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Hawkwind - Hall Of The Mountain Grill CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.99 | 462 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I was pretty excited about listening to this album. I had heard about Hawkwind on a prog documentary I had watched on YouTube and I didn't know that this was Lemmy Kilminster's band before he started Motorhead. I chose to get In the Hall... because reviewers on this site gave it a strong recommendation.

First the disappointing aspect: the sound is pretty poor. After having heard so many re- mastered albums, I have a visual image of the music, and a good re-mastering makes the music seem like a 3D map where each instrument seems to stand out and can be felt. A poor re-mastering is more like a topographic map where the lines tell you where you should see relief in height and depth but in the end it still is only a flat map. This re-mastered version sounds like the 2D map. The drums are just there, as is everything else. It's a flat soundscape, which is such a disappointment since the music is quite alive and rich in sound and variety, and some numbers are very catchy.

As far as progressive music goes, the basic songs and music are not much more than aggressive rock songs of the seventies. Where the music gets more proggy is in the instrumentals especially. Mellotron, piano, and other instruments find their way into compositions of varying styles and moods. The actual songs with lyrics are usually composed of driving guitar, drums and bass without much technical going on, particularly the guitar which mostly sounds like grunge power chords. But then there're the spacey keyboards effects, and fiddle or violin playing also figures in the recipe. Overall, I really like the musical concept of the album and I often find The Psychedelic Warlords (Disappear in Smoke), You'd Better Believe It, and Lost Johnny playing in my head fairly regularly.

Learning to love this album (except for the sound quality) rather quickly, I tried to listen to samples from Doremi Fasol Latido and Warrior on the Edge of Time on Amazon but again the sound quality seems pretty poor. I read that some of the master tapes of Hawkwind's recordings were lost and so the re-mastering is not done from the master recordings. I read Rush had this problem with at least one of their earlier recordings as well. Too bad. With a sound boost I think Hawkwind would really be impressive to listen too. Even still, I can recommend this album if heavy space rock is on your list of preferable listening material.

FragileKings | 4/5 |


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