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Warhorse - Warhorse CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.55 | 62 ratings

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4 stars Wanna know the truth? I just bought this album last week! Pity me . I heard the band since it was late seventies (if I'm not mistaken) but I never felt attracted to purchase the album and only recently when I visited the studio of our new local classic rock radio: The Jakarta Alternative Station (why they call it alternative? Because it's the only classic rock radio down here!) I was amazed with the fact that this band produced very good music when this radio owner (Ilham) showed me the CD he copied from collection of 10,000 LPs!. So the next day after I visited the station, I went to CD store and found this album that cost me USD 18 - which is too expensive for me. Oh . what a price! But never mind - it must justify the investment. Right there in the store I opened the digipak (remastered edition) and asked the storekeeper to play this CD. Boom! "Vulture Blood" rocked the store man .!! People who were visiting the store quite surprised with this radical (and unexpected) change from what was played before which was Britney Spears or Mariah Carey . or whoever I don't know, it doesn't matter. What matters most is WARHORSE rocked the CD store!!! Yeah man .. Kip on rokin' .

What surprised me was the fact when I opened the CD inlay and found this name printed: Ashley Holt. Wow! What a great surprise for. I had been wondering for long about who is this gentleman when I was amazed with his contribution to early Rick Wakeman's albums. He sang wonderfully "You shall hang said the judge ." in "The Prisoner" from No Earthly Connection - Rick's masterpiece! Now .. I gotcha man .!! Finally. So, by knowing this, my USD 18 investment is really justified and I actually should have bought this album long time ago. The only information that I got about Warhorse had always been: a band by Deep Purple's former bassist Nick Simpler. That's it. No one mentioned that Ashley Holt was there. And now I understand why Rick Wakeman asked him to contribute to Rick's early albums.

The music of this album is really nuansamatik - that is a music that truly represents the era of rock music in the seventies. The recording quality is very analog and it creates great value for me personally. As the era was characterized by the use of Hammond organ so is the case with this album. The Hammond organ sound by Frank Wilson is really killing me even from the opening track "Vulture Blood". I would not deny that the music is pretty close with early albums of Deep Purple. The other characteristic is the guitar-playing style which is very bluesy and a bit funk but it merges wonderfully with the rock elements. Nick Simpler's inventive bass guitar playing style is very obvious here.

The album kicks off with a church organ sound that opens "Vulture Blood" (6:13) followed with dynamic drum and guitar work that remarks the rock part of the music. Ashley Holt sings wonderfully with organ as key rhythm section augmented with guitar work by Ged Peck. It's so classic and it's so rewarding .. Especially the organ solo . followed with guitar in alternate uh man .. it's killing me. If you are listening to this album with headphone, you will find great bass guitar playing. "No Chance" (6:22) is a bit melancholic with great organ work at background and melodic singing part. This is true seventies! This is one of my favorite tracks. "Burning" (6:17) brings the music upbeat with still maintaining soaring organ and stunning guitar work. The organ playing style reminds me to Ken Hensley of Uriah Heep. "Ritual" guitar work at opening part reminds me to Deep Purple's music. "Solitude" (8:48) is another excellent track exploring acoustic guitar and organ with vocal power. The chords and notes used are somewhat very progressive. "Woman of the Devil" (7:16) sees the combination of Emerson's The Nice and Deep Purple music. Excellent.

This album is highly recommended. If you can appreciate classic rock / prog music in the seventies, this album is a must. I never regret to purchase this CD that is actually expensive for me. I still want to purchase the second album which featured a song that became a national hit at that time. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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