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Hawkwind Onward album cover
3.65 | 105 ratings | 5 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD1 (36:52)
1. Seasons (5:40)
2. The Hills Have Ears (5:08)
3. Mind Cut (4:54)
4. System Check (1:06)
5. Death Trap (3:31)
6. Southern Cross (6:42)
7. The Prophecy (4:13)
8. Electric Tears (0:56)
9. The Drive By (4:42)

CD2 (44:45)
10. Computer Cowards (5:28)
11. Howling Moon (2:12)
12. Right To Decide (Live) (7:33) *
13. Aerospace Age (Live) (5:54) *
14. The Flowering Of The Rose (Live) (8:25) *
15. Trans Air Trucking (2:38)
16. Deep Vents (0:32)
17. Green Finned Demon (5:25)
18. Untitled (7:54)

* Bonus Live tracks

Total Time: 82:53

Line-up / Musicians

- Dave Brock / guitars, synth (2,4,6,7,15), keyboards (3,4,6-11,15,17), bass (3,10,11), Fx (8,15), vocals
- Tim Blake / keyboards (6,12,15), synth (4-6,14), bass (15), vocals (4)
- Niall Hone / bass (2,7,9,17), keyboards (1), synth (2,4,5), guitar (1,2), Fx (4,5), vocals (4)
- Jonathan "Mr. Dibs" Derbyshire / bass (1,5,6,12-14), vocals (1,4,5,13)
- Richard Chadwick / drums, vocals (2,12,13,17)

- Huw Lloyd-Langton / guitar (2)
- Jason Stuart / keyboards (12-14)

Releases information

Artwork: Martin McGuinness

2xLP Back On Black ‎- RCV079LP (2012, UK)

2xCD Eastworld Recordings - EWO101CD (2012, UK)

Thanks to rivertree for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy HAWKWIND Onward Music

HAWKWIND Onward ratings distribution

(105 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

HAWKWIND Onward reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
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.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "You can't go forward and you can't go back..." Hawkwind remain the masters of space rock.

Immortal Hawkwind return yet again, they will never disband it seems, with studio album number 26. Dave Brock is here in all his glory, the spacey effects are here throughout, there are lengthy instrumental sections, hard driving rock chug a chug rhythms in Hawkwind trademark style and of course unusual themes abound with spacey overtones. The band are in fine form here consisting of legendary Dave Brock on guitar, synthesizer, vocals, Richard Chadwick on drums, Tim Blake on keyboards, theremin, Mr. Dibs on bass, Niall Hone on bass, synthesis, sequencing, guitar, and Jason Stuart on keyboards. The revolving door policy of Hawkwind lineups can continue as long as Brock stays with him; his vocals are still incredible and to me he IS Hawkwind!

The band even return to some of their older material, something they do often on these more recent albums, and here they give 'Death Trap' a nice old walloping and it sounds as good as ever. A live version of 'Right To Decide' is another addition, sounding similar but perhaps heavier and with an extended lead solo and lots of little spacey squelches. A new live version of 'Aero Space Age' is also included, one that I always liked so it was nice to hear it again. A live performance of 'The Flowering Of The Rose' is also included, a lengthy instrumental with soaring space guitar and swathes of synths; great bonus tracks the lot of them.

The weird instrumentals are always fun and here we have the organic cosmic tones of 'Southern Cross', just a wonderful excursion into space rock with gorgeous keyboard passages. A transition 'Electric tears' is also quite a nice piece of ambient music. 'The Drive By' is a very fast percussion driven atmospheric piece. The guitars are sustained string bends that howl along with tinkling keyboards, and it breaks into a techno electronic sound, with some odd dialogue; one of the best instrumentals for the band. 'Howling Moon' has some cool howls to open and creepy atmospheres with effects sounding like Jean Michel Jarre's 'Oxygene'.

On the acoustic side there is 'Mind Cut', reminding me of earlier albums. On the heavier side there is the killer opener 'Seasons' and 'The Hills Have Ears'. 'The Prophecy' has a great melody and very strong vocals from Brock. The space swirls are excellent and especially the lead guitar phrases. It even has a 'Silver Machine' style riff and atmosphere. The structure is similar too along with the swooshing effects, and I love the synths here; definitely one of my favourites on this album.

