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Atomic Rooster - Death Walks Behind You CD (album) cover


Atomic Rooster


Heavy Prog

3.86 | 371 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars I'm going through changes

Atomic Rooster's legendary second album saw the band already in turmoil. With Carl Palmer and Nick Graham both already gone from the trio which recorded the debut album, sole survivor Vincent Crane recruited Ric Parnell and Jon Cann. Drummer Parnell would not stay long however being quickly replaced by Paul Hammond prior to recording of this album.

Before the full release of the album, a single from it "Tomorrow night" had a surprisingly successful run into the UK top 10. The song, which is curiously similar to ELP's "Knife edge" from almost exactly the same period, is a wonderful example of the heavy pop which endeared itself to the British public around this time (Free, Ten Years After, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath etc., all enjoyed hit singles around this time).

"Tomorrow night" sets the tone for the album, which is generally heavy and dark. The opening 7+ minute title track has a strong progressive feel, while reflecting the metal based style of bands such as Black Sabbath. Crane's Hammond organ playing naturally dominates the sound throughout, coming to the fore on the two instrumental tracks ("VUG" and "Gershatzer") complemented all the while by Cann's guitar.

"Sleeping for years" continues the Black Sabbath feel, the prime differences being the dominant Hammond and the vocal sound. The mood is eased slightly for the more commercial "I can't take no more", but it is all relative, and this is still a heavy song. Finally we find true respite in "Nobody else" where Crane moves to piano John Cann adding an emotive vocal to Crane's intensely personal lyrics. Strangely, even this quieter song has Black Sabbath similarities, with a passing resemblance to that band's later song "Changes".

"Death walks behind you" is for me Atomic Rooster's finest effort. Here the band blended together a fine concoction of heavy rock and fledgling prog bathed all the while in a sea of Hammond organ.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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