Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come - Journey CD (album) cover


Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come

Psychedelic/Space Rock

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
5 stars After the somewhat uneven and somewhat uninspired album simply called "Kingdom Come", one couldn't be more pleasantly surprised with "Journey", BROWN's 1973 followup with KINGDOM COME. Drummer Martin "Slim" Steer and keyboardist Michael "Goodge" Harris are now out of the picture, leaving BROWN, with guitarist Andy Dalby and bassist Phil Shutt with American-born (from Detroit) Victor Peraino now handling the keyboard duties. But, what happened to the drummer? Didn't Arthur BROWN simply hire another drummer? No he didn't. Instead he bought himself a Bently drum machine and used that as a substitute for a real drummer. Now, this has got to be the most drastic sound change I have ever heard from a band. The Hammond organ is now history, Victor Peraino obviously preferred the Mellotron and the ARP 2600 synthesizer. The occasional nonsense and British cultural references of their previous album are luckily thrown in the trash, in place of a truly wonderful progressive space rock sound with sci-fi oriented lyrics.

The longest songs on the album tend to be the best, such as "Time Captives", "Gypsy", "Superficial Roadblocks", and "Come Alive", as the shorter pieces tend to exist as segues to the next song. The big exception being "Spirit of Joy", the closest thing to a pop hit (and in fact, the song was released as a single a couple months before the album came out), but even here you get treated with lots of bizarre electronic effects. But what I really love of this album is the amazing use of Mellotron and ARP 2600 synthesizer! It's so strange to think of Arthur BROWN ever being associated with the Mellotron, especially if you're only familiar with his 1968 THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN album (with the hit "Fire"), which tended heavily to the Hammond organ, but that's what you get here on "Journey", especially with "Gypsy", "Superficial Roadblocks" and "Spirit of Joy". This is truly a classic album, especially if you like both space rock and prog.

Report this review (#31631)
Posted Thursday, June 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars The third and last (to my knowledge since I never had seen the Lost Ears of 76) album of AB's KC is maybe the most definitive (and defining) album of Arthur Brown's silly adventures. Please note that this album comes also in the TRC label with a vastly different sleeve depicting a rose in front of a cloudy sky! But the historical artwork is the one above.

Some of the members of the band having left , Brown hired an American on KB (apparently organ-less but with other keys to his savoir-faire) and chose to replace the drummer by himself plus a machine. Probably one of the earliest drum machine ever recorded (this is 73 after all) , the machine is well used enough that what could be a big flaw appears to be annulled by correct programming (most 80's band using those "things"will not even come close to this one here) , so it is not bothersome for the proghead.

Songwise , there are some real gems on this album with some "so-evident melodies" that you could wonder how the Beatles did not come up with those, but do not get me wrong , those tracks are too crazy for the Fab Four and the AB'sKC sound has nothing to do with them either. Times Captives , the multi-part Superficial roadblocks , Gypsy and Spirit Of Joy are pure delight and Brown's vocals and sheer lunacy are real happiness.

I suspect that the average proghead wanting to investigate AB's KC should start with this one before moving on to the Zopo Dossier (very mad album) and the eponymous album last (very average album). Not far away from clinching another halfstar , this album could qualify as a 70's lost gem if it was just a bit more forgotten!

