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Gryphon - Midnight Mushrumps CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.69 | 204 ratings

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Tony Fisher
Prog Reviewer
4 stars After the first album, which was very much folk based, this sees the electric instruments come a little more to the fore. There's still a profusion of krumhorns, bassoons, recorders and acoustic keyboards as well, all played as well as could be - after all, most of them were classically trained and it shows. Only a very few bands (Gentle Giant, Renaissance, Strawbs, Horslips perhaps) can claim to have moved from traditional folk or classical music to progressive with such aplomb. The eternal problem is that Gryphon, whilst making some brilliant music, never quite managed to achieve consistency across an album (Red Queen being a possible exception). Here, the title track is an utter masterpiece. It was commissioned as prelude to a Shakespeare play and it shows Richard Harvey's composition skills off well, perfectly setting the scene. They played it on my first sight of them in 1977 and it's one of the concert moments I will remember for ever. The problem is that nothing at all on the second side really makes the grade, being pleasant, melodic and inoffensive but somewhat uninspiring - until Ethelion. This builds and builds with excellent percussion, keyboards and wind instruments to climax around a superb guitar melody around which the rest of the band elaborate - quite magical and a perfect finale. Overall, well worth buying.
Tony Fisher | 4/5 |


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