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Quatermass - Quatermass CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.74 | 203 ratings

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3 stars 70's Heavy Prog in the purist sense

Full Disclosure :

I was 12 years old when this 1970 album was released. It was a time when I was just being introduced to the likes of Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Iron Butterfly, Grand Funk Railroad, The Moody Blues, ELP and King Crimson. But many artist from around the globe, like Quatermass, eluded exposure here in Canada. Thanks to the advent of the home computer and the internet, these lost gems are now within discovery's reach.

Production :

In 1970, rock, and specifically heavy and progressive rock, raised the bar for production values. Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, ELP, all showed that beyond the fantastic playing there was also a sonic universe to explore. This recording is a better than average production for the time. Not quite at the Eddy Offord level but punchy enough to bare repeated listens and cutting more like a serrated knife than a scalpel, the rawness of the sound only adds to this albums appeal given it release date.


Song Writing :

The song writing on this album draws more from the 'Jam Band' arena than the more structured songs of Quatermass's contemporaries. That's not so much a criticism as it is a reference to their style. While many 'Jam Bands' leave me bored and unfulfilled, Quatermass at least gives me just enough interest in the compositions to warrant my attention. But to be honest, none of the songs struck me as particularly note worthy and I doubt very much that anyone outside a hard core fan would recognize or remember a melody here. Thankfully there is place in music for these types of songs as well.


Originality :

A bit of a tough one here since bands like Deep Purple and Uriah Heep come to mind when listening to Quatermass. But since this is a 1970 release and from a band that didn't get a lot of exposure, in Canada at least, I would have to say they are somewhat original. It would be unfair to say that they were trying to emulate the sound of others in the same genre in the same way Triumvirat is thought of compared to ELP, notwithstanding the Jon Lord'ish organ sound and the obligatory drum solo on "Laughing Tackle" that is reminiscent of Iron Butterfly or ELP albums of the same era.


Performance :

Quatermass performs admirably on this album functioning as a tight coherent trio. John Gustafson's bass playing is what I would call a moving bass. Fully engaged in the music and with strong melody of its own, these are the kinds of bass players you want in a trio. Likewise for Peter Robinson's Organ playing. Driving and solid Mick Underwood's drumming completes the band


General Impressions :

An interesting find and a nice addition to the heavy prog sub-genre in what is normally reserved for the better known bands mentioned above. If they had continued to function as band and concentrated on their song writing I have no doubt they would have given us some worthwhile music beyond this first release.


Total = 76/100 (76% of 5 stars)


JD | 3/5 |


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