Report this review (#52230)
Posted Tuesday, October 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yes, I agree, this album probably does deserve the 5 star rating. I think Kingdom Come were the first band I ever saw in concert, I believe the year this came out, at the 'Rainbow Theatre' in Finsbury Park, London England.. So I heard most of these tracks there, and already had the album. It had a very futuristic space sound, a lot of weird electronics going on. This won't be everyone's 'cup of tea', but it's quite an atmospheric, electronic soup, and still sounds good today. The album's cover version I had was the alternate one mentioned, with the band members featured prominently on the front.
Report this review (#52232)
Posted Tuesday, October 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This one deserves the attention of every prog rock lovers, from every ages and styles. "Journey" is giant and represents what the "king of hellfire" has the best to offer. If "The Crazy world" represented a very original debut in a strange, fantastic and "theatrical" universe, this one reaches you into a deep psychedelic and "evil" world made of frightening, enigmatic made of remarkable musical moments. "Times Captive" with its oppressive, dark theme directly throws you into a spectral, bizarre adventure. Vintage synth parts and repetitive "electronic" drum sounds prevail. The instrumental "Triangles" has a strange medieval "dark" tone, always based on electronic structures. "Gypsy" is a mysterious exotic tune, illustrating "black magic" or something of this kind. The voice of Mr Brown is always as various, theatric, groovy and dramatic. "Spirit of Joy" & "Come alive" are two freak'n roll compositions. "Conception" is a gloomy, fantastic tune, nice feel! An all time classic album!
Report this review (#63984)
Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Imagine you could mix music as you mix colours. Now imagine taking 1971 Hawkwind and mixing them to Joy Division: a difficult task? Well, just listen to "Time Captives" from this intriguing, surprising album and you'll surely know how it would sound. Arthur Brown was (and I think he still is) a man of intuition, and just by replacing a drum with a drum machine, and organs with maddening synths, he managed to create some of the most forward- looking music of his times, a sort of freak-out "Autobahn" or Peter Hammil sending signals directly from Alpha Centauri... The opener track, as I said, is something really unuseful in prog rock, starting as Kraftwerk's Radio-Activity and evolving in an obsessive and cosmic experience. 1980s King Crimson had certainly listened to the intricated guitar-synth spacey arabesques of "Triangles", while mellotrons and hard guitar riffs in "Gypsy" take us back in the proper decade (the 1970s); this song wouldn't sound out of place in any Berlin-era albums by David Bowie, also thanks to a passionate vocal performance, then, all of a sudden the drum machine seems to go crazy and drives us directly in an electronic ride, somewhere in between Can and Hawkwind. Brown's cabaret/rock opera attitude comes to the forefront in "Superficial Roadblocks", a song which could rival Van Der Graaf Generator without any risk (at least, you can say that Hammil didn't come out of nothing, but had in Brown a very good teacher). The following songs are, in my opinion, not so exciting and advantgard sounding as the previous ones; Brown gets a little closer to 1970s mainstream sound, still mantaining a very strong personal touch (and that drum machine that is a real stunt here). If "Conception" is nothing but a "Caribbean" attempt (which may remind of the final section in J.M.Jarre's Oxygene), "Spirit of Joy" can be seen as Arthur Brown's personal "Silver Machine", a very enjoyable tune. The album ends up with the 21st century hard rock of "Come alive", not a remarkable song, a bit too long, yet a good one with a strong bluesy attitude. I think my car radio will surely play this album on my first journey to Sirius...
Report this review (#119327)
Posted Sunday, April 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Talk about a change of sound, is it the same band that released galactic zoo dossier and its follow up just the previous year?? i guess it is!! Out goes the warm sound of the band previous records and in comes something completely different. A prog album with a drum machine? oh feels the other way around but this experiment is actually turned out to be quite successful. I love this album, this is new music ( back then ) with a new approach. The drum machine does not try to sound like real drums, it tries to sound like a drum machine and that's the beauty. Along with that drum machine you have a vast array of analog keys and synths which are the main attraction here, guitar is also added and it amazes me how everything sounds so right. The music is very spacey and progressive, the material is well written and sound inovative, i'm not an expert on progressive electronic but this seams like a one of a kind album to me.

Arthur brown's vocals sound great and he deliver it in his crazy and emotional way, sometimes those vocals are synthesised as well giving the music an even stranger sound. You actually have to listen to this to know it exists. The music ranges from heavy sound with hypnotizing beat, raw distorted guitars and a full key attack, to more relaxed atmosphere, everything is so crystal clear too. Victor Peraino had done a wonderful work, his keys does not sound the same, it's a mix of sounds we never heard before, that's for sure. The album sounds dark and cold inspite all the analog instruments used.

