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on 16 July 2010
Although I've reviewed the single CD version the addition of the live CD in this version gives me a chance to witter away again and consider the value of the live material.

I'm not going to exactly repeat myself but I've now listened to the studio album numerous times. The standout tracks are the heavy rock of Wraith, with it's more techno rock central section, the beautiful instrumental Green Machine, Tim Blake's Inner Vision, Comfey Chair where more beauty lies, You'd Better believe It which really pounds along with great style although the quiet middle doesn't join so well with the rest, and the even more beautiful Sentinel which for me is the best track. All the band members are throwing themselves into the mix with great boldness. Prometheus seems to be getting good reviews but I find it a bit of a heavy rock plodder and my least favourite of the new songs. However the very messy rework of Sweet Obsession is by far the worst track on the album. It's true that Seahawks and Blood of the Earth are not the strongest openers but it's pounding beat and bass and ambient finish leading into the short ambient Blood of The Earth gives both tracks merit.

As I write the MP3 download includes the bonus track from the single CD, Starshine although Amazon have called it Sunship (a bonus on the vinyl version).

For the live CD we get a short spoken version of Space is Deep over ambient synths, an extremely heavy version of Angels of Death, a good live version of Wraith, Tim Blake's more restrained Tide of the Century which is pretty decent, the best part with more very heavy rock of Magnu leading into a rather splendid version of the mid section of Brainbox Pollution, more heaviness with Levitation, a cover of Syd Barret's Long Gone and Interview which is not really an interview. It's a collection sound snippets, voices and the band talking now and again. Very bizarre. Very pointless. The sound quality on the live tracks is fine, the band are playing with gusto and I think Hawkwind fans will like this a lot. Levellers violin man John Sevink is apparently guesting on the live tracks though I could only detect violin on Angels of Death. Overall a very worthwhile live CD backing a largely excellent studio album.
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on 16 July 2010
Recent Hawkwind albums have tended to be patchy and inconsistent affairs but Blood Of The Earth sounds more coherent, though still containing a healthy mix of styles from atmospheric beauty [Green Machine], through techno [Inner Vision], to powerhouse blanga [Wraith], with the opening 4 tracks sounding as if they were conceived as a self-contained suite. My favourites are the slow-paced space ballad Sentinel, and especially Prometheus, a superb heavier ballad with some wonderful guitar work.

One or two negative issues: I feel Dibs' singing voice is merely adequate [3 tracks]; 2 old songs re-recorded is really 2 too many, even if they are both pretty good; the bonus track Starshine is a rambling ambient instrumental that does nothing for me.

Overall, though, it is a good album, with a family resemblance to Distant Horizons and definitely a return to form after a couple of disappointments.
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on 13 July 2010
After a five year wait I was looking forward to this album, and overall I think there's plenty here to show Hawkwind still have the inventiveness that has made them one of the great maverick bands. Whilst not in the same league as the incomparable 73 Space Ritual album, this is still very listenable. Track One and the title track are perhaps a little abstract, in places being slightly 'Krautrock'. Wraith is stronger and Green Machine is a very nice slice of Hawkwind's often lesser known melodic side. Inner Visions is a little darker with some nice riffing and synth. Sweet Obsession is a lighter,faster and catchier number with classic Brock vocals. Comfy Chair has a Syd Barrett-esque opening which leads in to a spacy latter half. Prometheus has an arabic flavour with a definite prog feel. The reworking of You Better Believe it is, in my mind, well worthwhile - not better but different. The studio disc closes with Sentinel, a strong track with 70s overtones.
The bonus Live CD is a good taste of the band's live prowess, with an excellent version of Angels of Death and Levitation. The reworking of Magnu is also rather good. The only criticism of the live CD is the Interview 2010 track - would have been better to have a straight interview video or some band footage if space was available
All in all a decent album and I look forward to more new material from this incarnation of the band/
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on 18 July 2010
I'm not going to elaborate too much as regards this recent release, other Hawkwind fans have already contributed very worthy reviews so I just want to tell it as it is, brief and to the point.

I bought both CD releases as I've always tried to be very supportive of the band in every little way I can, they deserve it. Apart from having to practically fight to open the box on the double disc issue, the packaging/art is top notch, full marks there.

