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DRAGON

Dragon

 

Heavy Prog

3.22 | 24 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
4 stars DRAGON are a Heavy-Prog/Psychedelic band from Belgium, featuring keyboardist Christian Duponcheel, one time a holder of the keys in another fine Belgian band by the name of LAGGER BLUES MACHINE. This debut release of theirs was recorded in the U.K. during November 1976, and really picks up the banner that PINK FLOYD left off way back in 1971. Full of early 70's vibes and sounds, sometimes amateurish vocals, these guys were probably too stoned to realise that it was almost 1977 by the time they entered the studio - and that's not a criticism, it adds to the charm of this wonderful record, recently re-issued in coloured vinyl on the 'Golden Pavillion' label. 'Introduction - Insects' is an instrumental with a heavy rhythm and dramatic riff. I'm always reminded of the Floyd and early Eloy, thanks to the organ, synth and guitar. 'Lucifer' is the longest track at over 9 min, starts with seaside sounds of rippling water and gulls crying (hardly sinister, wouldn't you say ??) . Softly strummed guitar and almost jazzy interplay between the instruments with a nice 'walking' bass-line at mid-tempo soon picks up to the verse section, with pretty stoned vocals from Bernard Tallaert, who also plays guitar. The following section kicks off with a slow moody part full of swirling string-synth (by lead guitarist Jean Vanaise) and flute (by drummer Georges Vanaise). It's rather spacey now with some melodious aah-aah chanting (ala Floyd) and hand percussion. Finishing off with the return of the heavier verse section, quite an adventurous piece of music over its duration. Side 1 closes with a ballad-like song 'Leave Me With Tears' heavy with acoustic guitar, pleasant and inoffensive. 'Gone in The Wind' is an up-tempo pop-song with a great chorus and some mellotron. The pick of the bunch for this listener is the 8 min + 'In The Blue' - it features some experimental sounds from guitar and what I think is the credited Clavioline (some very primitive synthesiser, I think). The Bassist Jean-Pierre Houx adds some Trombone to the heady atmosphere, and after some minutes builds into the vocal section with an amazing melody. The harmony vocals are very well done. Here the rhythm guitaring is killer and the Hammond that solos around is ripped straight out of 1967. Phenomenal track. 'Crystal Ball, is another goodie which finishes the album off perfectly, and is structured in a similar way to KHAN's 'Hollow Stone' (which is the final track off that album). I'm a sucker for these vintage sounding albums so I give Dragon S/T a 4 star rating.
Tom Ozric | 4/5 |

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