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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Winterhawk - 1982 Revival
 
Winterhawk - 1982 Revival



ARTIST: Winterhawk
ALBUM: Revival
LABEL: Lambda
SERIAL: L1
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2005, Monster Records, MCD006 * 2006, Rockadrome Records, ROCO003-V-2

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Jordan Marcarus - guitar, vocals * Chris Mazur - guitar * Doug Brown - bass * Scott Benes - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Intro * 02 Sanctuary * 03 Period Of Change * 04 Can't See The Forest For The Trees * 05 Revival * 06 Ace In The Hole * 07 Free To Live * 08 Fallen Dinosaur * 09 Elijah * 10 Hammer And The Axe


Background
The mercurial status awarded to 'Revival' was something I was unaware of until a bit of sniffing around revealed a massive cult following for this much loved disc from one of the Midwest's finest. Led by the enigmatic talent of Marcarus, Winterhawk went through many stages before recording 'Revival', with lineup changes along the way and through their live shows became somewhat of an institution in the Chicago area recording a live show at the famed Aragon Ballroom that saw an official release some years back. 'Revival' came after the band had split but reformed in 1981 and is centered mainly around the guitar brilliance of the somewhat eccentric humanitarian that is Marcarus. The themes are often fantasy based, but the result is a hard rock lovers dream, although to those claiming this is 'desert island' material, that's open to debate.


The Songs
First impressions, and what seems to be the overall opinion of many, is a close resemblance to Rush, through mystical lyrical content and lengthy instrumental passages, all dominated by the fluidity of Marcarus, who seems at ease with just about any hard rock style imaginable, ranging from pomp to metal along the way. 'Intro' is all Marcarus and a heavily harmonised metallic instrumental, with plenty of raw power. 'Sanctuary' shows the first Rush influences, musically in the same park as the Canadian trio were in the mid 70's, when they gambled with their music, Winterhawk themselves toying with quaint acoustic sections followed by far more biting and incisive hard rock sections. In the same fashion is 'Period Of Change', where Marcarus unleashes an epic seventies style solo. 'Cant See The Forest Through The Trees' would indicate another fantasy romp but is actually boogie, handled well and betraying the title totally, showing another side to Marcarus, this time a Southern one. The title cut returns to normality conjuring up images of icy wastelands and warriors at battle, ensuing in some frantic metal. On the flip-side 'Ace In The Hole' takes on the guise of standard late 70's US rock, with more of Marcarus' soloing dominating, this time very pomp in tone. Nothing more than another epic ends the seven track album, the ten minute 'Free To Live', an easy classic, where the band runs through all the cliches, sometimes soft and lush, then evolving into stunning heaviness. It's all down to Marcarus and he is the show-piece, with his solo running minutes on end, taking too many directions to discuss.


In Summary
This was released on CD with bonus tracks, some of which are superior to the original album inclusions, particularly 'Elijah', which judging by the drum sound came a few years later. This was acclaimed but the band split, much to the dismay of Marcarus. The band resurfaced in the nineties with a new album, and are still gigging in the Chicago area. Reading Marcarus bio he seems to have a very individualistic take on life, with self confessed ideas for a 'water based economy' and 'schools for planetary maintenance'. What this all means I'm uncertain, but Marcarus' way of thinking is unique to say the least, showing some disdain for our energy based lifestyle.. A great album 'Revival' is indeed, based around Marcarus entirely, as all the plaudits for the album center around his guitar heroics. They are amazing admittedly and makes this worth the hype. But truly essential? That's something for you to figure out.


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Comments
#1 | sabace on September 09 2010 14:00:09
excellent lp, sounds a lot like early triumph/rush with ted nugent amboy dukes (great white buffalo) type lead guitar. It also sounds a bit like ursa major, dick wagner's (alice cooper guitarist) band who released an lp in 1972 I think! So nothing new, but hugely enjoyable!
#2 | super80boy on June 11 2016 16:06:41
I've had the CD for years, but recently got lucky in my never ending search for private rock vinyl albums and scored an original sealed vinyl copy. Even with all the noted band line-up issues and challenges, Revival turns out to be a viable platform for Macarus to show his command of the guitar with unrelenting creative guitar solos. He definitely takes center stage throughout the album, but there are also inventive Southern tinged progressive rock arrangements and wailing vocal parts that successfully augment the guitar solo priorities. IMHO, I wouldn't call this essential or a 'desert island must have' unless you're a collector of rare underground private press albums.
 
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