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

HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN GRILL

Hawkwind

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.98 | 441 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With the entry of Simon House into the fold, Hawkwind started a more stylish variation of their cosmic psychedelic trend: House's proficient wizardry on mellotron and electric violin (besides some other keyboards) helped to add a sort of orchestral feel to the band's massively energetic sound, outlining it in a most refreshing way. In fact, despite this newfound source of sonic exquisiteness, Hawkwind's music became even more oppressive, and less predictable as well - the mellotron layers served as a proper complement for Brock's guitar riffs and a spacey counterpart for the enthusiastic rhythm section, or to put in other words, House brings a massive unearthly atmosphere that serves as a powerful counterpart to the combined efforts of Brock, Lemmy and King. The opening track 'The Psychedelic Warlords' is a clear symptom of the band's refreshed sound. The instrumental symphonic adventure 'Winds of Change' is a showcase for House's finesse on violin, while Brock displays the basic chords on organ in a very Wright-esque way. Del Dettmar and Nick Turner's roles in some way suffered from the incorporation of the newcomer's input, although the latter could still take center stage now and then with some flourishes on sax (as in the opening track) and flute, besides some eerie lines on oboe for 'D-Rider', another winner track. Dettmar's position was more endangered: in spite of the productive ambiences provided by his solid synth adornments for tracks such as 'D-Rider' or 'You'd Better Believe It', the fact is that there was one keyboardist too many in the band by then, and his interventions had become evidently much less relevant for the band's renovated sonic attacks. It wouldn't take too long before he takes his leave: in fact, Brock was in charge of some additional synth stuff before Dettmar's departure. The acoustic guitar-based number 'Web Weaver' brings some momentary relaxing release between the dreamy tension of 'D-Rider' and the frontal explosion of 'You'd Better Believe It' (once again, House delivers awesome violin stuff all the way through). The title track is a House- penned sonata, in which a multi-layered violin and an ethereal mellotron follow the grand piano chord progressions: another moment of relief, this time built out of pure romantic beauty. 'Lost Johnny' is a Lemmy-penned number: an effective rocker with a slight bluesy twist. Track 8 is a brief synth soundscape, mostly delivered by Dettmar - with some gong by King and some flute by Turner -, that serves as an interlude for the closing number 'Paradox'; this one pretty much copycats the structure of 'Psychedelic Warlords', albeit being less powerful. "Hall of the Mountain Grill" is an excellent album - sure it may not be totally satisfying for some addicted lovers of old-fashioned raw Hawkwind, but in my book, this is a psych-prog gem.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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