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Gryphon - Red Queen to Gryphon Three CD (album) cover

RED QUEEN TO GRYPHON THREE

Gryphon

 

Prog Folk

4.13 | 436 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Flucktrot
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Get ready for the Renaissance ride of your life!

There is only one Gryphon, and although I don't need this kind of music very often, I certainly appreciate the creativity, musicianship, and energy that went into creating this unique piece. I'm not quite ready to grant this masterpiece status, because it often plays as a collection of melodies that sometimes seem to be rather haphazardly thrown together. There's no doubt that it sounds cool and is ALWAYS interesting, but a cohesiveness is sacrificed that I need for a true 5 star album.

Opening Move. Gryphon certainly draws the listener in, with a bouncy melody that leads to some truly incredible piano flourishes absolutely refreshing instrumentation. After changing melodies repeatedly for the first five minutes, they settle into a simple krummhorn tune that starts innocently and ends absolutely chaotically five minutes later. There really is no predicting these guys! Brilliant stuff!

Second Spasm. The craziness is maintained, but unfortunately the quality of the melodies is not. Here the music becomes so playful in places that it becomes a bit goofy to my ears (especially in the middle--the intro and outtro tunes are very good).

Lament. Gryphon wisely decide to include a thoughtful, poignant song, and they really pull it off well. The first five minutes are absolutely haunting and powerful mellow tunes, and the opening melody is revisited for a majestic finale. This is great songwriting and some welcome restraint from Gryphon.

Checkmate. Again the quality dips after preceeding greatness. Most of the song is too mellow and/or simplistically playful for my taste (though it's by no means bad). They attempt a classic Gryphon freakout for the finale, but they have done better elsewhere (on Opening Move and Heldenleben on the next album). It's just too anti-climactic for me.

I'm glad Gryphon put this out, and I'm proud to own it--I just don't think this has the substance throughout to be considered a masterpiece, though it definitely should be part of your prog collection.

Flucktrot | 4/5 |

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