Trip-O-Meter: 4.75 out of 5
I'd put this album up as the moment when Hawkwind were directly bathed by the cosmic rays of the celestial one-mind. Y'know, we need a good sci-fi way to call this their best album. Everything we need for prime Hawkwind is present and accounted for. Long-winded, psychedelic heavy metal anthems? Check. Weird, rambling Michael Moorcock spoken interludes? Check. Insane 70's analog synthesizers screamin? Check. Lemmy? Check. Yeah, in many ways Hawkwind was (or is, really) the real life Spinal Tap, but that equates to nothing but awesome on this platter.
Some of Hawkwind's most impressive, epic astral clouds of rawk show up on this record. "Assult and Battery" and "The Golden Void" sort of blur together into one heavy metal epic. "Mangu" and "Spiral Galaxy 28948" also pack in the Hawkwind punch in its pure, iconic form. The thing that really gets my groovy prog blood racing, though, are the sci-fi interludes from the amazingly named Michael Moorcock (aw ladies, you've gotta meet Moorcock backstage). I'd be perfectly happy to play you the trio of "The Wizard Blew His Horn," "Standing at the Edge," and "Warriors" until you COMPLETELY understand reality, or your brain falls out. Whichever happens first. At the end of the disc, we get a fun seven minute preview of Motorhead as "Kings of Speed" rock pretty wildly, and then we're treated to an outtake of Lemny black leather-howling called "Motorhead." Of course, he would soon leave the group via the drug ejector seat and form the real Motorhead. The only tune that doesn't really do it for me here is the acoustic-tinged psych ballad "The Demented Man." Hawkwind really shouldn't touch acoustic guitars.
This album is pretty much a psychedelic beacon standing tall amongst the wasteland of the mid-70's. Yeah, Hawkwind sound sort of ranks with the contemporary dinosaur band, but they rock it out in such a deranged manner that their hawk spirit is more one with the punk rockers. Anyway, this is an absolute psychedelic heavy metal masterpiece.