Although the songs are not the same quality and it's not a prog masterpiece, i will give this 5 stars because it's different, exciting, new and that's what i'm looking for. The bonus tracks are different versions of the songs and features 'spirit of joy' with real drums, although it's a nice version it only indicates of how great was that experiment including the drum machine in the album.

Report this review (#123522)
Posted Saturday, May 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars The 3rd and final outing of Arthur's, excellent early 70's outfit. Following yet another line up change, only 2 original members reamined. Brown (of course) and guitarist Andy Dalby. The band were now minus a drummer, so percussion effects were created courtesy of a Bentley Rhythm Machine. On the first listen, I found this approach a little hard to swallow. I kept thinking to myself - 'Imagine how much better this would be if they had a real drummer?' However as time went on, I got used to this sound. It all adds to the futuristic feel on the album. There is definately a jaunt into the space rock territory. The Hammond organ and piano that dominated the first 2 LP's were replaced by layers of synth and occasional mellotron, which gave an even doomier sound. The results are pretty unique and IMO, the music here is way ahead of it's time. Once again, like the other 2, a great album to obtain. This was the first one of Kingdom Come I bought, but if tempted, I would start with one of the others first. This one is not to be missed though.

Report this review (#126799)
Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Journey is the third, and sadly last, from Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come. Only Andy Dalby remains from the original group. The newest member is a drum machine, which won't run off with the bass player's wife (as happened with the previous drummer), though it does seem to be, um, leering at that hot Mellotron sitting at the bar!

No more organ-driven prog here; we're into a more electronic version of what Arthur Brown has in mind. Things start off with Time Captives, which starts out with a thudding bass drum and works itself up into an ever-accelerating electronic froth. As usual Brown's voice is what matters here.

Up next is the instrumental Triangles, a bit more of guitar/electronica, followed by Gypsy, which intelligently recycles riffs from the previous album and is the second strongest track on the album.

Side Two of what was the original LP is sorely lacking. Superficial Roadblocks pretty much sucks -- no AB vocals -- even though it has a decent riff, and Conception is just okay. Spirit of Joy is too pop for my taste. Fortunately the next song, Come Alive, saves the day, with its massive guitar riffs and stunning AB bluesy vocals hearkening back to the old Crazy World days.

All in all, not a bad way to end the Kingdom Come journey...

Report this review (#131636)
Posted Friday, August 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
5 stars This album is a phenomenal contribution to the whole Space-Rock/Psychedelic sub-genre of Prog. Vocalist, chief instigator Arthur Brown has assembled an amazing crew of 'trippers' to fulfil his vision of Space ; taking an amazing 'journey' through the cosmic myriad known to us as the universe (pompous prose, I know...).

I acquired this LP around 1990, when all that was on the menu was anything I considered as 'spun-out'. Central to all pieces on the album (which co-incidentally appeared in two versions of cover-art ; this old sun God whose trapped within a spiral, and the other being a lovely red rose) is AB and his (then) state-of-the-art Bentley drum machine, which sounds like an early analogue rhythm- box. The next feature sounds on the record comprise of the eccentric ARP 2600 Synth-twiddling and incredible Mellotron work of the 'barking mad' keyboardist Victor Peraino, absolutely integral to the whole vibe of the album. Together with a steady Bass-player and competent lead-guitarist, the band presents us with a space-age, futuristic sounding recording, complete with subtle humour. Every piece is of interest, with really high highlights being the longer cuts ; Time Captives (8.13), Gypsy (9.10), Superficial Roadblocks (6.56) which showcases the Mellotron in all its glory, just ask Andy T of Planet Mellotron fame, and the rocking closer, 'Come Alive' (8.45). The shorter compositions are very good, too, even an almost commercial attempt with the song 'Spirit of Joy'. This is top-notch Prog, believe me.

