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Hawkwind - Warrior On The Edge Of Time CD (album) cover

WARRIOR ON THE EDGE OF TIME

Hawkwind

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.09 | 646 ratings

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Warthur
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Hawkwind had long been friends with the influential fantasy author Michael Moorcock, who occasionally contributed lyrics and poetry for their use (of which some can be heard on Space Ritual). So it was only natural that sooner or later the band would choose to create a concept album surrounding Moorcock's tales of the Eternal Champion - a fictional saga based on the conceit that the protagonist of all of Moorcock's books were reincarnations or allegorical renditions of the same archetypal individual.

This would prove to be far from the only time Hawkwind would tackle this subject matter, of course - Chronicle of the Black Sword and the accompanying Live Chronicles album dealt with the Elric saga, the most famous of the Eternal Champion tales - but Warrior On the Edge of Time takes a more abstract take on the concept. Rather than focusing on one incarnation of the Champion in particular, it muses on the concepts informing Moorcock's fiction - heroes and humanity's preoccupation with them, and in particular our regular insistence that our heroes should achieve their ends through savage, violent means.

So much for the lyrical subject matter - how does it sound? Well, in truth I'd say this is one of the most complex and progressive of Hawkwind's albums. From the raw straight-ahead rock of Assault and Battery and Kings of Speed, which bookend the album, to the Krautrock extremes of Opa-Loka, the space rock of The Golden Void, and numerous other tracks, the album is a true tour de force for the entire band, with every instrumentalist working at the peak of their powers. Particularly worthy of mention, of course, is Nik Turner's amazing sax and flute contributions and the excellent keyboard and synthesiser work by Dave Brock, as well as Simon House's violin and Mellotron contributions. Lemmy's bass guitar adds meat to the compositions, of course, but he's less of a presence on this album than he was on the likes of Space Ritual or Hall of the Mountain Grill, and it would be shortly after this one's release that he'd depart to begin his legendary career as leader of Motorhead.

It may take some searching to find these days, but in this particular case we aren't dealing with an album that gets overhyped simply because of its obscurity - rather, I think Warrior is the peak of Hawkwind's studio albums. They'd make great albums after this, of course, but never again would they quite reach this summit in the studio.

Warthur | 5/5 |

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