Four Horsemen Riding in the Sky (Behind got Sun)
Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Cockpit was and is still one of the most entertaining local live acts that I’ve ever seen, most recently last week at the launch of their debut full length album, cheekily titled Four Horsemen Riding in the Sky (Behind got Sun). As the chosen Prophets by the Gods of Heavy Metal, and their energetic and charismatic live shows, it leaves one to wonder if this foursome can manage to capture their charm on this studio release.
As though to prove that they are not a fluke, Cockpit kicks off the album with the energetic epic, Gods of Metal, bringing one back to the early, glorious days of heavy metal. Atmospheric, yet heavy as hell, Gods of Metal is a fitting tribute to heavy metal greats such as Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden or Judas Priest. The doom pace that Cockpit prefers on this track and that melodic style reminds me of the Headless Cross-era Sabbath. But this is merely a start of the journey that Cockpit has prepared for their fans.
Throughout the record, the band displays their versatility, with a nice variety of styles present on the record, from that country-styled Evilution (that reminds one of Volbeat‘s material) to the humorously titled Epic Single and the obligatory, but cute ballad First Time Too, yet managing to retain that element of fun and catchiness, preventing things from getting too dry. First Time Too in particularly left a deep impression on me, and would have easily fit into a Mr. Big record. Psyence Fyktion’s solo on this track is easily one of the most emotive, and one of the most memorable ones on the record.
The highlight on the record though is the epic three-part track, The Seaman’s Son, spanning more than 18 minutes. Over the course of the three parts, Cockpit goes through numerous stylistic changes, but remaining constantly enchanting throughout, reminding one of the Maiden epic Rime of the Ancient Mariner, from the atmospherics down to the way the song is structured. The band starts off strong and heavy with The Seaman’s Son I, with some of the heaviest riffs on the record and most aggressive playing by the rest of the band. But things mellow down a little with the piano-driven The Seaman’s Son II, like an interlude to prepare listeners for the finale that is The Seaman’s Son III.
Throughout the record, Johnny Danger and Psyence Fyktion steal much of the limelight, indulging in harmonising leads, a nice nod towards the style of bands such as Maiden and Priest, sure to please fans of the old school. Those on tracks like Evilution are even more entertaining with that country-styled leads.
Sure, Cockpit may come across as a band that doesn’t take themselves too seriously, but it is this perfect mixture of fun on one hand and technical and songwriting ability on the other that creates such a loveable record. Fans of old school heavy metal, or even the revivalist bands such as Enforcer, White Wizzard and the likes will certainly find Cockpit‘s debut Four Horsemen Riding in the Sky (Behind got Sun) a fun and entertaining release.
1. Gods of Metal
2. Death on the Airways
4. Epic Single
5. Speed Kills (and So Do I)
6. First Time Too
7. The Seaman’s Son I
8. The Seaman’s Son II
9. The Seaman’s Son III
10. Crystal Ball
Favourite Picks: Death on the Airways, First Time Too, The Seaman’s Son III, Crystal Ball