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Gryphon - Midnight Mushrumps CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.74 | 232 ratings

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4 stars Gryphon, (or The Kings of Krumhorn as I like to call them), began as Royal Music College students exploring, playing and sharing artistic folk of the renaissance and medieval eras. On their second album, "Midnight Mushrumps", they begin to subtly incorporate rock music elements into the repartee. Despite the addition of an electric bass guitarist, instrumentation is still largely based upon arrangements from many centuries ago. If you enjoy the medieval elements of Gentle Giant's music and are willing to digress slightly off the "rock" pathway, this CD of excellently recorded historic art folk music may be a gold mine for you. Many scholarly groups performing period pieces like this today unwittingly strip it of its vitality by presenting it in an overly elegant, polished and refined manner. Although Gryphon plays their instruments well, there remains a certain lively jig in their step that works in concert with a vocal style that I will only described as 'rough around the edges' to create a "sound" convincingly reminiscent of the period in which this style of music was originally performed.

Note to Prog rock fans who are new to Gryphon (or to medieval art-folk in general): IF you took advantage of the bargain "two albums on one CD", I strongly recommend that you do NOT start on song one. Set aside the debut album for now and begin with the album "Midnight Mushrumps". Better yet, skip all the way to the final track "Ethelion". Catch a glimpse of the direction in which the band would soon move on their classic "Red Queen to Gryphon Three". Continue to move backwards through the running order, listening to the upbeat "Dubbel Dutch". From there, check out the vocal song "Ploughboys Dream". Then progress onward to the 11+ minute title track. Once you finish sinking your teeth into and growing an appreciation for "Midnight Mushrumps", you may pleasantly discover that you have become well attuned to the early Gryphon groove, ready to strike out in any direction, charting your own adventurous course through the variety of fascination period songs on their debut self titled album.

progpositivity | 4/5 |


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