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Gryphon - Red Queen to Gryphon Three CD (album) cover

RED QUEEN TO GRYPHON THREE

Gryphon

 

Prog Folk

4.13 | 437 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
3 stars If You Like Medieval Prog GET THIS!!

Red Queen to Gryphon Three is a bit of an interesting case for me. Even though I'm usually not that interested in instrumental music, Gryphon's third album (often considered to be their masterpiece) was on very heavy rotation in my household slightly over a year ago. I absolutely loved the virtuosity of the musicians, the medieval tone, and the breathtaking beauty on some of the songs here.

Even though I can still appreciate most of the compositions and, of course, the fantastic musicianship, Red Queen to Gryphon Three has lost a bit of my interest and I rarely play it anymore. When I do hear the album, I'm usually entertained, but not quite blown away like I used to be. With that said, if you are a fan of medieval-sounding symphonic prog (like Anthony Phillips' The Geese and The Ghost or early Renaissance) and are alright with a 100% instrumental performance, this album will surely appeal to you. I am a fan of Anthony Phillips and Renaissance, and to some extent I am a fan of this album. As mentioned, I love a lot of aspects of Red Queen to Gryphon Tree, but a lot of the music simply fails to grab me, despite its obvious high quality.

As mentioned earlier, the music played here is medieval-sounding instrumental symphonic prog folk. If you like bands like Genesis, Renaissance, and Anthony Phillips mixed with the instrumental virtuosity of bands like Anglagard, this Gryphon album should appeal to you. Don't be fooled by the "prog folk" labeling this album often garners. This is pure symphonic prog with some folk and medieval influences, but it is first and foremost a symphonic album. Don't go in here expecting Jethro Tull or Comus (although the influence from these bands is evident at times).

The musicianship here is great. I assume that all of the musicians are classically trained, as there are evident influences from the renaissance and baroque eras of classical music. Brian Gulland's bassoon and Krumhörns is especially notable. The addition of generally unused instruments in prog rock really adds another dimension to Gryphon's music. And Brian sure as heck can play the bassoon!

The production is one of the best in the 70's. It's clean, dynamic, and the mixing is spot on. Nothing more I could ask from an organic seventies production.

Conclusion:

Red Queen to Gryphon Three is a small classic in the seventies progressive rock scene, and is worth hearing at least once by any prog fan. Even though I don't enjoy this album as much as some other people do, it is hard to deny its quality and innovative nature. I'll give this album a confident 3.5 star rating. If I were to rate this album about a year ago, it would have been an easy 4. If you're interested in hearing what prog would've sounded like in 1300, this is definitely an album worth hearing.

J-Man | 3/5 |

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