Luna 1984 / Explore Rights Management 2022
A brisk romp through legendary pages of Scottish history which will find the listener transported from a mosh pit to the dancefloor.
“Macbeth” became a part of rock lore in 1971, when THIRD EAR BAND provided music for Roman Polanski’s reading of the Shakespeare classic, but Jon Symon, inspired by the success of his WARLOCK’s debut, decided to opt for a much more contemporary approach and supply the Lower Saxony State Theatre in Hanover with a rather different ballet music. Nothing wrong with this, of course, except for the fact that, in order to spice up the proceedings for the ’80s audience, he turned the tragedy into a comedy – at least in terms of melodies and rhythms, if not lyrically. More so, the resulting soundtrack feels divided in two halves, a heavy and a light, which doesn’t help to create neither contrast nor tension one may expect from the drama.
Such a watershed shift is perhaps best heard on “Spirits Of Hell” that was transmogrified from a progressive ballad in the original draft of “Memories Of A White Magician” in 1981 to a frisk, frivolous even, number here to change the appealing course of the Celtic-tinctured chant and powerful riffs on histrionic opener “Eyes Of The Witch” – the bagpipes reappear in the baroque “Banquet” as if to offset an occasional Caribbean slant on the likes of the album’s alluring title track, restored on CD in its proper place – from majestic to hilarious, despite the pressing presence of Hammond organ. However, the cosmic Moog weave flowing out of there should detach the folk uplift of “Forever And A Day” from the pull of gravity before the groovy “Spells” – where Symon’s vocals are at their most jovial – will resolve in smiles instead of frowns, and the disco-driven “Devil’s Daughter” will only strengthen the listener’s grin.
Still, while “Lady Of The Night” offers hymnal magnificence, spiritually typical for the decade the record was released in, the finale of “Nightmare” comes across as one of the greatest examples of the 80’s art-rock – sweetly bombastic yet scintillatingly adventurous. Sadly, “Lady Macbeth” was to be the last ever WARLOCK endeavor, and though Jon Symon continued to issue fresh music, it never reached the same scope, the veteran’s passing in 2015 robbing his audience of a new chance for the this.