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Gryphon - Raindance CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.26 | 180 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Is it acceptable to buy an album for one song? Yes, when that song is (Ein Klein) Heldenleben! Of course, the epics are what catches most proggers' eyes anyway. Just don't expect much more from this album. The other songs are not bad, but highlights are few and far between. And then you have Heldenleben, one of my top 25 prog epics.

As should be apparent, I don't find the non-epic tracks to be memorable. Mother Nature's Son would be the exception--a very catchy and tender mellow tune, up there with Focus' Janis and Hackett's Hands of the Priestess for simple elegance. Wallbanger features an upbeat tune with a very proggy arrangement, and Raindance is a nice ambient piece. Both are decent, not great. The rest is either too short or too goofy for me to take seriously.

And then we come to Heldenleben: Nearly 16 minutes of some of the most diverse, attention-grabbing, well-arranged prog I have ever heard. They have albums worth of great melodies packed into this song, and every instrument has its moment to shine, without ever directly being given the spotlight. You have the great baseline to begin, followed by marching keyboard, leading into an intricate drum/flute duo, moving to a cool flute/krumhorn build up, and finally the absolutely spacey keyboard/guitar climax. That is just a taste of what Heldenleben offers. Could have a little bit more crisp production, but otherwise a wonderfully unique and creative piece of prog history.

One phenomenal song, a couple worth returning to, and the rest filler. That is the paradox of Raindance. Sixteen minutes of fabulous prog is worth my money, and I'll wager it's worth yours as well.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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