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ATLANTIS PHILHARMONIC

Symphonic Prog • United States


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Atlantis Philharmonic biography
This USA duo formed in Cleveland during the early/mid 70's by Royce Gibson on drums and the multi instrumentalist Joe DiFazio on everything else. Their style is mostly the blending of Symphonic influences like CAMEL, ELP, etc with some Fusion and a bit of the sound of the MOODY BLUES and Hard Rock by moments.

Their first and only LP is the 1974 self titled album released by the label "Deutsche Harmonia Mundi". the eclectic sound of this album has very characteristic features like the excellent vocals close to a blend of Psyche and Pop plus a hard edged guitar that reminds of Early ELP or THE NICE with a touch of CAMEL.

But this isn't all, in tracks as "Friends" we can finds some heavy rock influence similar to URIAH HEEP or DEEP PURPLE, others closer to ATOMIC ROOSTER like "Atlantis", plus atmospheric touches like in the incredible "Woodsman" that also blends some Jazzy leanings, strange but this last track reminds me a bit of the KING CRIMSON's masterpiece In the Court of the Crimson King"

The lush keyboard arrangements including piano, organ and mellotron and the varied mixture of sounds and styles are perfect for the taste of the most demanding Progressive Rock fans

This eclectic album with a clear classical orientation (As their name clearly isuggest) is considered one of the earliest examples of USA Progressive rock and deserves to be listened by progheads.

Couldn't find what happened with the two members of ATLANTIS PHILARMONIC when they disbanded but at least since the 90's we can get their lonely release in CD format.

Some places consider them Symphonic, others Psyche or even Jazz oriented, but the important thing is that they recorded an excellent album that must be in every Prog Rock collection, an excellent addition for almost any sub-genre but much closer to Symphonic.

Iván Melgar Morey - Perú

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ATLANTIS PHILHARMONIC discography


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3.15 | 19 ratings
Atlantis Philharmonic
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Grand Master
2008

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ATLANTIS PHILHARMONIC Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Atlantis Philharmonic by ATLANTIS PHILHARMONIC album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.15 | 19 ratings

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Atlantis Philharmonic
Atlantis Philharmonic Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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.

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 Atlantis Philharmonic by ATLANTIS PHILHARMONIC album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.15 | 19 ratings

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Atlantis Philharmonic
Atlantis Philharmonic Symphonic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

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.

peace

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 Atlantis Philharmonic by ATLANTIS PHILHARMONIC album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.15 | 19 ratings

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Atlantis Philharmonic
Atlantis Philharmonic Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

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. The music varies between pastorial Genesis like, via Nice like melodies to bombastic hard rock. The pastorial bits works best. The hard rock bits are mindnumbing boring. The melodies are surprisingly short, taking the name of the band into consideration. I was expecting twenty minutes + long opuses. Instead, the average lenght is around six minutes. The best song is the second song called Woodsman. This is an excellent song which takes the best from Nice and Genesis and merges it into a seven minutes long opus. The rest is pretty good too.

My main gripe here is the lack of innovation here. The songs are generic. Those into Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, The Nice, Genesis & Co has heard most of this album before. I also feels the band is falling into Folk Prog in parts of the album where they could had branched out into Jazz for example. Yes, some parts are pretty jazzy. But not taken to the level they should have taken it. This is just based on a hunch I got. Besides of this; the album is a good album. I am believe it will gather dust in my record collection, though.

3 stars

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 Atlantis Philharmonic by ATLANTIS PHILHARMONIC album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.15 | 19 ratings

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Atlantis Philharmonic
Atlantis Philharmonic Symphonic Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

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!

A FINE PROGROCK ALBUM FOR THE VINTAGE KEYBOARD AFICIONADOS!



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Thanks to Erik Neuteboom for the artist addition. and to Gentle Giant for the last updates

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