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Warhorse - Warhorse CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.56 | 64 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars There's probably an underlying story beneath the crack of this album; almost like a tale of two bands made by ex-Deep Purple men. More attention has been given to Captain Beyond, singer Rod Evans's project (along with Bobby Caldwell and Iron Butterfly castoffs), but I felt I needed to give big sister Warhorse a chance (bassist Nick Simper's doing). Simper's band came out before Evans's did, and it really sounds like it.

Warhorse pretty much sounds just like a 60's Deep Purple offshoot, or a sound-alike to Uriah Heep. Heavy rock cluttered with Hammond organs squeezing in a couple of ballad/epic (on this album, the words are interchangeable) things pretty much is this album. I wouldn't call it unique by any stretch of the imagination, and that's what hurts WARHORSE; it sounds too much like ''insert-70's-Hammond-organ-rock-band-here''. The playing and riffing are far from terrible, singer Ashley Holt is only partially annoying (I really wish he didn't aim for the high notes) and there are a few catchy songs here even without a definitive highlight.

Believe it or not, the least prog track ''St. Louis'' is my personal favourite track (there's hometown bias, but still...). ''Woman of the Devil'' has a Captain Beyond-like beginning (time-sig wise), and both ''Burning'' and ''Ritual'' have great riffing foundations. The ballady epics ''No Chance'' and ''Solitude'' drive me nuts no thanks to the vocals that sound as if Holt just read the words straight from a piece of paper and sang just to hit the notes right. My idea of singing (having stage experience) is not to sing but to tell a story or communicate beit an album or stage, and about 90% of rock, pop and otherwise singers don't have that ability. It bothers me when the piece aims to emote, but none of the performers (instrumentalists included) really make the emotion credible.

Unlike the Captain Beyond debut, WARHORSE isn't that long lost classic. The points where the energy really translates well is counter-balanced by yawner monotonies. Aside from that, WARHORSE is in no way unique or special musically, and I consider the project fringe prog; I'm fine with them belonging in Heavy Prog, but it's still a stretch. If it didn't sound like a proggy REO TWO or it had that IT factor that made it stand out amongst the crowd of 70's rock bands, I might have liked WARHORSE more.

Sinusoid | 3/5 |


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