Report this review (#148519)
Posted Friday, November 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Are U looking for something REALLY ORIGINAL, something NEW to get turned on to? Well, this album IS IT!!! Welcome to the truly creative and original genius that is ARTHUR BROWN. If u r familiar with his hit single FIRE and the CRAZY WORLD album, then u know how talented a vocalist Arthur is; but FEW and i MEAN FEW, can come close to matching his originality. I promise u the ACTUAL SOUND of this album is DIFFERENT than u have heard before.It is instantly recognizable as different throughout. Maybe it's the drum machine, maybe it's Arthur's fantastically expressive voice, but I promise u this is a very original sounding record. It's one of those, put on the headphones at night and listen in a dark room sort of affairs--the recording is stellar. Conceptually spacy, trippy music. Some of the lyrics: We are Time Captains, we synthesize the rays power in your brain...Time Captains, network cosmic might learn your destiny, We are Time Captains, we write the Astral Records of History We're playing astral chords just to give you a thrill as we go; we'll take you aboard to where all soul brothers and sisters meld...Journey over all the depths of your soul.. At times the playing is incredibly sparse, and the musical timbre of the individual instruments (especially the metallic sound of Phil Shutt's bass) really stand out. There are power chords galore on Spirit of Joy, and a very cool synthesizer ending to Comes Alive. Triangles is an odd piece in which notes played by the mood and a wah wah pedal guitar are played in perfect transports me off to some ancient Egyptian pyramid everytime. So do you want to go on an astral journey and drift in space for awhile? It's all right here in this truly neglected classic album. (hint: buy it).
Report this review (#156960)
Posted Friday, December 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This The Third Kingdom Come Lp is perhaps their finest, even if it was their first with new 'Drummer' Ace Bentley (an early drum machine, 'The Bentley Rhythm Ace'). Arthur Brown is one of the most overlooked vocalist's in rock people tending to concent on his outrageous stage persona than on his great expressive voice.

'Journey' has all the elements of a great rock album, starting off with the tripped out Space Rock of the opening track 'Time Captives' that out Hawkwind's Hawkwind at their own game.

The experimental, instrumental second track 'Triangles' uses only triangular guitar patterns that fascinated original producer Dennis Taylor before his own musical geometry had him jump ship to produce Dave Edmunds.

Both the epic 'Gypsy' and churchy sounding 'Superficial Roadblocks' contain fascinating vocal performances from Brown, further proof of just how good he is, while the electro ethnic drumbeat of the tribal 'Conception' is light years ahead of its time.

The ethnic spirit meets the galaxy on the melodic 'Spirit Of Joy', surly a missed chance of a hit single.

The shuffling chug of the original album's closer again contains a priceless vocal from Brown and a masterful guitar solo from Andy Dalby.

Kingdom Come split not long after this recording the nucleus of the band going on to play with Kiki Dee ?

This is a great recording now enhanced with alternate takes and a couple of BBC sessions. Buy it and see what you've been missing all these years.

Report this review (#172575)
Posted Friday, May 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars When one listens to the long intro of "Time Captives", the psychedelia is total. It submerges the listener who is incorporated into some fabulous Floydean journey. A very nice one to tell you the truth. The style also sounds more polished, less crazy than during his first "Galactic Zoo" work with "Kingdom Come".

Still, don't panic: there are some extravaganza as well ("Triangles") but this is only a side aspect of this whole album. The use of keyboards is much more significant than on his prior releases and definitely anchors this third album in the prog sphere on its own (and not only to the disjointed and funny approach).

AB introduced some drum machine for this album (which was quite precursory). At times, it is not too enjoyable but these weaker beats aren't so many. One of the highlight is the great "Gypsy", which combines furious electric guitar and beautifully cold mellotron lines (if you like the Scandinavian scene from the nineties, I recommend this song to you).