I was slightly disappointed with the studio effort at first...but wait for it, it's a real grower and I think they have delivered with this and rediscovered their vigour, just give it a chance. Personal favourite has to be 'Comfy Chair', it's got Dave Brock written all over it and has that acoustic/hot electronic feel that dominates earlier classics like 'Space is Deep'/'Demented Man'/We took the wrong step years ago', builds beautifully. 'Wraith' is a real stomper, it has that traditional 'Magnu'/'Angels of Death' kick in the guts feel about it.

It's the 'Live' disc that really has balls and doesn't let up enough to allow the listener to take a breath, it's outstanding, I was in awe the first time I listened to this, it really blew me away. I'd like to say the drive here washes over you, but it's more like being flattened by a steamroller, they actually play with the hard enthusiasm of a band far far younger.

It's a bloody good buy, fab in every way, ten out of ten.
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on 28 July 2010
I dont know what the reviewer was listening to or if he has odd shaped ears (Vulcan?) but he cant have listened to the same album as me!
This is a great album, how much more rocking can you get than Wraith? This is the classic Riff track that makes you drive too fast and can certainly match some of the classic Hawkwind Tracks. The album has a slow start with Seahawks and then gets even slower with Blood of the Earth ( this type of track really needs to be either put in a concept album or the bin and is the only reason I couldnt give 5 stars) but then Wraith explodes through the speakers. Green machine gives us a chance to catch our breath with a great chill out sound before Inner visions starts moving us up a gear again. Sweet Obsession keeps us trundling along with a chorus that sticks in your mind for hours afterwards. Time to calm down again with Comfy chair but this is deceptive as it really builds. I love this track. Prometheus gives us some classic steady rock with Sitar's, before we get the updated version of You Better Believe it. Others seem to be critical of reworks but I think they did a great job here. Finaly we end with another stonking track in Sentinal. Then as a bonus you get the live album. Terrific!
This is the best Hawkind Album in years, buy it you wont be dissapointed.

Great job done

Oh BTW Mr BBC reviewer, get your ears tested
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VINE VOICEon 7 December 2010
Right.... I'd imagine that in the main this will be read by fans of Hawkwind in which case you'll either be fans of the 1970's line up or perhaps hard core followers who have bought as much of their enormous catalogue as possible.

If you are just curious having read the odd review, and are considering adding this to your wish list as a kind of surprise option.... then do not hesitate. Somehow a band of 40 year old vintage has managed to deliver one of their strongest sets for a long long time.

Don't be fooled by their longevity though, this is no walk down memory lane, well, outside of the one re-working of a track from Hall of the Mountain Grill. No, this record sounds utterly vital, completely relevant and most of all, great to these ears that have grown tired of the badly played unimaginative nonsense that purveys the music scene at the moment.

It's kind of classic Hawkwind with themes of space and time, but with a lovely dash of subtlety and craft that have lifted this album right up there with their very best.

So, stand out tracks, well, as usual, I wont say. Just buy the record/Mp3/CD and play it, lots. It will grow on your and reward the listener with a really rounded experience that will re-energise your faith in rock music.

Yes, it is that good.
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on 24 July 2010
I'm driven to write a review partly because i have listened to this virtually non stop since its release, and partly because i'm just a bit miffed at the Amazon review, grrr!
I cant give it 5 stars because Space Ritual will always be their masterpiece and also Warriors, In search of Space, and Doremi also well deserving of 5 star status. So... on that basis this new release gets 4, but this is only because i am comparing it with other classic hawkwind. But let the truth be known, this is vintage stuff, and a very good album indeed. But sorry, Amazon, but to suggest this is this sign of a band running out of steam and grounding to the halt is not on. So to any true Hawkwind fan (they are my favourite band of all time- and yes they have done some crap) who is left with second thoughts on buying this, I say go buy and don't be put off by the amazon review. Its all there, there are moments of vintage 70's Hawkwind, but interestingly it sits very comfortably with Alien4 as a companion piece, listening to those 2 albums back to back is, er well, quite a trip man! Hawkwind return with an excellent album, its beautiful in places, dark and forbidding in others, and true to any Hawkwind album theres plenty of mind melting riffs to send shivers up your spine. I was worried that they were loosing it, I wasnt impressed with their Knights in Space release last year, but now i am a happy man again. The Hawks are flying high again!
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on 1 July 2010
One thing I like about Hawkwind is that new members are given free reign to exert their influence and not just here and there but in the very centre of the sound. With Tim Blake back, Niall Hone and Mr Dibs well settled into theirs role, they all seem to all be throwing themselves into the collective melting pot with great gusto to produce what is ultimately a rather grand affair. It has a similar style to Electric Teepee, Alein 4 and to an extent Take Me to Your Leader, which for me is a good thing, but it's sound is somewhat different, while retaining the classic heavy rock, synth and more latterly techno rock and ambience that defines the Hawkwind sound. The only criticism of the sound is that sometimes there's almost too much going on.

