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Peter Hammill - A Black Box CD (album) cover

A BLACK BOX

Peter Hammill

 

Eclectic Prog

3.94 | 142 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Gog/Magog
4 stars "I always forget how crazy things are"

And so it goes on, after coming through unscathed from the onslaught on Punk, Peter Hammill treats us to New Wave Prog a strange almagamation of two genres that shouldn't really mix but by heck they do.

The previous two albums (pH7 and The Future Now) were relatively straightahead rock/new wave and while this album retains semblances of an influence of the music of the time (well it is self-released after years on a major[ish] label and it has a charming "Homemade" feel to it also), prog fans would be delighted to get this album.

Golden Promises and Losing Faith in words starting the album in rocky fashion but with strong melodies and Hammill in fine voice there is mistaking this for classic Hammill material.

The Jargon King uses backwards tracking technology to create a garbled backing track, but its used in an interesting way and never annoying as Peter tries to sort out the vagaries of language in his own inimitable style.

Fogwalking is an instant classic on first hearing a spooky feel is just right for the lyrical content of never being sure of the situation using fog as a metaphor for entrapment of a life in London.

The Spirit is a straight ahead rocker again, very catchy could almost have been a single if Peter had wished.

In slow time is a doomy atmospheric track very early 80s in feel, I remember seeing him perform this on Riverside which was a trendy yoof show on the BBC at the time, where he performed it whilst doing a dance! very strange times.

The Wipe is a bit of a waste just noise really, but thankfull only lasts a minute or two, before handing over to Flight a 19 minute epic that in usual Hammill style goes from beauty to madness and back again (Flying Blind, and Black Box segments are especially beautiful and can send shivers down the spin) but reined in by tight playing and excellent arrangements never off putting.

So there we are Prog New Wave - believe it.

"better be looking on to tomorrow...better think on today"

1. Golden Promises (2:56) 2. Losing Faith in Words (3:40) 3. The Jargon King (2:43) 4. Fogwalking (4:04) 5. The Spirit (2:38) 6. In Slow Time (4:07) 7. The Wipe (1:45) 8. Flight (19:38)

Gog/Magog | 4/5 |

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