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Hawkwind - Onward CD (album) cover

ONWARD

Hawkwind

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.66 | 65 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I was surprised to read a lot of negative reviews about this record, in fact there are way more negative ones than positive reviews. Complaints range from the fact they could have put this recording on one disc instead of two, to complaining that they re-did several older tracks and that the three bonus tracks are live and not tacked on at the end. And that this comes off as more of a Brock solo record than a HAWKWIND album. And these are from a lot of long time fans. While I didn't feel that this came close to the previous album "Blood Of The Earth" it sure the hell impressed me. The biggest negative for me were two tracks ( "Death Trap" & "Right To Decide" ) that are uptempo and too straightforward. I was tired of them after one listen.

The positives are the packaging and liner notes both of which are the best i've seen in ages. The two discs are in the front and back inside hard covers with pages to flip through in between. The art work is stunning along with the pictures. Other than a few tracks the music is excellent. I like the idea of two discs because you don't have to take it all in in one big chunk, it's kind of old school actually like when we had double vinyl albums.

Disc one starts off with "Seasons" where we get atmosphere before it kicks in with vocals. Love the guitar in this rocker. "The Hills Have Ears" opens with electronics and synths before it kicks in hard with vocals. It settles right down before 2 minutes. It's dark 3 minutes in then it kicks in again before 3 1/2 minutes with vocals. Great tune ! "Mind Cut" has strummed guitar and drums to start. Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. So good. I like the lyrics too. Another amazing track. "System Check" is a short piece where we hear a space transmission and some powerful atmosphere. "Death Trap" is one that is too repetitive and catchy.

"Southern Cross" has spacey synths and percussion and it sounds fantastic ! "The Prophecy" has a beat with guitar as the vocals join in. Man this is so freaking good. I just drift away in this uplifting song. "Electric Tears" is a short interlude to "The Drive By" with it's excellent beat with tons of spacey atmosphere. Catchy stuff. It stops after 2 minutes then kicks back in even heavier.

Disc two starts with "Computer Cowards" which seems to be a rant against those who bully on the different social media sites. The sound of someone using a computer keyboard can be heard at first then ringing phones and heaviness kicks in. A nice heavy groove here with sinister vocals. It sounds like a kettle whistling then a cow bellows to end it. "Howling Moon" is a short atmospheric piece. "Right To Decide" is the other song I find too catchy and too straight forward. "Aerospace" is better as we get a heavy groove with vocals. It settles before 3 minutes where the vocals are almost spoken. Cool section. Passionate vocals after 4 1/2 minutes.

"The Flowering Of The Rose" is an 8 1/2 minute instrumental that is uptempo with some ripping guitar. "Trans Air Trucking" has some strange vocal sounds and more. An operator comes on then a horse, then a pig before the music kicks in. "Deep Vents" has these deep spacey sounds with synths and it blends into "Green Finned Demon" who I think is on the cover art. Amazing track ! Just a great sound here. I like the guitar when the vocals stop briefly before 3 minutes. It settles right down before 5 minutes and a scream follows. The final track is untitled and 8 minutes long. A definite highlight of this recording. It's uptempo and powerful with vocals until after 6 minutes when we get this dark and eerie atmosphere. This reminds me of the Green Finned Demon, like a continuation of that song as suddenly it feels like we are under water. Then it turns spacey and you hear breathing after 7 1/2 minutes as he is right behind you ! Run !

This was a lot of fun. I'd love to erase those two catchy tracks I mentioned earlier but regardless this is a 4 star recording in my books.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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