Thursday, December 07, 2006

HAWKWIND - The Chronicle of the Black Sword (1985)

Space Rock, Psychedelic rock ,Proto-punk, Heavy Metal

Harvey Bainbridge / keyboards, synthesizers, voice
Dave Brock / vocals, synthesizers, guitar
Dave Charles / percussion
Alan Davies / bass, backing vocals
Huw Lloyd-Langton / lead guitar, vocals
Danny Thompson / drums

Concept album based on the Elric books by Mike Moorcock.Recorded and mixed at Rockfield Studios August/September 1985.

Tracklist :

01 Song Of The Swords
02 Shade Gate
03 The Sea King
04 The Pulsing Cavern
05 Elric The Enchanter
06 Needle Gun
07 Zarozinia
08 The Demise
09 Sleep Of A Thousand Tears
10 Chaos Army
11 Horn Of Destiny

Link to download :

"Distilled essence of Hawkwind. This is my favourite Hawkwind album with some brilliant tracks not available elsewhere. Oustanding tracks include Elric The Enchanter, Zarozinia, The Demise and Horn of Destiny - but there isn't a duff track on this. Based upon the Elric books by Mike Moorcock, the band and author are truly symbiotic. This is difficult to get hold of now, so if you get the opportunity, don't let it get away."

"“Chronicle of the black sword” is one of Hawkwind’s most creative albums, thanks in no small part to Michael Moorcock’s “Elric” stories, on which the album is based. Many of the tracks feature the familiar sound of Hawkwind’s driving pace, and monotone vocals, “Song of the swords”, “Sea king”, and the wonderful “Needle gun” to name but three. “Zarozinda” finds the band in a much slower, more reflective, are I say beautiful mood. Of the many Hawkwind albums available, this one stands out as falling in to the recommended listening category.

"Hawkwind's last true progressive rock album; although the emphasis here is on the word 'rock', indeed, this could possibly be cited as the first true 'progressive metal' album.In a way going back to their '70's roots, and picking up their previous collaborations with Michael Moorcock, this is Hawkwinds first (only?) concept album, dealing with the trials and tribulations of Elric of Melnibone, and his bane, the demon possessed black sword.Brock's masterstroke here was bringing in unknown youngster Alan Davey on bass guitar, and moving Bainbridge to token synthesisers/backing vocals; Davey's writing input is unknown, but lyrically, this album is more focussed and tighter (no mean feat, given the vast source material of Moorcock's many Elric novels), and apart from my own personal bane 'needle gun' (the only reason I give this album 4 stars, not 5), this is the first Hawkwind album for a long time where you will find yourself listening all the way through time and again.The tour which accompanied this album saw Hawkwind going into the area of stage shows, dancers, actors, occasional visitations from Moorcock himself on stage to read excerpts from the books, and being able to incorporate many old songs into the story (most notably from 'Warrior On The Edge Of Time) - for this, you need to check out the live album 'Live Chronicles' "

"It may be a late addition to the Hawkwind catalogue, and it may be somewhat forgotten in the mess of albums that can be found in any Hawkwind discography, but Chronicle of the Black Sword is a serious contender for the prestigious honour (yeah, right...) of being my favorite Hawkwind studio album. Sure, the keyboards give it a bit of that annoying 80s feel, but Dave Brock and company (who had returned to working with Michael Moorcock for this record) sound as inspired and rocking on here as they had in quite some time. With the outstanding lead guitar of Huw Lloyd-Langton present once again in the Hawkwind lineup, we get some great hard rocking guitar solos, which border on shredding at times. This is indeed some of the heaviest Hawkwind material out there, which may be why I'm so into it. Instrumentals like "Shade Gate" and "Pulsating Cavern" are excellent slices of psychedelia, showing that the band has far from abandonned the roots of it's sound (unlike many prog bands in the 80s), while "Sea King" and "Elric the Enchanter" are accessible but still hugely addictive rockers. And while those stand out as the two strongest tracks on here, the opener "Song of Swords" and the closer "Horn of Destiny" are strong as well, not
to mention "Sleep of 1000 Years". Yep, Chronicle... is almost flawless.Emphasis on almost. Where Chronicle makes it's missteps is on tracks 6 and 7. "Needle Gun" is exactly the kind of cheesy 80s pop-rock song that anyone who buys an 80s prog album would have to be worrying would appear. The lyrics, the melody, this whole track is really a joke. Had the whole album been this kind of commercial garbage, I'm sure Chronicle... would be lumped in with 90125 and Invisible Touch. But fortunately this is not the case, and the second misstep is nowhere near as severe. "Zarozinia" attempts to be the album's beautiful melodic song, but instead simply sounds repetitive and boring, not to mention out of place on such a hard rocking album. What really bugs me about it is the lack of progression. The song's entire 3:21 duration has one simple keyboard melody overtop of which Dave Brock sings in his "emotional" voice. It's not too bad a song, just a bit boring.Give this one a chance! Some 80s characteristics may sneak in every now and then, namely the keyboards and occasionally the drum sound, but the songs are great and the band is in top form, so they're easy to overlook. Micheal Moorcock's influence has the lyrics at their psychedelic best, as they tell the story of Moorcock's character from his novels, Elric the Enchanter. And while it may not be prog in the strictest sense, The Chronicle of the Black Sword is simply a great album from one of rock's most inconsistent bands (especially in studio), and that's what matters. (

Salty :
This was my first album from Hawkwind and i love it.Their songs are very melodic,sometimes contains only beautiful synth sounds (track 02,04),sometimes are psychedelic with fantastic sci-fi effects,guitars around...(03,08,10-11) and there is the beautiful "Zarozina".I think they are really more than a normal rock band,try it!Im going to post lot of Hawkwind because they are my favourite band from space rock style.

About the band:
Hawkwind are an English rock band, one of the earliest space rock groups. Their lyrics favour urban and science fiction themes. Notable science fiction writer Michael Moorcock was an occasional collaborator.
Formed in 1969 ,their music began as hard-driving blues rock, but quickly added doses of psychedelic rock, with prominent use of special effects and synthesizers.
Their second album In Search of Space was very successful.Hawkwind achieved chart status with the release of the single "Silver Machine" in 1972, with vocals by Lemmy (later: Motörhead).The science fiction writer Michael Moorcock has a long association with the band. One of Hawkwind's albums Chronicle of the Black Sword was based largely on Moorcock's Elric book series. The cover for this album was designed by John Coulthart.
Their latest studio album is Take Me to Your Leader (2005)



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