Friday, July 8, 2011

The Norman Haines Band - Den Of Iniquity (1971 uk heavy proto-progressive rock, 2007 remastered expanded edition - MP3 320K and FLAC)

1971 classic Birmingham UK heavy prog album from Norman Haines Band (post Locomotive and formerly Sacrifice).

The sound is much like Locomotive with perhaps the odd slice of Arzachel style jamming. Featuring Neil Clark on guitar, Andy Hughes on bass & vocals, Jimmy Skidmore on drums and Mr Haines himself on keyboards & vocals.

A single was taken from the album (Finding My Way Home/Rabbits) and released under the name Avalanche! Great cover art and a superb version of the Locomotive track "Mr. Armageddon".

There isn't much justice in the rock world. Far too often, really important talents just don't get the lucky breaks - and the subsequent recognition.

Such a talent is Birmingham-born Norman Haines - composer, singer, organist, pianist. Very much a musician's musician, Norman's always been that little bit ahead of his time.

His earlier recordings with the brass front-lined legendary Locomotive (especially the single "Mr. Armageddon", the LP "We Are Everything You See", and a more recent single called "Daffodil") offered ample proof of this.

Here is Norman's newest band. Raw and rough. But very ready. Much of the music is violent. Especially "Den Of Iniquity", and "Everything You See" - a remake of "Mr. Armageddon".

But everything really grooves along (try the extended "Rabbits") and the rapport that existed at Abbey Road has been faithfully captured, thanks to engineer *Peter Brown.

Incidentally, in contrast to "Den", dig Norman's soul-searchingly introspective - and aptly titled - unaccompanied instrumental, "Life Is So Unkind".

Supporting Norman are former folk scene figure Andy Hughes on bass guitar (and acoustic on his solo feature "Bourgeois"), Jimmy Skidmore on drums and the most soulful new guitarist I've heard in ages, Neil Clarke. Neil's solos on "Rabbits" and over the fade of "Everthing You See" are among the album's highlights.

"Joint Effort" is an appropriate subtitle for this LP. It marks another important step along a very hard road for a musician who really does deserve to be heard. If he does receive recognition, he will get the confidence to make a really valid contribution to contemporary music. He is proud of this album, with justification, as you can hear.

The Norman Haines Band - Den Of Iniquity

Track list:
01. Den Of Iniquity (04:32)
02. Finding My Way Home (03:23)
03. Everything You See (Mr. Armageddon) (04:34)
04. When I Come Down (03:56)
05. Bourgeois (02:59)
06. Rabbits (13:03)
07. Life Is So Unkind (08:04)
08. Elaine (04:34)
09. I Really Need A Friend (03:41)
10. Daffodil (03:50)
11. Autumn Mobile (03:31)
12. Give To You Girl (02:53)

The Norman Haines Band:
*Norman Haines - keyboards, vocals
*Neil Clark - guitar
*Jimmy Skidmore - drums
*Andy Hughes - bass, vocals

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