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Quatermass - Quatermass CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.74 | 204 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The marriage between hammond organ and progressive rock is a match made in heaven. There is something celestial about it. The versatile organ is able to produce a noise that is terrifying, a sweet caress that is soothing and a full blown assault on your being. All in one go, at that.

There were quite a few groups centered around organ, bass and drums in the very early years of the 70's. Sometimes the result was great (ELP, for instance) and sometimes less so (Aardvark, is one). Quatermass was exactly a group such as that. Organ, bass and drums plus vocals from John Gustafsson (and what a voice!). How do Quatermass fare? Pretty darn good, if you ask me. Unlike Aardvark you get a full sound, great music (including a couple of covers) and a furious delivery. True, there are some ELP-ish moments (perhaps quite a few) but it does not mean that they are clones. Quatermass is an entity of their own. "What was that?" could easily have been on any of the first three ELP albums but there is plenty of sounds that's their own.

The opener "One blind mice" is such a track, as is the great and majestic "Post war saturday echo". I would generally say that Quatermass holds back on the classical influences, unlike ELP, and goes straight for a more hardrock noise (the organ solo makes me shiver and smile like a loon), as in "Up on the ground", and/or adding a slight melodic (pop-ish, if you like) element at times. Such is the case in the cover "Black sheep of the family" or "Gemini". Now, those are pop or rock songs from the beginning but very melodic. The pop/rock elements are, however, played with such fury and energy that it is sometimes breathtaking. One short but amazing track is "Make up your mind". It's 1 minute and 44 seconds of pure delight.

Quatermass indeed play a heavy kind of prog and put forth a staggering amount of brilliant noise. I love it and everytime I put it on it fills me with joy. A great album from a great band. I wish they had made another back in the day but on the other hand one certified album of brilliance is the better deal. And the cover, it is so iconic. That's how you mend a shed. Or however the saying goes.

GruvanDahlman | 4/5 |


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