Of the more conceptual bizarre themes, there is 'System Check' basically a NASA like announcement put to weird music. 'Computer Cowards' opens with manic keyboard tapping and some weird vocal effects. The riff is very chunky, one of the more metal moments, and this is deliriously off the wall, with chanting poetry about cyber bullying, and hypno riffs. This is quite long too and grooves on one riff but the chug a chug meter is welcome, reminding me of classic Hawkwind albums, and the 'Space Ritual' era.

The ending of the album is rather strange consisting of 4 odd tracks after the 3 live tracks, that are really bonus tracks and perhaps should have been tacked onto the end. 'Trans Air Trucking' is totally bizarre with heaps of ideas thrown in almost at random if I didn't know the band better; we have the idiosyncratic synth lines that are retro sounding after some interesting characters are heard including a phone operator, a horse, and a pig, while in the background it might be a vacuum cleaner, but a loud one! 'Deep Vents' is a short stab of space rock cosmic exploration segueing into 'Green Finned Demon' with raucous synths and guitars following some odd signature. The vocals are strong and there are some bone chilling screams. This is followed by a ghost track that has no title, that kind of continues on from the previous track with lots of spacey tones and runs for about 8 minutes. It concludes with breathing effects as if we have plunged into no atmosphere, or perhaps it is a creature sneaking up behind. Well, this is Hawkwind folks, so hold onto your seats!

I am delighted that Hawkwind have not sold out to any commercialism on this album, injecting some fun moments and spacey effects, and it is a definitive Hawkwind album with everything we know and love about them. It delivers with a fresh sound and yet the signature space rock style is everpresent throughout. Along with 'Blood of the Earth' this is streets ahead of some of the material they churned out in the 90s. I can recommend this to any Hawkwind or space rock addict as it is exactly what one would expect for Hawkwind.

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
3 stars Onward, always onward, high esteem - HAWKWIND, a band which - not only perceived - is underway for ages now, where the sound has not significantly changed over the course. As for that it's really astonishing how - respectively where - they are obtaining this spirit over and over. Fair enough at least when it comes to the amazing forerunner 'Blood Of The Earth', especially due to the new collaboration with Niall Hone. And now - beforehand - my summary concerning this new effort: there's nothing to complain here. Okay, the formula is clear - true to their principles the band once more is offering rock music featuring mindblowing spaced out atmosphere as well as some minor wild garage/punk attitude.

You can detect some real treasures again, whereat I will concentrate on furthermore. On CD1 we have the shining Mind Cut for example, a highly melodic ballad with acoustic guitar support. Death Trap works with garage/punk ingredients similar to Krankschaft, whereas the fluffy Southern Cross - while showcasing extraordinary synth contributions - follows as a wonderful atmospheric thingy with oriental touch due to the percussion. The groovy The Drive By rounds the first medium up with soaring guitar, charming organ and spooky synths.

This is how it also flows on CD2 basically - with the exception, that three live tracks are added here, where The Flowering Of The Rose appears as a truely inspiring uptempo jam, even provided with some headbanging qualities. Finally the untitled heavy rocking finish transforms into a spacey synth excursion towards the end. 'Onward' sounds like a new concept album quasi - at least the songs mostly blend into each other, building up a rather entertaining collection. Okay, of course this could have been compressed on a single CD in the end, but ... what the hell ... take it as it comes, basta!

Review by Warthur
4 stars Onward continues the general approach Hawkwind established on Blood of the Earth, creating a morass of spacey electronic ambience from which songs occasionally emerge and fade back into. It's from the same lineup as made Blood of the Earth, and Hawkwind clearly have benefitted from this moment of stability - rare as it is in their tumultuous existence. Again, it's a mixture of original material and re-recorded old stuff, but as on Blood of the Earth the new stuff predominates, and the rerecordings represent such radical re-imaginings that they don't feel redundant.

There's a clutch of live tracks on here which are supposedly bonus tracks, though I don't think there's any issue of the album which doesn't include them (is it really a "bonus" if everyone who acquires the album gets them), which nudge the album into double disc territory on CD, providing a bit more variation in texture which helps stop this from merely being Blood of the Earth 2: Still Bleeding. On the whole, another solid Hawkwind release which makes the case for them continuing to be a compelling studio project as well as an evergreen live act.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Well ... actually ..... this one is rather good .... and I do confess I am surprised to discover that Hawkwind have put together a good one ..... because (lets be honest) they have put some awful crap out over the years. It isn't a masterpiece, but it is a decent performance from this veteran space ... (read more)

Report this review (#755237) | Posted by Matt-T | Saturday, May 19, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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