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I agree with many space-rock connoisseurs on this: “Warrior on the Edge of Time” is Hawkwind’s ultimate accomplishment, as well as a definitive cornerstone for this specific prog trend. Following in the same path of the previous “Mountain Grill” album, “Warrior” delivers a harder edge a more cohesive general ambience. In many passages it seems as if the band intended to make an overall recapitulation of their career so far, with a particular emphasis on the “orchestral” vibe that Simon House brought in with his solid performances on electric violin, synth and mellotron. It also helps that the sound production is polished, so each frantic rhythm path, each guitar riff, each soaring keyboard texture and each solo (on violin, sax or guitar) can fill a distinctive place while interacting with their companion sonic sources in every track’s whole picture. ‘Battery and Assault’ and ‘The Golden Void’ are segued, properly developing the House-era sound, and giving some more room for Turner’s contributions to be highlighted again: his flute and sax solos are amazingly intense.

Anyway, the most prominent feature of the band’s current line of work is the way that House and Brock-Lemmy-King state both poles in order to frame the wall of sound for a major part of the new repertoire: once again, the first two tracks incarnate this strategy quite well. Old friend and cosmic ally Mike Moorcock does some recitations in a few interludes, providing a prophetic vibe that we had already known from the ‘Sonic Attack’ days. ‘The Wizard Blew his Horn’ comprises the first narration, naturally, accompanied by a psychedelic synthesized background. ‘Opa-Loka’ is an energetic, soaring instrumental travel solidly based on an exciting tempo; immediately after, ‘The Demented Man’ brings some sort of solace with its unearthly marriage of acoustic 12-string guitar and electronic keyboards. ‘Magnu’ is the monster track of the album, an explosive rocker whose main motif includes Arabic- like exotic touches: a special mention goes to maestro House, who shines stunningly with his violin excursions, while Turner provides some complementing lines on sax. ‘Standing at the Edge’ and ‘Warriors’ are the other two narrative segments: in between, ‘Spiral Galaxy 28948’ (penned by House) shows the prototypical psyche-stuff of Hawkwind with an added nuance of density. ‘Dying Seas’ ends the album’s official repertoire with a frantic attitude, properly colored by the interaction of violin and sax: this track should definitely have been longer. Here comes another particular note – it’s a pity that Hawkwind couldn’t manage to find a place for ‘Kings of Speed’ and ‘Motorhead’ in the album’s original vinyl format. These two effective rockers (the latter pre-announcing Lemmy’s future trend in his musical career) pretty much complete the rougher side of the band’s sonic spectrum: what’s more, ‘Motorhead’ includes on of the best House violin solos ever. Well, all things considered, it’s a good thing that the CD edition locates them as bonus tracks. In conclusion, “Warrior on the Edge of Time” is my all-time Hawkwind favourite album, and as such, I can only grant it as an excellent item in any good prog collection.

-Cesar Inca, progarchives.com

DOWNLOAD:
Hawkwind-WARRIOR ON THE EDGE OF TIME (1975)
320kbps

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