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Gryphon - Midnight Mushrumps CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.70 | 228 ratings

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4 stars The second album from medieval folk prog specialists Gryphon exhibits a sound that is maturing and becoming more sophisticated, as the band take the compositional standard of their work up a significant notch and begin to take their music beyond straight folk and into more progressive territory.

There are two stand out tracks on this album and they are the opener and title track "Midnight Mushrumps", and the closer "Ethelion".

"Midnight Mushrumps" demonstrates the considerable orchestral compositional skills of Richard Harvey with a beautiful piece of music that builds softly and slowly and rises to a crescendo of medieval musical wonder full of crumhorns and bassoon, before softening to the gently lilting flute of Harvey. A wonderful piece of music.

"The Plough Boys Dream" is more in the style of the pure folk found on Gryphon's debut album, but is a nice enough piece, even if not particularly special.

"The Last Flash of Gaberdine" is a well constructed piece in a typically medieval folk style. "Gulland Rock" has some nice guitar work by Graeme Taylor, and "Dubbel Dutch" is a pleasantly meandering piece of medieval style folk.

But Gryphon save the best until last on this album with the final track and show stopper "Ethelion".

There is a playful side to the band in every album, which can be hit and miss, but on this track it's definitely a hit as the band's impromptu studio tickling attack on Brian Gulland becomes the maniacally comical opening to the track.

All the musicians come together brilliantly for this track as the medieval sounds evolve into a wonderfully stirring hook played on numerous instruments. Crumhorn leads us into guitar, followed by Richard Harvey's beautifully dulcet flute given harmony by Brian Gulland on the tenor recorder. The track swells and grows into a thing of beauty and majesty and you feel that don't want it to end, but sadly it does.

Ethelion is possibly the best track that Gryphon ever produced, and this album is a wonderful exhibition of sophisticated medieval folk prog at its best.

Chaser | 4/5 |


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