step when going through Prog's history, but despite its attractions, it's not that strong overall.

Friday 13th is a nice heavy blues rock tune with wild Hammond organ and Palmer's signature drumming. I'm a huge fan of the powerful vocals from Nick Graham. They may be quite typical for that era but I really can't resist the heavy blues.

With Palmer's drums and Crane's swirling organ, And So To Bed begins like an ELP classic. The song is a bit old-fashioned but quite catchy still. Winter is a typical heavy blues ballad, fired by Hammond and rampant vocals. Not bad but rather cliché of course.

Decline and Fall is better, an instrumental piece serving as a showcase for the soloing talent in the band. Especially Palmer stands out, even though some of his drum parts are an exact copy from what he did on the Barbarian. Well, it's the other way round of course.

Bamstead and the connected SLY feature more Hammond driven power blues, again with good performances but unremarkable as songs. It's a major complaint with the entire album really. If I'm in the mood for this kind of stuff I'll always pick up an early Deep Purple or the Nice's debut, not Atomic Rooster.

Broken Wings takes a softer and dreamier turn. It's a nice soothing song, reminding me of some early Hammill ballads. With Before Tomorrow it all ends with another organ heavy piece, drum solo and everything, even some Santana percussion influences. It's rather unremarkable again but it suggests this band must have been quite an attractive live unit. On the album the creativity remains all a bit too stiff really.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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