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Gryphon - Raindance CD (album) cover

RAINDANCE

Gryphon

 

Prog Folk

3.25 | 125 ratings

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Progfan97402
4 stars Most people will consider Raindance a notch below Red Queen to Gryphon Three. To my ears, they were simply trying new things and see what works and what doesn't and you can see that for yourself. The band lineup is still basically the same: Richard Harvey, David Oberle, Graeme Taylor, and Brian Gulland, with new bassist Malcolm Bennett, who replaced Philip Nestor. I long recognized Malcolm Bennett's name long before I ever heard of Gryphon through Steve Howe's Beginnings (an album he played on, as well as Graeme Taylor and David Oberle), back when I was in my Yes phase (since I didn't know of Gryphon then I had no idea they actually toured with Yes).

"Down the Dog" has a decidedly funky feel, with Richard Harvey playing clavinet. This is something completely unheard of previously. The title track has that minimalist feel with electric piano and an electronic feel. Again a piece completely out of the question on their previous release. Then comes their cover of the Beatles' "Mother Nature's Son". The original has never been a favorite of mine, but Gryphon did an even better cover of it, with some medieval influences showing up. The next couple pieces are short and don't really do much for me. "Fontinental Version" is a vocal piece, but I like the rather complex approach they do to it. What's really surprising is the use of Mellotron, an instrument Richard Harvey obviously never used before. "Wallbanger" is a more rock-oriented piece, but still has some of that medieval feel. The 16 minute "(Ein Klein) Heldenbelen" is, as most people regard it, the album's high point. This is a truly amazing and complex piece that is without a doubt one of the finest pieces Gryphon had ever done.

I still recommend Raindance, even if a couple pieces I thought were throwaway, the worthy stuff is great, and I like some of these new things they do here.

Progfan97402 | 4/5 |

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