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REINVENTION

Gryphon

Prog Folk


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Gryphon ReInvention album cover
3.95 | 86 ratings | 3 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2018

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Pipe Up Downsland Derry Dell Danko (4:49)
2. Rhubarb Crumhorn (5:56)
3. A Futuristic Auntyquarian (5:58)
4. Haddocks' Eyes (10:58)
5. Hampton Caught (5:12)
6. Hospitality At A Price... Anyone For? (3:11)
7. Dumbe Dum Chit (3:08)
8. Bathsheba (5:37)
9. Sailor V (8:37)
10. Ashes (3:32)
11. The Euphrates Connection (4:43)

Total Time 61:41

Line-up / Musicians

- Graeme Taylor / acoustic & electric guitars, producer
- Graham Preskett / violin, mandolin, keyboards, harmonica
- Brian Gulland / bassoon, bass crumhorn, baritone sax, recorders, piano, vocalisations
- Andrew Findon / flute, piccolo, fife, soprano crumhorn, soprano sax, clarinet
- Rory McFarlane / electric & double basses
- Dave Oberlé / drums, percussion, vocals

Releases information

Artwork: John Hurford

CD self-released - GRIFCD01 (2018, UK)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Gryphon 2018
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GRYPHON ReInvention ratings distribution


3.95
(86 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
28%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
37%
Good, but non-essential (24%)
24%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)
4%

GRYPHON ReInvention reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars The 2010s has been a great decade for classic prog rock acts of the 70s riding the new wave of popularity that the genre has been experiencing. These bands emerge seemingly from out of nowhere after finding a few classic heyday members who round up a bunch of newbies for the team and then secretly head into the studios unbeknownst to the world and then ultimately deliver a slice of good old fashioned classic prog tailored for the 21st century. Camel re-recorded their classic "The Snow Goose," Maxophone, Osanna, Comus and Bubu made a comeback after woefully brief careers in the 70s and even Soft Machine has completely rebooted with some of the band's former glory day members coming to the forefront in 2018. Add to that list, a band i would've never expected to hear from again and that's GRYPHON who hasn't been heard from since 1977's "Treason."

The release of their sixth album REINVENTION marks a whopping 41 year absence since their last album hit the market. It's hard to believe that this band that took the world by storm in 1973 with their unique Renaissance medieval folk only to catch the prog rock bug shortly thereafter and fizzle out a mere five years later has found a second wind by releasing a more than competent companion piece to their unique five album run of the 70s. While a shock to some, those who have kept up with the band on their website have been eagerly waiting for some new form of product after GRYPHON announced all the way back in 2007 that they decided to produce a new album after 31 years of silence. For those aware way back then, it must've been quite a nail biter as the years trickled along and no new album. Well that wait has come to an end and GRYPHON have finally released a very worthy album to fit within their short but interestingly diverse canon.

Unlike some bands that own a particular band name and return with a whole new cast of members, GRYPHON returns with three of the classic team. Brian Gulland is back with his famous bassoon, bass crumhorn, recorders, and harmonium playing, Graeme Taylor likewise makes a reprise on guitars and vocals and Dave Oberlé has returned on drums and vocals as well. While the band had traditionally been a quintet even on their most ambitious effort "Red Queen To Gryphon Three," REINVENTION finds three new members joining the Medieveal folk ranks with Graham Preset on violin, mandolin and keyboards; Andy Finds on flute, soprano crumhorn, soprano sax and clarinet; as well as Rory McFarlane on bass. Just like "Treason," the band has opted to reform as a sextet and all the better for it as the newly updated musical journey benefits from the expanded musical mojo from these seasoned veterans.

With five fairly different albums in their 70s heyday which took GRYPHON through three distinct musical styles and two albums that provided the bridge between, the obvious first question for anyone familiar with the complete GRYPHON canon is where exactly would they go after so much time away from their medieval playgrounds. Those questions are answered fairly abruptly as the opening "Pipe Up Downsland Derry Dell Danko" starts off with dueling recorders and engages in an engaging menagerie of progressive folk acoustic guitar that falls somewhere in between the band's eponymous debut and the ambitious jittery folk of Jethro Tull's "Song From The Wood." The track prances around like a proper pony at a medieval wedding ceremony with after more than three minutes offers some vocals bringing more of a "Raindance" vibe to the stage. There is also much more of a presence of acoustic classical guitar glory.

After an initial listen, it seems only "Treason" hasn't been represented on this one as the medieval folk timbres follow the debut, the semi-rock passages of the sophomore "Midnight Mushrumps" and the complexity of the proggy time signature workouts, the "Red Queen" influences come through. Add the vocals and shorter tracks present on "Raindance" and it's a veritable tribute to the past, yet REINVENTION sounds like none of the albums that came before. Since GRYPHON has always had a rather strange anachronistic sound that evades the time from when it was created, so too does this 21st century undertaking embark on a medieval tinged journey into the progressive rock paradigm that utterly eschews the decade from which it emerged. In fact the whole thing is sort of a mindf.u.ck since it clearly is inspired by Renaissance folk but engages the most modern 21st production technology making it a crystal clear listening experience yet implements a clear progressive rock compositional prowess that the 70s excelled in which makes this one sound as eternal as its predecessors.

