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




Prog Folk

4.14 | 564 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars The third album from Gryphon shows them fully embracing the prog-rock style they hinted at on the previous album. While the debut was completely acoustic and based on Renaissance music, the second album added electric bass and some drums. Here they add electric keyboards and guitar, and the playing is much more "rock" oriented. Still lots of use of traditional instruments like Krumhorn, however. This is an instrumental concept album about chess, apparently. The music genrally changes a lot with some repeated sections. Great interplay between the instruments. You can hear some Gentle Giant and Yes influences here, Gryphon having toured with the latter at one point.

"Opening Move" has some great melodies. The piano playing here is really good. Love the fuzz guitar after 3 minutes. I like how the music builds up before 6 minutes. The tempo picks up later and things get more dissonant. Some backwards effects. Ends on a more symphonic note. "Second Spasm" starts out very folky and medieval sounding. Then goes into a rocking combination of Gentle Giant and Yes. Awesome bass sounds around 1 1/2 minutes. Later gets classical and then jazzy with no rhythm section. Afterwards an upbeat classical-rock section. Gets folky and medieval sounding again. Then the GG/Yes part is reprised.

You can listen to "Lament" here on PA. More great melodies in this song. The first three minutes are really nice with the mix of wind instruments, acoustic guitars and later glockenspiel or something similar. The music fades away and it gets replaced by a more moody section with drums. The music stops halfway and then goes into a folk-rock boogie. Changes to a few more different sections; earlier themes get reprised. Lots of drumming near the end and the synth plays some of the wind instruments melodies. "Checkmate" goes through a few sections, some of them Gentle Giant sounding. Before 2 minutes is some cool sounding electric percussion and a flute soloing. Goes through some more folky and classical sounding sections.

Gets very sad and classical in the middle before the music slowly cheers itself up. Then a great part with marching drums and organ. Gets more dissonant and jazzy for awhile. Love the cool sounding sequencers after 8 minutes. Earlier sections get reprised...I wish they had more original endings. The sound and production is great and the compositions are generally really good. Probably Gryphon at their most adventurous and consistent. Raindance will be similar to this but a bit more streamlined. Great album. 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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