Exposé Online banner

Hawkwind — Chronicle of the Black Sword
(Atomhenge ATOMCD 1012, 1985/2009, CD)

by Anatole Gordon, Published 1994-10-01

Chronicle of the Black Sword Cover art

This incarnation of the band is the same as the one that released Church of Hawkwind, except Alan Davey became a full-fledged member, and Martin Griffin was replaced by Danny Thompson on drums and Dave Charles on percussion. Although Chronicle has some very nice moments, it is a bit weaker overall than Church. For one thing, the drums are monotonous and simple, which tends to make the album even more abrasive than it might otherwise have been. Alan Davey does contribute nicely on bass. On this album, it is the slow songs that have greater appeal than the fast ones, which are hampered by the overly simplistic and monotonous drumming of Danny Thompson. "Shade Gate," "The Pulsing Cavern," and "Zarozinia" demonstrate the band's ability to write good slow songs, contrary to popular belief. For the most part, the lyrics on Chronicle focus on the bygone days of dragons, sorcerers, kings, and knights; a notable exception is "Needle Gun," which talks about the downsides of hypodermic addiction. As with Church, the lyrics on Chronicle are another one of the album's strengths. Moreover, the band stretches out on occasion, with Huw occasionally blazing a nice path with his guitar. The three extra songs in the Griffin release are "Arioch" and live versions of "The War I Survived" and "Voice Inside Your Head," which total 12 minutes. "Arioch" is hard-driving tune reminiscent of Starless and Bible Black-era Crimson. The band pulls this track off quite nicely. "The War I Survived" is also straightforward metal, but the tune is rather plain. Compared with these two tracks, the band spreads its wings in "Voice Inside Your Head," the result of which is another ordinary tune with a nice jam. If you're itching to try some unfamiliar Hawkwind, Church of Hawkwind is a better starting point than Chronicle of hte Black Sword, which is less consistent and not as thoughtfully structured as Church. However, Chronicle is worthwhile for ardent Hawkfans.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 5, 2009 releases, 1985 recordings

Related artist(s): Hawkwind / Hawklords, Dave Brock, Alan Davey

Latest news

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Red Jasper - The Winter's Tale – Hard on the heels of their fourth album A Midsummer Night's Dream, this latest offering from England's Red Jasper appears to be, conceptually at least, a companion piece to that album. The basic style...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues