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Fruupp - Modern Masquerades CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.44 | 135 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars 20-Year Chronological Run-Through pt. Thirteen: 1975.

I found this Belfast-based band roughly ten years ago by the 2-cd compilation It's All Up Now (2004) which I have reviewed here. Of their four studio albums between the short period of 1973-1975, this last one is actually my favourite. The original keyboardist Stephen Houston had found faith and jumped to a Christian band called Liberation Suite. In Fruupp he was replaced by John Mason. Perhaps his participation is a crucial reason for the album to be so elegant.

The highlight is the nearly 11-minute track 'Gormenghast', composed by Mason and inspired by the fantasy trilogy of Mervyn Peake. It flows very beautifully with a dream-like atmosphere with some livelier sections to make it dynamic. Comparisons to e.g. HAPPY THE MAN, Focus and Caravan are justified.

With the exception of the irritating, 60's spirited song 'Janet Planet which features a horn arrangement, Modern Masquerades is a fine, mature and sophisticated prog album. It was produced by Ian McDonald, who is best known as the original member of King Crimson. The opening track 'Misty Morning Way' has laid-back melodies in the vein of CAMEL but contains more jazz groove in its vocal harmonies. Piano oriented 'Why' is a moody ballad.

As a whole the album may be slightly too mellow and polished for many prog listeners, but despite one bad track -- not mellow, nor polished --, this is easily a four-star album for me. I also like the cover art; a pity I don't remember which painting (most likely from the Renaissance era) it is based on.

Matti | 4/5 |


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