This is an album that certainly improves as it goes along but there's no tracks here without merit. Perhaps it starts with one of the weaker tracks, Seahawks, as a pounding beat backs a cacophony of synth and guitar and brief spoken vocals. Some atmospheric synth ambient soundscape take us into the title track which continues the synth soundscape and finishes with more spoken vocals. With the heavy rock of Wraith the album really takes off, and perhaps this should have been the opener, with plenty going on and a beautifully judged synth guitar/drum typical Hawkwind techno rock middle section. Then Green Machine, a most beautiful instrumental, follows with Tim Blake's lead synth interchanging with Niall Hone's melodic lead guitar. Inner Visions throws in the works as Tim Blake sings (?) over a rock/techno fusion beat. Excellent stuff to be sure. The weakest point is the reworking of the old Dave Brock solo track Sweet Obsession. The original was OK and the production here is a bit messy.

Comfey Chair sounds like it could be one of Hawkwind's fun mess arounds but turns out to be a rather beautiful relatively laid back synth driven piece and perhaps the best song so far. I don't use beautiful that often in Hawkwind reviews but there's rather a lot of beauty to behold. Promethus is a slower heavy rock track. It's not the best song ever written but it's not bad either.

Then Hawkwind rework the old classic, You Better Believe It. Perhaps it's best to describe this regular feature of Hawkwind releases as a revival than a rework. It's not as if there's a shortage of material and they are desperate to fill up space on the album. This one is fine and has a quieter slow middle section. The original though is still the version of choice.

Then we're back to beauty with perhaps the best new song - Sentinel and a rough edged ambient instrumental Starshine to finish off. I would liken it Going to Hawaii from Electric Teepee, but with more edge and lead guitar to keep it going over it's seven minutes span.

While waiting for the double CD version of the album to be released I bought the MP3 of the single CD on which this review is based. Now I'm going to have to buy the double CD as well.
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on 14 November 2013
A mixed bag here for sure, i think it has about eveything a hawk fan could want,that said the only critisism would be dibs vocals,nice fella, i just find that west country twang grates on me plus he doesnt carry it off anywhere near brock,calvert even turner which says something but hey this is still a great piece of hawk history.Wraith i love...hard pounding heavy space heaven and sentinal is really moving plus another i cant place now thats an instro just after wraith i think....that wee tune is extremely haunting indeed and tim blakes inner visions is tim at his best,hawkwind have constantly evolved and even tho each new member brings a new twist they always retain that unmistakable hawkwind sound,mr brock has always written great songs and i look forward to brockworld because if its as good as lookin for love in .....then it will be a winner for me.Loved and followed these fellas for yrs and always will so i hope you enjoy this psychedelic offering of cerebral ecstasy and yes that is mathew wright from that awful two second phone in cut u off if i dont agree with u tv nonsense....Lowry turner ....Please no,but hes not the same offscreen trust me so give him a break even if just a little.
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on 11 July 2010
As one of the very faithful, I bought the vinyl release first. Delivered in an oversized box by Amazon, to my great pleasure I discovered the art of music again as soon as I removed the film sleeve, well done to the new record label, best Hawkwind album cover since the mid-Seventies, fantastic! My 33 year old Micro Seiki record deck has been under the bed for about 6 years now. Out it came and plugged it into the old faithful Audiolab 8000A. A revelation, last time I gave the old deck an outing, even with a new cartridge and stylus it sounded a bit 'thin'. Not this time, Blood of the Earth vinyl comes carved out of granite it seems. Marvellous sound, just bloody marvellous.

A number of us will be familiar with a number of songs here, 'Wraith', 'Prometheus', 'Sentinel' and of course 'You'd Better Believe It' all pre-aired over the last 18 months' fantastic live shows.

But here it all fits together, one great psychedelic wall of sound, absolutely fabulous in its entirety. My great hero Mr Brock, long may he keep this project going, genuinely rejuvinated by the young Mr. Hone, Mr. Dibs and the everlasting talent of Richard Chadwick and Tim Blake.

Can't wait for the December shows, guys - this is brilliant - don't make us wait another 5 years please! By the way 'You'd Better believe it' is now one of my abosolute all time faves now, just a complete joy.
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