The mini suite "Superficial Roadblocks" is rather pompous, bombastic: ELP wouldn't have dismissed it! Phantasmagoria, weird vocals, fine mellotron are the mix for this strange track.

This album is by far the most progressive of the man. The long tracks are particularly crafted and deserve your attention. Seven out of ten; rounded up to four stars.

Report this review (#257852)
Posted Saturday, December 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars KINGDOM COME Journey (1973) (Esoteric 2010 2CD Reissue) *****

This was Arthur Brown's third and final Kingdom Come album, and is entirely different in many ways from its two predecessors. It is a lot easier to digest for a start, there are regular tempos and extended codas here. For the first time is an album based around the drum machine (operated by Brown) instead of a human counterpart. The reasons for this are unclear but it would certainly mean there was more room in the tour van and it didn't drink all the beer like the real thing. Obviously these days it does sound a little quaint, but it's nowhere near as basic as it could have been, being the Bentley Rhythm Ace, a drum machine so great that a 90's band named themselves after it. Luckily the material built around it is superb, coherent and well executed and represents Brown's finest hour certainly since the debut Crazy World album.

As well as the drum machine, there are major developments on the keyboard front with those twin staples of all things cosmic the Mellotron and the VCS3 synthesizer at the forefront and there is an inevitable gravitational pull towards Hawkwind territory because of this. There is no doubt that this is out and out space rock, Arthur Brown style, and the opening suite works particularly well. `Time Captives' is a powerful and definitive opener, utilising the speed button on the Bentley drum machine to cover a range of tempos before settling down into the groove and the journey begins . The three pieces here have a fine cohesion, flowing into each other, with Mellotron and swooping synthesisers from new recruit Victor Periano, and Andy Dalby's ever present guitar providing the colours behind Brown's vocals and tempo changes. This cohesion continues into the extended `Roadblocks' and closer `Come Alive'. However the album as a whole becomes a little disjointed with the presence of the out of context `Spirit Of Joy' an ill advised attempt to write a `proper' song. Cosmic travellers do not need proper songs. On the whole this is a unique album even within the annals of the progressive genre. It would be years later before people would attempt to record using programmed drums again.

This reissue from Esoteric re-masters the audio to the highest standards and includes a bonus disc of out-takes and single sides, and includes a Peel session too, although from an off air source. Even this will have many wiping a deeply nostalgic tear, given that they have left Peel's comments intact on the recording.

After this, Brown went off to India to find himself, which he presumably did, and he's mercifully still with us.

Report this review (#281157)
Posted Sunday, May 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
5 stars This album deserves the hype it gets. Recorded in 1972 and released in 1973 this is a classic Space Rock album. It also has the distinction of being the first album to use a drum machine, in fact they were the first band to use one live on stage as well. This day and age the words drum machine cause prog fans to run the other way, but remember this was a new technology at the time and so it was a novelty at this point. And further more it doesn't depreciate the quality of this record one bit. Lots of mellotron here, it's all over these songs except for the first two tracks.

"Time Captives" is a song HAWKWIND covered in concert, in fact Arthur Brown toured with them as part of their band. This song opens with a beat, it starts to pick up after 1 1/2 minutes. Here we go after 3 minutes as synths sweep in. Vocals before 4 1/2 minutes. I love this track. It settles around 6 1/2 minutes and eventually blends into "Triangles". This song has a beat with synths and guitar for the most part. Arthur relates how they did this track. "We took a triangle, which is simply a frame and moved it up and down the fretboard. And ended up playing only those notes that came within the space in the centre of the triangle." "Gypsy" has a good epic sound to it. The guitar comes in after a minute and it sounds awesome. Vocals before 3 minutes. A powerful soundscape 5 1/2 minutes in. Check out the mellotron before 8 1/2 minutes.

