The last time I got excited about a Corsair I was probably eight and building a Corsair model plane. At that point I was still a year or two away from discovering the glory of Sabbath and so that folding wing WWII fighter was pretty damn cool.
The Corsair that I'm talking about today is far cry from that plane but nonetheless, equally cool.
The Corsair I'm referring to is a four piece from Charlottesville Virginia that has just released their self titled debut on Shadow Kingdom Records.
Here's the deal that caught my ear. Incredible harmony guitars. If I had not known what I was listening I would have thought it was some long lost Thin Lizzy. I'm talking old Gorham/Robertson Lizzy. The harmonies from Paul Sebring and Marie Landragin evoke that same feeling. I'm talking scary stuff here.
Lots of bands have dome the twin harmony deal but Robo and Gorham had a unique thing going and the guitarists in Corsair have brought that back to life. That alone would have made me a fan of this release but there's more to it.
The songs are good as in, I think I'll listen to the whole thing again, good. Of the eight tracks two are instrumentals. That takes some stones to put two instrumentals on an eight song debut. One of them "Mach" really has that great old Lizzy vibe. In fact they even open the album with a six minute instrumental. That shows some prog roots for sure. Of course, yes there are vocals and they are great. I spent a good chunk of time trying to figure out if there were doubled vocals or two people doing an incredible job singing together. Now I should point out that there is no slick production on here. There is an cool old school vibe surrounding everything on this disc. The guitars drive everything on this with the vocals tucked neatly behind them. The rhythm section is further back in the mix just like a lot of those classic early albums.
My highlights, "Falconer" quick three minute hard rock tune that Phil Lynott could of written. "Kings and Cowards" to my mind this one just has that great NWOBHM feel to it. "Mach" just a nice quick instrumental with intertwining guitar lines.
The one that falls short for me is track eight "The Desert" this has that ambient/alt noise element to it. It tends to be more in mood music land. That being said it does end with classic guitar feedback growls that Blackmore would have been proud of.
One last point, the cover art, yep I couldn't let that go. The cover stands in the tradition of those great NWOBHM singles I can't get enough of. I'm undecided if I like the coloration on the new cover or the more black and white look of the original release.
So the score on this one? I think it's an outstanding example of 70's inspired prog/hard rock and in that regard I give it a 7 out of 10.
Interested in learning more about Corsair: