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Atlantis Philharmonic

Symphonic Prog

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Atlantis Philharmonic Atlantis Philharmonic album cover
3.32 | 45 ratings | 4 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Atlantis (5:15)
2. Woodsman (7:36)
3. Death man (5:27)
4. Fly-the-night (4:36)
5. My friend (3:59)
6. Atlas (8:15)

Total Time: 35:08

Bonus tracks on 2008 remaster:
7. Terra Re Natus (Earth Rebirth) Overture (live)(4:38)
8. Death Man (live)(5:58)
9. Atlas (live)(9:20)

Total time 55:05

Line-up / Musicians

- Joe DiFazio / organ, piano, e-piano, harpsichord, Mellotron, Moog synth, guitar, bass, bass pedals, lead & backing vocals
- Royce Gibson / drums, timpani, bass drum, gong, ratchet, concert snare, backing vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Rory Bonnet

LP Dharma Records ‎- D-802 (1974, US)

CD The Laser's Edge ‎- LE 1005 (1990, US)
CD Kaedi Songs Publishing LLC (2008, US) Remastered with 3 bonus Live tracks

Thanks to erik neuteboom for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ATLANTIS PHILHARMONIC Atlantis Philharmonic ratings distribution

(45 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ATLANTIS PHILHARMONIC Atlantis Philharmonic reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars I have just added this fine USA gem to the Prog Archives site, I'm looking forward to other reviews! And keep in mind that this was a duo playing all the instruments!

1. Atlantis (5.15) : This is a bombastic and dynamic piece featuring raw electric guitar, pleasant vocals and great Hammond organ work, from powerful to swirling. In the end there is a fat synthesizer sound, blended with fiery electric guitar and finally wonderful violin-Mellotron.

2. Woodsman (7.36) : First beautiful piano play, very tender and then more and more sparkling. Soon soft violin-Mellotron waves enter and the piano play builds up very exciting, culminating in an eruption with majestic violin-Mellotron in the vein of early King Crimson or Museo Rosenbach, GOOSE BUMPS!

3. Death man (5.27) : On this song te focus is on propulsive interplay between a fiery electric guitar and powerful drums, at some moments accompanied by Hammond organ runs and strong vocals.

4. Fly-the-night (4.36) : A catchy rhythm with Hammond organ - and harpsichord work, pleasant but a bit simple.

5. My friend (3.59) : A warm track featuring beautiful piano - and Mellotron play.

6. Atlas (8.15) : The final composition is build around fiery electric guitar and propulsive drum beats, it sounds exciting and has a dated, typical late Sixties/early Seventies sound (including happy sounding vocal harmonies). To me this is more than OK!


Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars This is a decent album from yet another of the scores of forgotten seventies regional prog bands whose legacies today are not much more than a few website mentions and often stripped-down CD reissues of their old music. The region in this case was Cleveland, Ohio, which had more of a hard rock and R&B scene in the days Atlantis Philharmonic were active; and the group was really just a duo. The regional influences are somewhat reflected in the band’s music, which while unquestionably influenced by ELP and possibly Yes, but also weren’t afraid to crank up the amps and throw down some heavy guitar riffs as well (check out “Death Man” and “Atlas” for good examples of this).

This album also deviates from the ‘classic’ symphonic rock sound with its rather extensive use of vocals, something that certainly Yes were known for but in general tended to be deemphasized with the more pompous symph prog bands of that day.

The music here is certainly not particularly original or groundbreaking, but the two musicians have to be acknowledged for the way they were able to leverage multiple studio tracks to lay down a very ‘full’ symphonic sound with only two sets of hands. Drummer Royce Gibson handles all the percussion including gongs, bells and the like, while keyboardist Joe DiFazio also lays down the guitar and bass tracks. Both men sing on every song, although DiFazio tends to be the lead voice with Gibson offering backing harmonies or in some cases simple wordless vocal contrasts.

DiFazio had a wide range of keyboards at his disposal for the album including a mellotron, which unfortunately he doesn’t use to the extent I personally would have liked for a mid- seventies prog album. Over-the-top and pretentious was en vogue at the time, and by laying off DiFazio leaves the band appearing to be just a tad underachieving.

Otherwise this is a decent record, but again – nothing earth-shattering. A little brief as well, clocking it at around thirty-five minutes. The band seems to have had a modest amount of success with touring engagements and scattered mentions in trade magazines from the 1974-1975 timeframe. I’m not sure exactly when they broke up, but I do know there was another album recorded with a third band member that was not released at the time (I’ve read it is available on CD today but haven’t seen it personally).

Three stars and a mild recommendation, mostly to serious symphonic rock fans who are into rather obscure symphonic regional U.S. acts like Harlequin Mass, Albatross, stuff like that.


Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Starting in early-70's from Cleveland, Ohio, (originally named Atlantis) Atlantis Philharmonic were a talented duo, who had performed alongside King Crimson, Wishbone Ash, Styx and Tim Buckley among others.Joe DiFazio handled all keyboards, guitars, bass and vocals, while Royce Gibson was the drummer and backing vocalist.Their sole LP released in the 70's was a self-titled one on the Chicago-based Dharma label.

Hard to imagine that just two people performed such powerful and tight Progressive Rock, as delivered on the opening ELP-ish ''Atlantis'', which is characterized by the dominant organ jams and the hard guitars of Di Faio.''Woodsman'' though is another story, much in the vein of THE MOODY BLUES or BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST, this a soft and romantic piece of Classical- influenced piano work accompanied by DiFazio's voice until the Mellotron-drenched dramatic end and its bombastic atmosphere.Even more bombastic is the following ''Death Man'', in the vein of the opening track, with powerful guitars and swirling organ all the way.The decent performance continues on the flipside with ''Fly-The-Night'', based on melodramatic vocals and the multiple keyboard work of DiFazio on organ, synths and harsichord, really great composition.''My Friend'' is a second soft track with light harpsichord, piano and Mellotron waves in a PROCOL HARUM/BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST style with also some melodic guitar work.''Atlas'' will not spoil the satisfying delivery of the band.A mix of Hard guitar-Prog with sharp riffing and softer vocal moments create a track of shifting moods and inner power.

If keyboard-based 70's prog is among your preferences, ''Atlantis Philharmonic'' was made for you.Huge amounts of organs, Mellotrons and harsichords with occasional hard guitar bursts are sure to please all nostalgic fans of the sound.A pair of CD reissues will make your attempt to find the album a lot easier.Recommended.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Scratching my head, trying to figure out what to write.... This is one of the albums that varies between mindnumbing dull and excellent. Welcome to my dilemma. The sound is dominated by vintage keyboards, this being an album from the 1970s. Moog and everything tangents. This album has got it. ... (read more)

Report this review (#230846) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Monday, August 10, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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