Hawkwind
Warrior on the Edge of Time


4.5
superb

Review

by Matthew Hopkins USER (44 Reviews)
April 14th, 2013 | 28 replies | 3,062 views


Release Date: 1975 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hawkwind keep up their brilliant sound with Warrior, an album that would be the last truly great thing they accomplish in the 70s.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Hawkwind – A trip through Space, Part V The Opus

Hall was a complete success, Hawkwind had truly reached the high of their career and surely it would not be possible for them to reach this standard again? Warrior on the edge of time truly shows that it is possible for lightning to strike the same place twice. With this record being equal in stature and ability to Hall of the Mountain Grill.

The line-up between Grill and Warrior changed in standard Hawkwind fashion. Del Dettmarr had left, leaving the band without a permanent soul behind the synthesiers. In addition they hired another drummer, a man by the name of Alan Powell. This meant that Hawkwind actually had two people behind the drum kit, because apparently one wasn't enough for this band who will try anything once.

Warrior is somewhat of a concept album and much of the input came from Michael Moorcock, a science fiction writer from the 1960s onwards. The album is roughly based around his saga of the Eternal Champion. This direction helps focus the band in the same way that Grill did. Meaning that the performance is tight and well constructed. On this album Hawkwind is.

Michael Moorcock – vocals
Dave Brock – guitar, keyboards, vocals, bass guitar
Nik Turner – saxophone, flute, vocals
Lemmy – bass guitar, vocals
Simon House – violin, keyboards
Simon King – drums, percussions
Alan Powell – drums, percussion

You'd think that losing the man behind their synthesiser department would stop Hawkwind, but it doesn't, in fact this album is much more synthesised than the last few ones. The album begins in the same vein as Grill, except the music is much more light hearted. This is still Hawkwind in rock mode, and the music they play is brilliant. The chilling wind segments sound mythical. The guitar work and bass really pound along with a quick pace, Brock's vocals are swollen with the sound of space and time. If anything, the loss of Dettmar has made them sound more like King Crimson than anyone else, with Turner sounding like he belongs on the album Red by the progressive rock band.

The first two songs merge together to form one larger song that takes up half the first side. Whereas 'Assault and Battery' are harsher and rockier, 'The Golden Void' sounds more like old Hawkwind, the synthesiser department taking the song across the vast crevice of space and time. The middle section of this song is particularity delicious, with powerful wind segments combined with the moving vocals of Brock, the keyboards come to life with a moving tune that carries on to the end.

'The wizard' is a harsh interlude to the album and the first of several, it is a recital of a poem by Moorcock and is spoken by him in a foreboding voice that bounces around the album. The Wizard blew his horn..... The Wizard blew his horn......

'Opa-Loka' is a funky little Hawkwind jam, that sounds quite krautrock in style. The drums beat in a quick steady beat through the entire song, never changing and never slowing, yet they seem to flow with a unnatural ease over the record. Hovering over this solid ground is the well tested and trusted Hawkwind style space jam. With the keyboards at work overhead the guitars in the background.

The mood then suddenly changes with the song 'The Demented Man' which is a Brock style acoustic song. His simple guitar complimented by the keyboard and wind sections of the band making sure that he is never alone on his journey.

'Mangu' is another Hawkwind jam which has middle eastern influences, especially in the wind section which accompanies the sound. Brock's voice is as good as ever, and is packed full of synthesised goodness. The synthesisers themselves dance with the keyboard and the percussion. Teetering back and forth from quiet to loud, from great vast tracks of noise to quiet dribbles of humbled music.

This is broken up by another interlude-poem. With Brock's highly altered voice pounding away about the soldiers on the end of time, another one of Moorcock's poems from his eternal warrior saga which gave this album its concept. The later poem 'warriors' is an extension of this poem, and causes the later half of the album to break up in sound.

