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Hawkwind - Warrior On The Edge Of Time CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.09 | 646 ratings

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5 stars Review Nš 120

"Warrior On The Edge Of Time" is the fifth studio album of Hawkwind and was released in 1975. It's a very special album in their long and rich musical career and it came to be considered, by many, the musical pinnacle of their entire career. Indeed, the band's fifth studio release turned out to be their most ambitious album ever. The cover of the album that folded out into a large shield shape, was just the first clue. In reality, never before or after that had Hawkwind, or any other group for that matter, better blended such old fashioned fantasy elements with futuristic sci-fi and space elements into their music, as they did. By the other hand, the musical material on the album, and not at least the musical arrangements, was some of the group's best ever. This is really a truly tour de force from Hawkwind.

To the lyrics Hawkwind hired sci-fi writer Mike Moorcock to help them with some lyrical concept and to read several poems in between the tracks, on "The Wizard Blew His Horn", "Standing At The Edge" and "Warriors". In reality, the lyrics are based on the concept of Moorcock's "Eternal Champion", which is a fictional creation of the author and is a current feature in many of his novels. Moorcock is an English writer primarily known by his sci-fi and fantasy novels.

"Warrior On The Edge Of Time" has eleven tracks. The first and second tracks, "Assault And Battery ? Part I" and "The Golden Void ? Part II", floats into each other and these are probably Hawkwind's most majestic and biggest sounding tracks ever. The arrangements here have to be heard to be believed. Tons of mellotron and you know that I love the sound of it, synthesizers and distorted saxophone and flute create a very unique sound that actually sounded like no other band. The guitar is toned unusually much down here, but it would be more dominant in the sound later on the album. They're really two great amazing tracks. The third, seventh and ninth tracks, "The Wizard Blew His Horn", "Standing At The Edge" and "Warriors", are respectively three very special tracks. They aren't properly three musical tracks. They're essentially composed by short poems read by Moorcock completed with pounding kettle drums, cymbals and some electronic sounds all over the tracks. They serve essentially to link all the concept of the story. The fourth track "Opa-Loka" took its name, perplexingly enough, from a town in Florida and not some of any mythical planet that ties in with the vague Moorcock's conceptual story line. It's a hypnotic, energetic and dreamy space rocker instrumental on what its thumping bass and synthesizer blips and bleeps, takes you soaring to the stars. The fifth track "The Demented Man" ends the side one of the album. It's another of those lovely acoustic Hawkwind's tunes where the band really managed to keep the obligatory space feel. Brock's acoustic 12-string guitar and drum-fewer ballads as seagull's wheel and cry and mellotrons reinforce the whole track. It has also a nice vocal working. The sixth track "Magnu" is a very energetic track, which is really the first track on the album to feature a quite heavy riff. It sees Brock and Lemmy firing off some menacing riffs amidst dazzling violin from House, Turner's jazzy sax, and haunting keyboards. This is a very typical Hawkwind. It has repetitive rhythms and riffs lull you into a psychedelic haze, with sax, violin, and synthesizers zapping left and right through the mix. The eighth track "Spiral Galaxy" is another instrumental which shows the prototypical psyche usual stuff of Hawkwind with an added nuance of density. It has top notch space metal, has dark passages of ominous synthesizers, violin, and flute float over busy rhythms. Fantastic futuristic keyboard textures on this one, too. The tenth track "Dying Seas" is another space rock oddity featuring Turner's effects soaked vocals slithering through a dense fog of synthesizers washes. This is also a good and futuristic dark space rock with sci-fi sound effects. It ends the fantasy oriented in the main body of this classic album. The eleventh track "Kings Of Speed" follows, a catchy hard rocker led by some thick bass rumbles from Lemmy and Brock's tasty lead guitar work, with House also getting in on the action with some country styled violin flights. It was chosen as the single from the album. It's more typical of Hawkwind's proto-punk style and it's quite similar to the bonus track "Motorhead".

Conclusion: "Warrior On The Edge Of Time" can be considered the pinnacle of all Hawkwind's musical career. It represents also my first contact with the band and it's also my favourite album from them. Dave Brock himself regards "Warrior On The Edge Of Time" as the band's crowning achievement. So, "Warrior On The Edge Of Time" can be easily considered one of the many great classic albums of the 70's. Lovers of space, psychedelic and progressive rock will love this album. It became a truly landmark album of early space rock time. The band was on their peak and certainly on their most symphonic, thanks to the presence of Simon House and some real inspired songwriting. It represents Hawkwind's finest hour, a real masterpiece. If you are new to Hawkwind, "Warrior On The Edge of Time" is undoubtedly one of the first albums you should check out from them. Listen for yourself and find out whether if I was right or wrong.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 5/5 |


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