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Haze - The Last Battle CD (album) cover

THE LAST BATTLE

Haze

 

Neo-Prog

3.69 | 35 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars Before there was MOSTLY AUTUMN, GRACE, JUMP and RED JASPER, HAZE rolled in on the glassy tarn of early 1980s neo prog. They have remained relatively obscure, as much because they owe less to GENESIS or PINK FLOYD than most second or third wave bands, and more to the likes of JETHRO TULL, STRAWBS, or LINDISFARNE, as well as to less folky classic British rock. This first studio recording in over 20 years unfortunately does not represent a welling up of creative juices, as most if not all of these tracks have already appeared on Haze related albums in different versions..

The improved sound quality enhances the appeal of already majestic cuts like "The Last Battle", "For Real" and "Edge of Heaven", but it can't really do much for lyrically limp and musically hokey material like "Classic Rock Bar" and "The Barrister and the Barghast". Rocking out also yields mixed achievements, with "Train" a genuinely endearing blues folk number that is part SWEET and part HORSLIPS, and "Long Long Gone" a plod rock bore.

One of the problems with HAZE is that they are not really convincing in any of their facets - for instance, the Celtic instrumentals lack the wherewithal of more committed practitioners. "Balder and the Mistletoe" drags on for 5+ minutes without ever piercing its tightly wound trad bubble, electric instrumentation notwithstanding. "Is That It" and "The Red Room" are probably the most progressive tunes here but again should have wound up mostly on the studio floor. They fare best when positioned in the broad crossover folk rock of "Dragonfly", "Over the River", and the previously mentioned highlights.

As a dusted off and polished summation to HAZE's career up to now, "THE LAST BATTLE" is a modest success, but let's hope that they can return to the front with new weaponry before the old gets recycled yet again.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |

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