"Superficial Roadblocks" is again epic thanks again to the mellotron as drums help out. Vocals after a minute. Organ follows. Guitar 5 minutes in followed by more mellotron to the end. Gulp. "Conception" is very cool with that deep bass and a beat with mellotron as the vocals almost scream. "Spirit Of Joy" is such an uplifting track for me just like the title conveys. A powerful ending as well. "Come Alive" has some excellent bass with a full sound as the vocals join in. Guitar 2 minutes in. Killer sound after 2 1/2 minutes. It settles a minute later. Kicks back in with a vengence after 4 1/2 minutes before settling one more time. Arthur said the bass player came up with the album title from one of Arthur's songs that had the line "I'm going on a journey. I'm never coming back".

This is a journey into space, and one i'll be taking many times.

Report this review (#288630)
Posted Tuesday, June 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
2 stars Journey to the centre of space

Arthur Brown must be one of the most restless figures in all of music, never being able to stay in one place for very long. Here he suddenly ventures into electronic music, which was at a very experimental stage in 1973. This was a brave attempt indeed, but the end result is not very satisfying to these ears. Like on the Galactic Zoo Dossier album there are some good musical ideas here, but they are sadly again often poorly realized. The biggest mistake was probably to replace the drummer with a drum machine which creates a sterile and cold sound for most of the album's duration. Despite this both Time Captives and Spirit Of Joy are two of Arthur Brown's best remembered songs after the 60's hit Fire. In the case of the former, this status is deserved as Time Captives (sometimes known as Time Captains) is indeed a very good song. The rest of the album, however, is far behind in quality.

I admire Mr. Brown for trying out new things, but he did so before mastering his previous enterprises. The path he took with Journey was not really my cup of tea and I think that he made better albums both before and after this one.

I can only recommend this album to fans and collectors as well as to those with a special interest in Space Rock and early electronic music.

Report this review (#290636)
Posted Saturday, July 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Exploring the depths of space can leave a person cold and bleak, but this album suprisingly takes those two aspects and turns it into an advantage. This album is the only one that i have of Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come, but i'm sure glad that I own it. Though not perfect with its subpar drum machine effects and production, the music itself is usually excellent. Down to it's trippy artwork and hallucinatory sound effects, I would call it a leap forward in time for the Psychedelic/Space Rock genre, as it is one of my favourites.

1.Time Captives - The opening drum machine beat sounds like a heart thumping, and sets the atmosphere for this Hawkwind - like track. The track goes into the depths of a persons brain and mind, and the music is excellent. Using guitars and synthesizers sparringly, the track is one of my all-time favourites of the genre with its disillusioned vocals the can send anyone into a mind-trip. (9/10)

2.Triangles - Another great track, and the title may be a play on the types of sounds that come from the minimoog synthesizer. The track is much happier in nature, showing signs of a good trip, instead of the afore mentioned "spiraling into the depths of space" opening track. The keyboards flourish heavily on this track and are the key ingredient to making this track whole. (8.5/10)

3.Gypsy - Great track after great track it seems, though this one has to be the highlight. The dramatic opening with heavy synthesizer dosages mixed with mellotron tinges can make anyones mind explode. The track is very quiet and near electronica, showing heavy signs of drones and distorted, robotic keyboard sounds. The vocals are a strong point, very powerful for such an intense and mechanic track. (10/10)

4.Superficial Roadblocks - The first song that i don't really care for, personally. The opening is cringe-worthy, and the vocals take on a whole new robotic form; in a bad way. Skip! (5/10)

5.Conception - The worst track on the album, hands down. The track is nothing but terrible and gross sound effects that I can't really stand to hear. Thank the high heavens its under three minutes! (3/10)

6.(Beginning of) - A guitar chord, nothing much. (1/10)

7.Spirit of Joy - Now the album gets back on the road with a single - worthy track. The opening has sparse guitar and keyboard notes, but then turns into a toe-tapping rock with an excellent guitar riff augmented with great organ and mellotron. The drum machine is the only thing that makes this track slightly annoying, though the excellent vocals more than make up for this problem. (9.5/10)

8.Come Alive - Another highlight for the album. Excellent riffage throughout the song, with crunchy bass playing and great guitar playing. The vocals and trippy lyrics can send people through vortex's and galaxies no one has ever seen. This track is essential listening. (9/10)

Though the album has its highlights and lowlights, its an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection, as well as early electronica and techno lovers who are looking to expand their horizons. 4 stars, and a high 4 stars at that.

