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Gryphon - Gryphon CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.39 | 275 ratings

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2 stars Like being in a Monty Python movie...

It is fascinating how different musicians eventually come around to produce excellent music. Some start in Jazz, others in heavy rock, etc. Gryphon began playing authentic English medieval music, using instruments that were around in the middle ages. The tracks here are virtually all cover tunes, mostly in major keys, and virtually all played with the same rhythm. Listening to this, you feel like you are in the movie 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail', not only because this kind of music permeates that movie (if you can think back to the part where Sir Robin meets up with and then runs away from the Knights Who Say 'Nee', and the music the troubadour is playing alongside Robin "and Sir Robin ran away"... well, that is the kind of music this is). Secondly, because the band here plays all these tunes with a deadpan straight face, trying to adhere to the original versions as much as possible, it does come across as silly, although I also do admire the attempt. Perhaps this provides an important archival service, but it doesn't work very well as an album, unless you really need to bring along some music for that middle-ages-dress-up birthday party your kids were invited to. Gryphon would write excellent original music later on, but not here. There are both vocal and instrumental songs on this album. I myself much prefer the instrumentals, both because I think they are more musical (and because the lyrics are mostly light, silly and even sometimes off- putting), and because the instrumentals come closest to the sound that Gryphon would develop with their subsequent albums. There is really only one standout track on this album: "Juniper Suite". After this, decent tunes include "Tea Wrecks", "Touch and Go", "The Unquiet Grave", "Sir Gavin Grimbold" and "Estampie". This makes up about half of the album. After a number of listens, I can't really listen to the rest. Even the decent tunes are not strong enough to make one want to put this on - only Juniper Suite. On balance I give this 4.7, which translates to 2 PA stars. Nee!

Walkscore | 2/5 |


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