Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Hawkwind - Church Of Hawkwind CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.81 | 98 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
4 stars Hawkwind has become a matter of the heart for me. I have come to love them. Well, maybe not all of it but that's hardly to expect since their existence stretches over of half a century. Their output is on top of that vary varied in terms of musical direction. As most people I came in by way of "Space ritual" and proceded exploring their albums of the first half of the 70's. Eventually I ventured into the latter half and found alot to cherish, more so than I found on the records made between 1970-1975. My favorite era of the mighty Hawkwind is the 80's. This is such a vibrant and exciting part of their career. Opening the new decade with "Levitation" (a 5-star album in my book) they proceded to explore and really pull it off big time throughout the decade. To me this was Hawkwind in their most exciting and fulfilling era. The six albums made, from "Levitation" in 1980 to "Xenon Codex" in 1988, are all very magnificent, though they all come in somewhat different flavors.

"Church of Hawkwind" was released in 1982 and was a very ambient affair. There are tons of synthesized sounds, blips and boinks throughout. One could argue that it sounds dated or that the sound effects are designed to disguise the lack of proper material but that is not the case. One could also argue that some of the tracks (like "Angel voices") really aren't songs but you have to listen to the album as a whole to get the picture. These are not simply sound effects created by some guy that just bought the latest synthesizer and played around with it. This is serious music with a concept. The album is at it's best when digested as a whole. The ambiance and moods are perfectly augmented by the sounds. Ominous, spacey and out of this world. It forms a whole that is thrilling, exciting and not to be taken lightly.

Now, it might sound as though Hawkwind had dropped all metallic punch from "Levitation" but they hadn't. There are several pieces of evidence of this not being so. "Nuclear drive" is a typical hard edged Hawkwind tune from the 80's. It packs quite a punch. The same could be said of "Looking in the future" or "Fall of Earth city", songs that include quite a bit af the hard rock of "Levitation" but with a very ambient atmosphere. Another one of these songs are one of my real favorites, "Star cannibal". Brocks narrative vocals over a hypnotic and spacey groove is just an amazing listen. Totally brilliant.

Whilst every track is good or brilliant there are those that stand out more than others. As I said "Star cannibal" is one of those brilliant compositions but another is the magnificent "Some people never die" which has a real hard rock attack but augmented by ambient sound effects and holds the actual sounds from the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald and Robert Kennedy. This is dramatic music that sucks me in every time. Words cannot truly say what I am feeling when listening to this track. Brutal intensity and drama.

Another one of these brilliant songs are tucked away at the very end of the album. Preceded by a sombre and spacey prelude (of sorts) "Looking in the future" unleashes a great guitar and one of the highlights have begun. To end an album with one of its finest compositions is genius.

I find "Church of Hawkwind" to be an album of absolute cohesiveness. Everything is held together in a glorious fashion. From the opening effects of "Angel voices" to the last distorted chord of "Looking in the future" you're in for a ride. The music is very intense, emotive, ambient, harsh, aggressive, soothing and enthralling in a way that only Hawkwind manages to pull off. Not all their albums are as cohesive and entertaining affairs as "Levitation" or "Church of Hawkwind" but both of these are perfectly shaped pieces of art that really are worth a listen. This is dazzling, mindblowing music perfect for any and all situation.

GruvanDahlman | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this HAWKWIND review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.