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Hawkwind - Blood Of The Earth CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.68 | 126 ratings

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4 stars The band took some time, five years anyhow, to work out something new. 'Blood Of The Earth' is a space rock album which will certainly please many lovers of this genre, but probably not every HAWKWIND music fan over the course of the complete length. It somehow sounds close to common band songs which bear a straightforward garage rocking orientation. But you will also find a neat proportion of mellow, ambient, raga and experimental impressions.

I'm quite sure that Niall Hone has a large share here. At the end of 2008 he joined, coming from the band 'Tribe Of Cro' which I really liked, especially to name their last official album 'Virtual Vinyl'. Was surprised when I noticed Niall's change and thought that he was only filling a temporary gap for some gigs. However, this stands for nearly two years in the meanwhile. Although I'm not a HAWKWIND expert, my opinion is that you can hear his influence ... and this is surely meant as a positive statement.

Well, I'm writing about the single CD version, one can also purchase this album as a double vinyl or even the extended digital version including a live CD. First of all a limitation - not all the songs are completely new. Written by Dave Brock You'd Better Believe It for example was originally released on HAWKWIND's 1974 album 'Hall Of The Mountain Grill'. Don't know the original and therefore can't compare. A hollow doomy bass is striking but so much the more the jamming inner part ... wonderful melancholic guitars, Rhodes piano, percussion and soaring synths are interacting whilst moving away from the heavy mood for some time.

Sweet Obsession in addition derives from Dave Brock's first solo album 'Earthed To The Ground'. Not a groundbreaking composition, provided with a drum work which needs getting used to. Now coming to the real new stuff the dramatic Seahawks is convincing with a stomping cosmic groove close to TOC. Comprising the following tile song HAWKWIND offer an intriguing mixture of samples, synthesizer input, narrations. And this means they begin to open a surprise bag in fact. Wraith is another example where you are first confronted with this heavy attacking, yeah, nearly hardcore or punk attitude ... but then they suddenly fall into a mellow spacey mood like competing with the 'Oresund Space Collective' - spiked with some new age tinged beats/electronics.

The pastoral ambient coloured Green Machine follows and Inner Visions even shows them on a tightrope walk when including a strong ethno tribal direction. Very interesting I must say and the fantastic Comfy Chair perfectly fits as the next song ... if not this unforced break would occur. Sorry, I'm not convinced that this is the perfect track order - the aforementioned 'Sweet Obsession' seems to be misplaced here. Never mind, back to this comfy chair - charming, comfortable, melodic, my album highlight. Acoustic guitar, violin nuances ... the organ/synth work is simply impressing - a wondrous track by all means and nothing what I normally would expect from such a band.

'Blood Of The Earth' is partially drifting away from the band's inherent heavy space rocking behaviour. Provided with a good mixture of retro and modern elements, plus some new surprising facets ... at least for me. As it could be expected the vocals are not the strongest point, lyrics turn on fantasy and sci-fi themes as usual. Main attraction are the varied guitar and keyboard/synth contributions though. Overall this is an entertaining album - well done!

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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