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Jethro Tull - Stormwatch CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

3.49 | 868 ratings

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3 stars 'Stormwatch' released in 1979 is the last of a trilogy started with 'Songs from the Wood' and 'Heavy Horses' and dealing with nature in a wider sens.While 'Songs From the Wood' and 'Heavy Horses' were more nostalgique with Ian Anderson as the Gentlemen farmer of yonder days, 'Stormwatch' looks with an perspicious eye into the future, especially the destruction of nature. Unfortunately 'Stormwatch' is also a record of goodbye. Bassplayer John Glascock died soon after and David Palmer who was responsible for the brillant orchestral arrangements was going to leave as did the whole band but Martin Barre. And it was incidentally the last Tull record I bought on vynyl and the last I listened too for some time.

Now what is on the menu: 'North Sea Oil' opens the record, a typical solid JT rocker build around a guitar riff with the flute in counterpoint, a good start! 'Orion ' continues in the same direction, build around a guitar riff , but this time alternating with a slow pastoral orchestral passage,a beauiful track.' Home'is a nice and warm ballad accompagnied by acoustic guitar and orchestra.

Unfortunately the good series stops here, 'Dark Ages' is a pompous long track alternating heavy blues rock, a short piano motive answered by Anderson's treated vocals, some orchestra and some organ, way too long and no dynamics, the track does not take off at all and spoils the pleasure of the first 3 tracks.

Good news again with the instrumental 'Warm Sporran' :a funky bass line,a nice melody alternating between mandolin and flute, the JT I love, brillant Folk-Prog-Pop and you even get a nice outro with drum rolls and bagpipes.

'Something's On The Move' is the twin brother of 'Aqualung an up-tempo rocker build around a hard rock riff, hats off to Martin Barre.

'Dun Ringill' is my favourite track on this record, a syncopated guitar arpeggio introduces an athmospheric piece with great dynamics, excellently supported by Anderson's treated slurring vocals. Gives me the shivers everytime I hear it.

...and just when my hope rises again another track bites the dust, the' Flying Dutchman' should have stayed in the harbour. Like 'Dark Ages' another lengthy track, that does not take off, even so there is some nice flute/mandolin interplay.

The record closes with 'Elegy' a classical inspired instrumental like 'Bourrée', but less interesting with a suggary melody that sticks in the ear like glue, to hear once in a bluemoon.

'Stormwatch' was to be the last good JT record for some time.

Alucard | 3/5 |


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