Report this review (#306771)
Posted Tuesday, October 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Far and away the best Kingdom Come album, Journey's unique sound was born out of adversity - without a drummer when they came to record the album, the band decided to use the then-brand new drum machine technology to provide the backing beat instead. Whilst drum machines would eventually fall out of disfavour due to their misuse during the 1980s, here the heartless, robotic drum sound provides a context for the cold, bleak synthesiser passages and the generally "spaced out" tone of the album.

From the drum machine sputtering into life at the start of Time Captives to the very end, this is space rock for astronauts cryogenically frozen on million-year missions into the loneliest parts of space, an album which defines a cool, sleek sound which the rest of the musical world wouldn't catch up with for years with the likes of Gary Numan and his cyberpunk vision of new wave. A startlingly good space rock album - no wonder Arthur Brown's pals in Hawkwind play Time Captives on stage occasionally (sometimes with Arthur himself singing with them).

Report this review (#506190)
Posted Saturday, August 20, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come - Journey (1973)

Arthur Brown is a cult singer who became famous with heavy psychedelic and 'shocking' the 'Crazy world of Arthur Brown' album in 1968. With his low voice and high screams (like Ian Gillan of Deep Purple) and his extravagant style and appearance he and his band made one of best standing psych records of the sixties. After that, Brown has had a career that perhaps never wasn't as satisfying as how it started. With Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come he went to the space/electronic scene and came up with this band of not-too-talented musicians.

At first we are confronted with the simplicity of the bare drum-computer (played by Brown) intro that is as slow as it is boring. Luckily the (often overrated) spacey/electronic and mellotron sounds join in eventually and we get some acceptable vocals of Brown. The chord structures are the simplest possible and even the vocals aren't very developed. The guitars often sound out-of-pitch, which always is a serious issue for me (false notes can make me shiver). Still, the opening track 'Time Captives' is perhaps the most interesting track of the album. 'Triangles' has a more developed harmonical approach, but is under- produced and sounds as if the band doesn't know where it is heading. The second long track 'Gypsy' suffers some more from the enormous lack of flexibility in form, dynamics and style that arises from playing without drummers. The sudden change of rhythm into the up- tempo section then finally comes as a surprise, but even this sounds poor because of the copy-paste sound. On side two we get to listen to mainly the same signs of amateurism that makes me want to put off side one.

Now, as the second reviewer that allows himself to be very critical towards this otherwise enthusiastic received record of Arthur Brown I'm beginning to wonder what others see in it. Spacey atmospheres? The sheer fact it's Arthur Brown going in prog-realms? To have yet another space rock record with heavy use of mellotrons? Obscurity? I just can't see.

Conclusion. For me, the apparent lack of flexibility, skills, song-writing and production isn't easy put aside. Perhaps my brother, 'the philosopher' will write a more happy review (after he's gotten my once oh so exciting purchase). As for me, I couldn't recommend this even to fans of Arthur Brown, because that magic vibe around his character will only become less vibrant whilst listening to this amateurism. Two stars.

Report this review (#613343)
Posted Thursday, January 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars A Bit Boring Journey

I think this album is overrated if given over the three stars.

Being from one of the pioneers in progressive rock, one tends to be lenient, especially if one bears in mind the psychedelic gem The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Not that the talents do not come up here and there, but, on the whole, the album lacks a bit of a direction or an aim to reach the target if ever thre was one.

