Socrates Drank the Conium - On the Wings (1973)

"Socrates will probably never get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But while other groups were becoming well known in the free world, this Hendrix-style blues band was playing to standing-room-only crowds in a small club in Athens, during Greece's military dictatorship, a period when even Rolling Stone albums were hard to find, and for a time illegal. Socrates sounded like several bands that were popular at the time, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Deep Purple, Blue Cheer, and Black Sabbath come to mind now when I hear their music from that early period, though the majority of their material was original. There were songs that were crowd favorites such as "Close the Door and Lay Down" (or what we called "Do It To The Rythm"), "Starvation" ("Give Them Some Bread") and "Underground", but often the highlight of the evening was when they did their Hendrix songs like "Voodoo Chile", "Message of Love" and "Red House" or jammed on songs like "Kansas City" with singer Jimi Quidd (later of the NY Dots) and Greek-American blues guitarist John Kronis."

"This is more like it. A huge boast forward for the Greek cult band. Good production this time as Socrates alter their music just a bit, adding new elements to their hard blues-rock fusion. The band includes progressive and Greek traditional features making their sound more qualitative. Yannis Spathas makes orgies with his guitar, Tourkogiorgis sings like he never did before, and Dukakis and Tradalidis are perfect side-kicks, completing perfect musicianship. Unfortunately though, the fate of this band was never to escape Greek boundaries and therefore met only little success and recognition abroad. Great songs are featured here such as the famous "Death is gonna die" (later known as "Killer" from the Phos album), "Distruction", "Naked Trees" and "Lovesick kid's blues", all crowd favourites, as are all tracks from the album. This is definitely a recording that deserves better respect by music lovers and especially those who claim to like the music of the 70's."

"Another one for all you fans of '70s proto-metal hard rock. Socrates Drank The Conium were a Greek band, and "On The Wings" was their third album, originally issued in 1973. Psychedelic hard blues rock with ragged, rough-edged English vocals, and -- this is key -- UTTERLY RIPPING twin electric guitar. Definitely an early milestone in heavy acid rock guitar shred. Vangelis later joined this band, but you'd never guess there was any New Age connection from this kick ass album. The songs twist and snake around, with rockin' and doomy riffs, dual guitar harmonies, and crazy leads -- both guitarists playing entirely different, complex licks that somehow meld perfectly. Brilliant stuff. Kinda progressive and utterly powerful. None other than Julian Cope has described this as sounding "a lot like SABBATH VOLUME 4 with Family's Roger Chapman singing".


Socrates Drank the Conium - Death is Gonna Die


Anonymous said...

Please reactivate your broken link. I am just discovering you amazing blog and would be happy to discover this band. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

The links is dead also.

Crotchbat said...

Mediafire was undergoing maintenance on Friday. The link is still working.