'Spiral galaxy' is an instrumental, a highly synthesised track from the mind of Simon House. This track holds to his section of the band brilliantly, with powerful noises from the synthesier department taking the majority of the credit on this song. The drums do their best to keep up, and are as varied and as catchy as the synthesiser section could hope to be.

This sound carries on to 'Dying Seas' another synthesied jam, Brock's vocals swell and deflate across the track being carried along the winds of the synthesisers and the insistant drumming.

'Kings of Speed' is much more hard rock than the rest of the album, sounding similar in style to the previous album. But it is still much less dark than anything of Grill, but the drums and the solo work are excellent, a happy go lucky rock song to bring this brilliant album to it's conclusion.

Warrior is a very space styled album, and is quite different in style to their previous outings. The influence Lemmy had has appeared to diminish, as the bass is much less gritter and the overall sound is much lighter. Despite the synthesiser department being officially empty, this album is ruled by them. With the wind and the keyboard holding much of the musical sway in a similar way to Hawkwind's first two albums. All in all, this album is truly a great record to get your hands on.

However, this would be the last truly great Hawkwind album, not long after it was released the band began to explode. Lemmy was sacked not long after, his gritty metal bass replaced for all eternity. In addition by the time the album was completed, despite all it's brilliance the fans were left wanting more. After five albums in five years, nearly all of them brilliant examples space rock, Hawkwind were beginning to sound stale, and were left with two options. Evolve their sound, or disappear into the cracks of space and time.



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user ratings (99)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
tarkus (4.5)
We are the warriors on the edge of time...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Hoppoman
April 14th 2013



630 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Longer review than before, will probably have to slow them down a bit now though.

Jethro42
April 14th 2013



12033 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

noted

sideburndude
April 14th 2013



2782 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

aw yea

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
April 14th 2013



1776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review of a timeless album. I'm a massive fan of Michael Moorcock's fiction and Hawkwind really brings out the concept brilliantly on this album and on 'The chronicle of the black sword' (which I did a review of a long, long time ago). The narrative pieces really help to bring t the story and focus it, but 'Magnu' and 'Dying seas' are my personal highlights from this album.

Mad.
April 15th 2013



2930 Comments


First two tracks are great but I can't quite dig this... the overall tone of the album sounds a bit too similar...

Hoppoman
April 15th 2013



630 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That would be my one major criticism of the album. They begin to feel samey after a few days of Hawkwind.

H61
April 15th 2013



270 Comments


wheedle weeedle solo*

CaptainDooRight
April 16th 2013



26403 Comments


sweet review dude, pos'd

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

Mad.
April 16th 2013



2930 Comments


ON THE EDGE OF TIME





ON THE EDGE OF TIME

Hoppoman
November 18th 2013



630 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Finally got this on vinyl, the entire thing opens up into a 48' x 48' shield. So much win!

Mad.
November 18th 2013



2930 Comments


Man, that sounds amazing. It better've been the 2013 remaster for full glory. I wish I had a vinyl player, simply for the artworks

Hoppoman
November 18th 2013



630 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nah it was an older one but in perfect condition. Picked it up with Focus 3 by Focus.

Mad.
November 19th 2013



2930 Comments


Nice, never actually listened to Focus myself, I guess I should.
How's the BoTE review coming along?

Piglet
January 19th 2014



4644 Comments


damn i didn't actually realize michael moorcock helped the band with this album

Hoppoman
January 20th 2014



630 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hell yeah, he worked on this and Chronicle of the Black Sword.

Mad.
January 22nd 2014



2930 Comments


Still need to get back to this one. Assault & Battery / Golden Void is the best Hawkwind song(s) I've ever heard though

RunOfTheMill
February 23rd 2014



1239 Comments


Damn this rules hard

KILL
February 23rd 2014



67082 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hell yea it does

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2014



14492 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good review my lord arioch

Digging: Ian Anderson - Homo Erraticus

Mad.
February 23rd 2014



2930 Comments


Hall >



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