"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Gypsyhawk - "Patience And Perseverence" (CD)

Gypsyhawk - "Patience And Perseverence" CD cover image

"Patience And Perseverence" track listing:

1. Gypsyhawk
2. Planet Former
3. Commander Of The High Forest
4. Eyes Of Ibad
5. Rebellion On The Western Shore
6. For Those Who Love The Lizz
7. The Bokors Procession
8. Resentment City
9. Blackhaven
10. The Rabble And The Ruled
11. Guidance
12. Defenders Of Good Times

Reviewed by on September 13, 2010

"'For Those Who Love The Lizz' features Gypsyhawk paying tribute to Phil Lynott and the boys — and let me tell you, it's the best Thin Lizzy tune Phil never wrote. "

With their debut disc, Gypsyhawk lays out an impressive buffet of '70s-style sounds that combines the heavy flavors of Black Sabbath with the virtuosity and melodic sensibilities of Thin Lizzy, and adds just a touch of Ace Frehley-style guitar theatrics to spice things up. It's one of the best debut albums I've heard this year, and definitely is a must for fans of metal's founding decade.

The band was founded by ex-Skeletonwitch bassist Eric Harris, who also handles vocals. Harris has a vocal sound somewhere between Gene Simmons of Kiss and Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, and though his range isn't spectacular, he never fails to get the job done, with tracks like "Commander Of The High Forest," "Blackhaven" and "The Bokors Procession" especially standing out.

Guitarists Andrew Packer and Scotty Conant are nothing short of excellent on a technical level, with solos that have an appropriately epic feel. I'm especially fond of the lead guitar line in "The Bokors Procession," which combines heavy-as-hell Sabbath riffing with Thin Lizzy grooves to amazing effect. "Resentment City" is drummer Joe Fabio's best track, especially in the opening segment, which dabbles with jazz before getting funkily heavy.

"For Those Who Love The Lizz" features Gypsyhawk paying tribute to Phil Lynott and the boys — and let me tell you, it's the best Thin Lizzy tune Phil never wrote.

There are really only a couple negative things about the record, one of them being that it ends with its weakest track, the rather pedestrian ZZ Top-style rocker "Defenders Of Good Times." The other issue — and depending on your perspective, it might be a very minor one — is that some of the instrumental interludes go on a shade long. There comes a point when displays of instrumental virtuosity cross into mere showing off. I'm not sure that Gypsyhawk crosses that point, but they do occasionally rub up against it.

All in all, Gypsyhawk's "Patience And Perseverance" is an excellent slab of '70s-style metal. If you're craving the sounds of Sabbath and Thin Lizzy, you'll eat this one up.

Highs: "Commander Of The High Forest," "For Those Who Love The Lizz" and "The Bokors Procession"

Lows: "Defenders Of Good Times" and a few instrumental interludes that go on a bit long.

Bottom line: An excellent album that pays tribute to the acts and sounds of the '70s.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)