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Druid - Toward The Sun CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.47 | 134 ratings

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2 stars Does cloning Yes well make a good album?

Well if we take that "well" part, then you must be. Having the ability to play so similarly to such an eclectic and talented band must mean you have a certain share in that talent. This is the case for the 70's symphonic rock band Druid, and their debut Toward The Sun in 1975.

This album is undoubtedly influenced by Yes, who was a very prominent example of progressive music, especially during the 70's. But no matter how eclectic or dynamic Yes was, they still followed a formula, and that formula could be done by other bands. Many are quick to juxtapose many symphonic prog bands with Yes, but it's really only true in obvious examples. Toward The Sun is one of these examples. Everything from 'Dane''s high pitched, ultra soprano vocals to Neil Brewers thumping Squire-inspired bass. One thing I do have to give to Druid is that their percussionist, Cedric Sharpley, is fantastic. His abilities hold a candle to both Bill Bruford and Alan White with his talents.

Don't simply shrug this off as just a Yes clone just yet, because there's a deluge of other influences Druid takes in other than them. Dane has certain moments where during his self-harmonizations sounds oddly like Crosby Stills Nash and Young of all bands, most prominently on 'Remembering'. With this is an admitted folk undertone, no matter how vague and poorly executed it is. Some jazz influences that hopefully become more prevalent with their followup Fluid Druid (1976) that are done pretty well, as Druid sort of deals with this genre of symphonic jazz rock, a genre so strange that I wouldn't mind seeing more often.

Okay, I have to come clean. This album is not easy to review. At all. If you've heard Yes enough you've come to understand and accept their formula: overly complex drumming, long winded choral-like guitars, and high airy vocals. Many bands did copy this concept, but the worst ones were the ones in the 70's, where there was no newer technology present where they could tinker with the idea in any unique way, and were simply stuck to just playing the same thing. Druid, or rather Toward the Sun is one of these 70's rehash. I'll say it now and in the future; if I want to listen to Yes symphonic prog, I'll listen to Yes. There's no other reason to listen to a practical trudge through the same concepts as the band except with a lack of creativity.

In conclusion, the album isn't the best. I would go so far as to say it's one of the less interesting albums of the 1975 when it comes to symphonic rock, hell, progressive rock in general. Listen if you must.

2.5 rounded to 2.

aglasshouse | 2/5 |


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