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Jade Warrior - Eclipse CD (album) cover


Jade Warrior

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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3 stars I can see why this effort was shelved at the time it was recorded. There are a few decent tracks, so buy it if you can find an inexpensive copy. Intriguing, since it's the missing link (along with "Fifth Element") between "Last Autumn's Dream" and "Floating World". Very little of it sounds like "Floating World", though. To be honest, this album and "Fifth Element" seem to harken back to the most basic type of rock material that appeared on the first three albums.
Report this review (#3984)
Posted Tuesday, December 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars If you like to follow the musical evolvement of this band, you should place this album behind "Last Autumn's Dream" in their discography, as it was recorded originally after that release. I'm more fond of the material this band did before year 1974, when they moved to Island label and started to do long instrumental suites (though they are quite nice too). I had heard some of these songs from the "Reflections" compilation, which is now quite futile album as this album is posthumously completely released.

The record opens hazily with "English Morning", which is a very good classic psych folk performance. I really appreciate like the delicate manner how these guys manage to paint feelings with their instruments, being a true album highlight. "Sanga" is then a happy instrumental number with some African drumming, fuzzy guitars and jazzy flutes. "Too Many Heroes" is a decent bluesy rock song, and "Song for A Soldier" is psychedelic some sort of anti-war song, quite interesting and different. There are some personal rhythm patterns done with bells on it, and they are contrasted with very raw rock parts. "Maenga Sketch" has more cool surrealistic sound walls on its beginning, from where a long jam sequence emerges. This too is fun to listen, but there's bit pointless playing going on also I fear, and the jams on "Released" worked much better in my opinion. I also must admit that "Holy Roller" was not a very good track. Luckily the final long song "House of Dreams" is again very good, slow and hypnotic classic Jade Warrior performance.

There are lots of nice elements and good playing to be heard on this album, but it's not as good as the other early 1970's recordings I believe. This album is mostly for the fans of the band, but not possibly poor introduction to the sound of this group either.

Report this review (#79387)
Posted Friday, May 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars Vertigo records never really wanted JADE WARRIOR in the first place, and when the group parted company with their indifferent management, they had nobody stopping the even more apathetic label from wielding the axe. Somehow, before the bad news struck, the trio had laid down tracks for what they hoped would be a double album. That's the good news; the bad news is that, though Vertigo may have included a few of those tracks on promotional disks around that time, the albums 'Eclipse' and 'Fifth Element' did not see any form of release until 1998. As a potential link between the Vertigo and Island years, these recordings must have been long sought after by early fans for the better part of a quarter century. Since they ended up as 2 separate Repertoire offerings, I will discuss them individually, with 'Eclipse' first.

Neither of the temporally adjacent 'Last Autumn's Dream' and 'Floating World' really offer many hints as to the music on 'Eclipse' which is a difficult unfocused mix of heavy prog with snippets of Canterbury-ish psychedelia. But Jade Warrior has habituated us to marked changes within and between albums. The problem this time is quality. The playing is at times wonderful but it can't compensate for the empty director/conductor's chair. This isn't free flow enough to be called jazz in the way that 'Barazinbar' was and the hard rock elements aren't as succinct as on their debut. The worst aspects of the prior 2 albums collide head on here, but those very traits might actually appeal to some more free thinking listeners, though I still find it hard to imagine that anybody would prefer it to, say, that seminal first album. And if you are looking for nods to the upcoming landmark Island albums, you won't find any more here than on the prior works, with the possible exception of the closing number.

We begin on a high of sorts, with the quintessentially English 'English morning' encapsulating all that a travelling musician might miss from his homeland, even in the midst of Labor unrest and the predictably bone chilling climate. 'Sanga' offers some Latin inspired flute and rhythms, while the riff alone on 'Too Many Heroes' might be the most memorable on the whole effort. Tony Duhig so struts his technical mastery that one wonders why brother David was needed at all. Unfortunately, the party serenades itself off a cliff from here, with the dire 'Soldier Song' and 'Holy Roller' sandwiched around the only slightly better 'Mwenga Sketch', mostly better because after all that English abandon a trip to the Congo, no matter how dangerous, must be an improvement. Barely. Luckily they save the best for last, a hypnotic DEAD CAN DANCE inspiring dirge 'House of Dreams' that thrives through OCD the way the others die by ADD.

Whether Vertigo even heard 'Eclipse' before sweeping Duhig and Field aside is unclear, but, if they hadn't, it's doubtful that even special lenses would have altered their perception.

Report this review (#2343252)
Posted Monday, March 16, 2020 | Review Permalink

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