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Gypsyhawk: Patience and Perseverance

From the band Skeletonwitch, former Death/Thrash Metaller Eric Harris has leapt back into the '70's with his new project, Gypsyhawk. The band's new album, Patience and Perseverance (Creator-Destructor Records) is a voyage straight back to the great Hard Rock of the '70's and '80's of bands like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and especially paying homage to the great Thin Lizzy, with a little Motorhead thrown in for good measure. Fueled with tons of Lizzy-like twin guitar harmonies, Gypsyhawk plow through over an hours worth of riffy, guitar heavy old school Hard Rock. A far cry from the usual fare of Hard Rock these days and worlds away from where bassist/vocalist Eric Harris has come from, Gypsyhawk takes us back to a simpler time, but with a modern slant.

The first thing that you notice about Patience and Perseverance is the striking album cover. Dark, eerie and mystical, you are not quite sure what this CD has in store. From the title and cover art work, it looks like something from the early days of Fates Warning and you might be expecting something heavy and progressive, but then you would be mistaken. Instead you will be served up a slice of classic rock, brimming with a duo of heavy guitar riffage. Gypsyhawk, featuring vocals and bass from Harris, also includes the twin guitar work of guitar players Andrew Parker & Scotty Conant, and drummer Joe Fabio and together meld a mixture of classic Hard Rock with an almost Punk feel. Gypsyhawk don't really follow a certain "style" song wise, instead allowing themselves to delve into a few different areas of musical expression. Songs like, "Planet Former" allows the band to stretch out with a funky, almost trippy feel, while a song like "Commander of the High Forest" with it's high energy opening bass line and harmony guitar wielding over top, picks up the pace quite a bit. Vocals on this track, especially remind me of something like a younger Lemmy, raspy and kinda hoarse, and "Eyes of Ibad" hark back to the Irish tones of Lizzy's "Black Rose". And again mentioning Thin Lizzy, check out the song, "For Those Who Love the Lizz", a tribute to the magic that was Phil Lynott & band, filled with fan/heart felt lyrics recalling Lizzy song titles and imagery that Lynott first wrote for all of us to bask in. A very cool tribute, indeed.

One thing that Gypsyhawk DO like to do is to have a lot of instrumental interludes. There are a lot of extended breaks where it feels like a twin guitar harmony lead is thrown in for a good measure to do nothing more than to just show what they can do, making a 3 minute song into a 5 plus minute song. Not that the songs are overly long (the longest song clocking in at 6:30) but the extended harmony breaks seem forced and gratuitous, more so than feeling as a necessary part of the song. This is where comparisons to a band like Thin Lizzy are lost, the actual song writing.Three quarters of the way through Patience and Perseverance I was about sick of the guitar harmonies and the songs are decent but not completely strong enough to pull you through.

However, it is nice to hear some Classic Hard Rock these days, with all of the Deathcore/Metalcore nonsense of every other so-called Metal band of the month, but Gypsyhawk come up a little short to me. There are other bits and pieces of bands like Helmet, for example, that you can also hear in Gypsyhawk, along with the Thin Lizzy-esque type of formula, but Patience and Perseverance is not quite a hit, though also not a complete miss either. Patience and Perseverance is a decent effort, but could use some tightening up on the songwriting. All and all, not bad.

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 Bokor's Procession
8. Resentment City
9. Blackhaven
10. The Rabble and the Ruled
11. Guidance
12. Defenders of Good Times

Added: August 5th 2010
Reviewer: Butch Jones
Related Link: Band MySpace
Hits: 3820
Language: english

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Gypsyhawk: Patience and Perseverance
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-08-05 15:24:03
My Score:

Thin Lizzy is one of those 70's/80's hard rock bands that still holds a warm spot in the hearts of many rock 'n' roll fans. Though the band, minus the late Phil Lynott, continue to perform their tribute act to this day, the world just isn't the same without Phil and the classic line-up. Former Skeletonwitch bassist Eric Harris obviously is another in a long line of Lizzy worshippers, as his new band Gypsyhawk pays homage to the beloved Irish heavy rockers on their debut Patience and Perseverance.

From Harris' vocals right down to the crunchy riffs and dual harmony guitar lines from Andrew Packer & Scotty Conant, you'll be reminded of classic Thin Lizzy from the get go. "Planet Former" features some neat harmonies that bring back memories of the Black Rose era, and the tasty twin leads of "Commander of the High Forest" again harken back to classic Lizzy, though there's also a bit of Motorhead styled aggression thrown in that adds a nice touch.

Driving riff rockers such as "Rebellion on the Western Shore" and "For Those Who Love the Lizz " (yeah, there's no Thin Lizzy worship going on here, right?) have a great 70's feel, and the band even adds some jazz & blues flavors on the mellow "Resentment City". However, it's the weaving lead lines and heavy riffs of "Blackhaven" that provides the CDs epic heavy rock statement, as this headbanging track is fueled with plenty of guitar firepower and venemous vocals to light up a city.

Sure, there's nothing original here on Patience and Perseverance, but it's obvious that this CD was made with a lot of love, and it's certainly fun to listen to. If you miss Thin Lizzy as much as Eric Harris and Gypsyhawk do, then this CD will be a no brainer purchase.

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