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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Jade Warrior

Released - Remastered Edition

Review by Gary Hill

Cherry Red has put together this new remastered edition of Jade Warrior's second album. It includes the full album along with one bonus, track, an alternate take of one of the songs. I have to admit that I'd always heard of this band, but never heard of them before. Based on this one release their sound was unique and very cool. It has as much psychedelia and Cream in it as it does prog rock. I have to say that this has me interested in hearing more from this act.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Three Horned Dragon King
Hard-rocking guitar starts this number. The drumming that joins has a cool vibe to it. The vocals come in, along with other elements and we're off into a cool psychedelia turned proto-prog journey. There is some killer jamming at work on this number.
Eyes On You

I love the rhythm section groove at the beginning of this. The cut comes in from there feeling a bit like something Canned Heat might do. There is a little more of a jazz rock edge to it, though. This gets into some intriguing zones before it's over.

Bride Of Summer
A mellower tune, psychedelia and proto-prog merge on this. It's sort of a trippy ballad with an organic vibe to it. The melodic guitar soloing on this really makes me think of Robert Fripp.
Water Curtain Cave
This instrumental piece comes in with a great jazz arrangement. It really makes me think of something from the 1960s era of some of the jazz greats. It has a cool driving energy and a lot of style and charm. It gets into some pretty crazed territory as it continues driving forward. A couple minutes into the song it drops way down to some trippy mellow zones. It eventually works back up to more powered up jazz jamming around the five-minute mark.
Minnamoto’s Dream
There is some backwards tracking at play early on this number. The cut is very classy and unusual. This is decidedly proggy. It has a real hard-edged sound that works like crazy. An almost power-trio sound takes over after a time. There is some pretty cool jamming that ensues after that. This makes me think of a proggier Cream as the vocals return. There is a fairly frantic and jazzy closing movement that really does a great job of capping the whole thing off.
We Have Reason To Believe
I love the cool riff driven almost King Crimson-like sound that brings this into being. The vocals again make me think of Cream, and there is some real old-school rock and roll sound at play. The jazzy groove that ensues later is so cool.
Barazinbar
The tasty jam that brings this in calls to mind War for me. The piece continues to build out from those origins with a lot of style and charm. This is another classy instrumental track. There is some smoking hot psychedelia meets jam band stuff going on here at as this works forward.
Yellow Eyes
There is a lot of magic and charm to this tune. It's organic and potent. It has a real folk meets psychedelia and proto-prog. I think it's one of the better tunes here and has more folk based vocals than some of the other songs do.
Bonus Track:
                  
Minnamoto’s Dream (Sudden End Version)

As the title and parenthetical reveal, this is an alternate version of the earlier track. That parenthetical pretty much nails it, too. I think this is a fine addition, but in some ways it takes away from the effect of the full album by altering the ending.

 
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