There are instrumental passages in which nothing happens at all and you keep waiting and waiting for the change or the progress to start. So there comes a moment in which you disconnect and stop looking through the window of your cabin/seat/compartment and produce your book out of your bag to have a little enjoyment. Then something attracts you attention for a while... but hopelessly boredom appears again...

I guess there are reviewers which rate this album much higher and maybe due to the impression it made them when it was released, but time has left its implacable mark on it.

Two and half stars (plus another half as a tip for being Crazy Arthur Brown).


Report this review (#916913)
Posted Thursday, February 21, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's been a true pleasure getting acquainted with this record recently. I like the psychedelic meets new wave comparison with some electro ambient parts and great use of voices. The sound is ominous yet the vision is crystal clear and each track is so forward thinking yet a product of the times it borders on mindblowing. I think as I age this may become one of my favourite Mellotron albums as well. All instruments are used to stunning effect. This really is an overlooked tour de force in the progressive rock pantheon.

At times the music reminds me of Brainticket on more acid. The screams during "Conception" into the twisted pop of "Spirit of Joy" into "Come Alive" is a real treasure and showcases Brown's true talents. Great beginning, solid middle, flawless closing stretch. The full five, a great find from Progarchives--this album has earned its place at the top of my stack. Creative yet fitting cover art wraps up the package

Report this review (#1941055)
Posted Sunday, June 24, 2018 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Journey" is the third full-length studio album by UK rock artist Kingdom Come (marketed in the US as Arthur Brown´s Kingdom Come). The album was released through Polydor Records in April 1973. It´s the successor the 1972 eponymously titled album and it features a couple of lineup changes since the predecessor as keyboard player Michael Harris has been replaced by Victor Peraino, and drummer Martin Steer has left. The latter has not been replaced and instead lead vocalist Arthur Brown has programmed the drums on the early drum machine Bentley Rhythm Ace, making "Journey" one of the earliest albums in rock history to solely feature a drum machine instead of a human drummer. The addition of Peraino to the ranks has meant an increase in the use of mellotron and synthesizers.

But "Journey" is in most ways a departure from the sound of the first two Kingdom Come albums. They took a completely different approach to songwriiting (apart from dropping acid...which of course they still did) as they centered the other instruments and vocals around the drum machine patterns which Brown had programmed. Gone are the 60s influenced blues- and hard rock riffs and rhythms (there are still some guitar riffs on the album but they are sparse and generally more chugging and heavy), the whimsical theatrical sections, and the jazz/rock and progressive rock influences of the first albums, and instead Kingdom Come introduce an avantgardish, futuristic, and doom laden electronic laced space rock style which is quite progressive on its own terms considering that this was released in 1973. I´d describe this as the bastard child of Hawkwind, David Bowie, and Kraftwerk (mixed with some late 70s horror soundtrack Goblin and you´re just about there). Brown´s distinct Tom Jones type voice and vocal delivery are used in other (almost desperate) ways (maybe except for on "Come Alive", where he sounds more like his old self), but he still sounds great here. He actually quite often lets the music speak and there are many instrumental parts during the album´s playing time.

"Journey" features a layered, detailed, and intriguing sound production, which in many ways sound like something out of the early 80s and definitely not something released in 1973. This is an album way ahead of its time...

While the first two Kingdom Come albums arguably are great releases in their own rights, I don´t hesitate to call "Journey" their masterpiece. It´s a very unique album, but it´s not just weird or experimental for the sake of it. No... this album features memorable songwriting and it has the ability to provide emotional impact on the listener. A high quality release in all departments, which deserves a lot more attention. Sadly this would be their last album release in their original run as they disbanded in 1974. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

Report this review (#3030037)
Posted Friday, March 15, 2024 | Review Permalink

ARTHUR BROWN'S KINGDOM COME Journey ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of ARTHUR BROWN'S KINGDOM COME Journey

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.