March 8, 2006

CD Review: Tipton, Entwistle, & Powell - Edge of the World

This album is an interesting beast. Rock and metal come together in this convergence of , three of the best. Edge of the World is comprised of previously unreleased material that bring the talents of Judas Priest's Glenn Tipton, the late Who bass player John Entwistle, and the late drummer Cozy Powell. Powell was a member of many groups of the years including Rainbow, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, MSG and Cinderella, plus collaborations with Brian May, Gary Moore, and Robert Plant. Also appearing on the album is keyboardist Don Airey.

I believe these songs were recorded during the sessions which produced Glenn Tipton's Baptizm of Fire, which was recently remastered and re-released. This album continues what was done there with 11 more songs of this power trio.

Edge of the World has a more old school feel to it, combining the open sound sensibilities of 70's rock like the Who with the more metallic influences of Tipton's Judas Priest. Probably not the best way to describe it, but it sounds right. All through the album are some great rhythms. Distinctly less heavy than Baptizm, I wonder what these sessions were going to lead to? Another Tipton solo album? Perhaps the album being listened to here? Finally, I have to ask, why did it take so long for these recordings to come out?

The album has some decent songs, but nothing that really stands out from the crowd. The worst aspect would be Glenn Tipton's vocals, which are decent and relatively interesting on Baptizm, sound strained, unsure, and even more effects laden here. There are some nice drum and bass fills, while the keyboards tend to drown out a lot of the proceedings. Tipton's guitar sounds good, if completely unmetal.

Where I really liked the heavy, pure metal sound of Baptizm of Fire, Edge of the World is interesting as a time capsule of what these three could have done. The music isn't compelling enough to revisit very often, but then the novelty of this trio is undeniable.

The tracks to pay attention to here are "Unknown Soldier," "The Holy Man," "Resolution," and the title track, which has a very 70's flavor. Overall, the album is mediocre with some great moments strewn throughout.

Bottomline. I am glad to see this collaboration seeing the lght of day, although fans of the three may be disappointed, there is enough interesting music to sustain its place in a classic rock fan's collection.

Mildly Recommended. **.5 / *****

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