Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Chronicles of Black Sword
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
BENJAMIN MILER | Veneta, Oregon | 04/11/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After a string of rather electronic, experimental albums Hawkwind did in the early 1980s like Sonic Attack (1981), Church of Hawkwind (1982) and Choose Your Masque (1982), they decided to do a more straightforward approach for this 1985 album, The Chronicle of the Black Sword. They witnessed another lineup change. Dave Brock is here, as always. New members at that time included bassist Alan Davey and drummer Danny Thompson. As I just found out, Danny Thompson is none other than the son of the bassist for the folk band The Pentangle, who happened to also be named Danny Thompson. Nice to see father and son both get in to music even if they went totally different musical paths. The rest of Hawkwind in '85 consisted of Harvery Bainbridge who by this time ditched the bass altogether and stuck entirely to synths, and second guitarist Huw-Lloyd Langton. It's easy to see how some people might be a little disappointed with this album. They aren't trying to blow your mind with all sorts of electronic effects on this album, they more or less stick to music here. There are a couple of electronic pieces like "The Pulsing Cavern" in between regular songs like "The Sea King" or "Needle Gun". Although this came out in 1985 when just about every band out there that played with synths replaced their old analog synths with new digital synths, like the Yamaha DX-7, I was rather surprised to hear all analog synths on this album (although the band would quickly hop on the digital bandwagon after this like on The Xenon Codex, Space Bandits, and Palace Springs). Perhaps even more surprising was Hawkwind was one of the earliest bands to record digitally, their 1980 album Levitation was recorded digitally even though the synths used on that album was analog (of course, since digital synths did not exist in '80). Of all songs on Chronicle of the Black Sword, the only one I really didn't care for all that much is "Needle Gun". Aside from that, I really don't think this album is anything Hawkwind should be ashamed of, it's not their best album, but it's definately worth having if you're a fan. It's truly a lot better than many of those disasters of theirs released on small labels, which were usually unofficial releases, poorly recorded live albums, poorly arranged compilations, bootlegs, etc. If you're new to Hawkwind, Chronicle of the Black Sword might not be the best place to start with, try one of their 1970s efforts like Doremi Fasol Latido or Hall of the Mountain Grill first."
Hawkwind - 'Chronicles Of The Black Sword' (Griffin)
Mike Reed | USA | 10/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Originally released in 1985.With illustrations of sorcerers,wizards,mystical places and such,I had a strong feeling that I was in for quite an experience.'Chronicles...' focuses on the tale of Elric,the main character of some of the Michael Moorcock books.Keep in mind that not only is 'Chronicles...' different from any other Hawkwind album but I believe it to be a concept lp.With tunes like the fabulous "Shade Gate","Song Of The Swords","The Sea King","Elric The Enchanter" and "Arioch",you can sort of get the 'vibe' of a past mythical time.The instrumental tracks are somewhat hypnotic enough to REALLY take you in,IF you allow 'em to do so.A well done,very superbly produced piece of work here.The band released a live lp from this lp's tour 'Live Chronicles' the following year."
Chromefreak | 07/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of the better Hawkdiscs of the 80s. After "Levitation," "Chronicle of the Black Sword" may be the purest distillation of Hawkmusic in the 80s. The guitars are amped up into the metal zone and the songs themselves have more of a traditional verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/verse/chorus structure than any of Hawkwind's other albums. There are some fine songs here, though: "Sleep of a Thousand Tears," "Song of the Swords" and "Sea King" rock hard and heavy, while the more synthesized, experimental pieces like "The Pulsing Cavern" find Harvey Bainbridge at last conquering his Moog Source. All dedicated Hawkwind fans will enjoy this album, though those who've been with the Hawkship since the 70s may be somewhat disappointed by the more commercial sound and the overwrought production. Still, the combination of Hawkwind and Moorcock is enormously attractive and too much for both Hawkfans and SF fans to ignore. And for the reviewer below who says that "Needle Gun" has nothing to do with Elric, I'd advise you to reread the Elric saga. In fact, "Needle Gun" has everything to do with Elric. Elric was a drug addict and "Needle Gun" is all about the horrors of drug addiction."