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Hawkwind - The Chronicle Of The Black Sword CD (album) cover

THE CHRONICLE OF THE BLACK SWORD

Hawkwind

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.38 | 89 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I have to declare something and that is the fact that I am not what you'd consider a true Hawkwind fan. I'm more of an occasional fan, delicately tipping my toes into the pool of Hawks and then diving in head first but only in certain areas. I have discovered that I am a fan of Hawkwind's 80'soutput. I do consider Levitation being one of the greatest albums ever made and I adore The xenon codex, thoroughly enjoying every second of it.

Now, that being said I fins The chronicle of the black sword not disappointing but not up to par with some other albums of the decade's recordings. As a whole I love the album. Everything visible about it is really, really thrilling and intriguing. Everything from the great cover with it's different shades of blue, to the albums's fantasy themes and the titles of the songs and well, the whole package. Visually meaning. Then there's the songs in themselves. The rockier side of TCOTB I do not love. I like the songs, for sure, but it's liking more than loving. As far as I'm concerned I could skip them everytime and go for the softer, gentler, more ambient stuff. On Levitation the spacey hard rock seemed truly vibrant and committed, energetic and really entertaining. On TCOTB they're sometimes on the verge of being slightly easy, meaning they are (at least at times) kind of boogie-ish in a way Whitesnake do it, filling the album with excellent rockers and then finishing off with a couple of tired boogie or blues numbers. It's not quite that bad, actually. The worst I can say about the rock-songs are that they're not the best Hawkwind ever made but at least they entertain in that 80's sort of way. And to top things off the vocals seem to be sung by a german. Not that it really matters but I get the feeling I'm listening to Eloy (which is great thing in itself) and not the truly british Hawkwind when listening to Song of the swords, for instance. Let's put it this way, they are alright but nothing more. Except Needle gun which is a storming track I really enjoy.

The ambient songs, like The pulsing cavern or Zarozinia, gets my votes though. There is something about the way Hawkwind (or Brock) seem to stir up a brew of electronic landscapes able to really get my mind going far into the vast galaxies of my imagination. Just like on the later Xenon codex it's like floating through space, visualising everything from reality to fantasy, history, presence and future all wrapped up in one. The pulsing cavern is a great travelling song, along with Zarozinia, setting music to your journey in the most excellent way. I guess that the ambient side of Hawkwind bears resemblence to Tangerine Dreams output from the same time.

In short I'd say that the album is really good, just not great. It has highs and lows but it never reaches the abyss. It's interesting, entertaining and the lyrics are great.

GruvanDahlman | 3/5 |

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