GRYPHON obviously spent years crafting this new assemblage of material and it shows. Every track is well crafted as it emphasizes the medieval folk values from their past teased out into progressive rock fantasy worlds. The musical flow is impeccable as the medieval melodies are as infectious as ever and the arrangements of the many instruments are perfectly executed. Perhaps the weakest aspect of REINVENTION is that of the vocal parts which clearly show strained and aging throats not hitting their stride which belie the triumphant return of the instrumental aspects. No worries as this is primarily an instrumental album that emphasizes those characteristics with only a few vocal parts finding their way into the mix. While many elements of yore have been resurrected, there are a few new things going on as well. There is a clear Celtic folk vibe on some tracks especially on "Sailor V," but interwoven throughout which honestly brings a Mike Oldfield feel to certain parts and transitions as well as more classical guitar runs. There's even an extraordinarily awesome keyboard run on "The Euphrates Connection" which finds GRYPHON tackling new progressive territories.

All i can say is - wow! REINVENTION is more than i ever could've hoped for from an old timer band like GRYPHON. It never even crossed my mind that this band would ever release a new album and now that it has arrived i'm utterly shocked as to how well this album sounds. I predict the consensus will be that REINVENTION will in no way usurp the throne as the band's best album which is pretty much universally accepted as their prog rock masterpiece "Red Queen To Gryphon Three," however this album is just as consistent and entertaining as any of the other four albums from their initial 70s run and much preferable to yours truly than their lackluster "Raindance." Add to that a warm and sensual production that is absolutely perfectly executed and you have one of the best prog albums of 2018. Whether this album is a fluke or a return to form from a classic 70s band remains to be seen but REINVENTION proves itself as one of the best modern examples of progressive folk with rock elements that i've heard. In case you need it spelled out in emphatic terms, THIS ALBUM IS AWESOME TO THE MAX!!!!

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
5 stars When Gryphon were first started by Richard Harvey (recorder, keys) and Brian Gulland (bassoon, crumhorn) back in 1973 it was obvious they weren't going to sound like anyone else, and the albums they released were a strange amalgam of medieval and progressive music, with some element of folk for good measure. The strong use of different styles of woodwind also assisted in giving their music a distinct presence, and although all five of their albums are worth investigating, the two 1974 albums 'Midnight Mushrumps' and 'Red Queen To Gryphon Three' are undoubted classics. But after 1977's 'Treason' the band were no more, and Harvey made quite a name for himself firstly as a session musician before composing for theatre, TV and films.

What no-one ever expected, that after a small gap of some forty years, three of the founding musicians, Graeme Taylor (acoustic and electric guitars), Dave Oberlé (drums, percussion, vocals) and Brian Gulland (bassoon, bass crumhorn, baritone sax, recorders, piano, vocalisations) would feel the urge to again join together and release a brand new album. They have been joined by Graham Preskett (violin, mandolin, keyboards, harmonica), Andrew Findon (flute, piccolo, fife, soprano crumhorn, soprano sax, clarinet) and Rory McFarlane (electric and double basses) to create an album which has absolutely no right at all to be released in the 21st century, and is all the better for it. This feels more like a sequel to the classics, as opposed to something from guys who are very much older and longer in the tooth.

Few progheads these days have ever experienced the delights of Gryphon, which shows just how much is lacking from their musical education, as I have loved the band for years, and a quick check of my iPhone allows me to say that I do indeed have all their albums loaded for my listening pleasure. I was in conversation with Olav one day and said I was currently listening to 'Mushrumps' and he was the one who told me there was a new album out, which I could hardly fathom! Mostly instrumental, Gryphon still sound just like Gryphon and like no one else at all. Progressive, medieval, folky, if nothing else this will increase the musical education of many who (like me) didn't even realise there were both bass and soprano versions of crumhorns available! Here is a band who have stepped back onto their singular path as if they have never been away, and to say this is a delight is something of a massive understatement.

I can listen to this all day and have found myself doing just that. Easy to listen to, full of light and pleasure, Gryphon are back with an album which is totally indispensable and essential. If you have not previously come across these guys then you have been missing out, and at long last there is a new album to excite and delight us all.

Latest members reviews

3 stars After a hiatus of 40 years folk prog rock icons Gryphon rose, phoenix like, from the flames to give us their eagerly awaited new album, ReInvention. The line up of musicians includes Gryphon stalwarts Brian Gulland, Dave Oberle, and Graeme Taylor, and they are joined by new recruits Rory McFarlan ... (read more)

Report this review (#2112752) | Posted by Chaser | Sunday, December 30, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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