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Peter Hammill - A Black Box CD (album) cover


Peter Hammill


Eclectic Prog

3.93 | 281 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars "A Black Box" was released in 1980 and it sure has a different feel than the previous albums that i've heard from Hammill. More electronics and according to the liner notes Hammill himself did the drumming. Sure I wish he had his VDGG mates helping him out like on some of his past solo albums but despite all that this is still a very good album. Just different. David Jackson does add some sax and flute, while Dave Ferguson helps out with synths.The fact that Peter did this side long suite ("Flight") makes this album important enough. In his own words he talks about this track. "I'd begun writing it after "The Future Now" and the final demise of VDGG. It had been nowhere complete when the time came to record "PH7", so it had to stay at the back of the cooker for a while.This was the first time i'd attempted a long-form piece outside the environs of VDGG and I was trying to stretch my (solo) writing, playing and arranging skills to their limits".

"Golden Promises" features prominant drums and vocals. It's catchy but with attitude and aggression. "Losing faith In Words" has these almost spoken words and keyboards to start. Piano comes in around a minute.This is good. Drums after 1 1/2 minutes as it gets fuller. "Jargon King" is an experimental piece with spoken words and strange sounds. "Fogwalking" is a cool tune. Spoken words with dark, low end sounds early. Sax comes in too. This is great ! "The Spirit" has some life and energy to it. The guitar and drums are joined by vocals in this straightforward tune.

"In Slow Time" is another slower and darker track. "The Wipe" is a short experimental piece. "Flight" is the over 19 1/2 minute closer. It opens with piano as reserved vocals join in. Strummed guitar 1 1/2 minutes in. It then kicks in at 3 minutes with drums and more passionate vocals.This is intense around 6 minutes. A calm before 8 minutes with reserved vocals and piano. It's fuller after 10 minutes with sax.The tempo picks up a minute later. Guitar to the fore 15 1/2 minutes in then it calms back down a minute later with reserved vocals.

Another solid release from Hammill but then again that's what i've come to expect.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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