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Dragonwyck biography
This little known group was formed in 1968 in Cleveland, United States, first under a name SUNRISE. Later in 1969 they changes as DRAGONWYCK, and their musical style moved towards progressive rock. Their first album was released in 1970 for only 85 copies, as a demo LP. Musically they combine the elements of both British and American psychedelic sound with heavy metal tones. The mood of their music is dark and mystical, and their sound is dominated by guitar and Hammonds, Moogs and Mellotrons. The band did lots of touring in the early 70's and they also managed to release an album with bigger amount of copies. Their line-ups varied, but keymembers on all albums are Tom Brehm playing guitars and Bill Pettijohn singing. Today their original releases are also remastered, and their stuff can be recommended for anybody interested of obscure psych rock bands.

Band leader Tom Brehm reformed DRAGONWYCK with a new and younger lineup in 2006 and embarked on a short European tour before fading once again into obscurity.

Eetu Pellonpää
Adam (Black Velvet)
Nico (Modrique)

Forced Exposure
World in Sound

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DRAGONWYCK discography

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3.97 | 15 ratings
3.47 | 13 ratings
Chapter 2

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Chapter 2 by DRAGONWYCK album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.47 | 13 ratings

Chapter 2
Dragonwyck Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars Beware, they have dog, that looks like a dragon, which is deadly and sinister sign of your upcoming doom. But not by arms of this music, as this music more pleases, than kills. Or not ? Well, except no calm music, this is quite living (from word "live", like that it's not dead, no Death metal, which can make saying: "Death Metal is not dead", but what about: "Living Folk is alive"?). Even not Prog Folk by nature, it has a lot of elements of this genre (atmosphere). It's a strange mix of different elements, a lot of electric guitar parts, but also acoustic one is doing its job. Then synthesizers do something that I'm not able to properly define, kicking in from time to time. Mellotron itself (i sounds like that) is strong and maybe it's leading one. Vocals are expected and bass lines are clearly to heard in quiet parts (that are here from time to time). Strange mixture to be honest, after many listens (and repeated listens even now), I'm still not sure.

4(-), but when just enjoying it, it's good. This fantasy atmosphere (dragon and everything else, I just have this feeling) can be too much dense sometimes.

 Chapter 2 by DRAGONWYCK album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.47 | 13 ratings

Chapter 2
Dragonwyck Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars Dragonwyck were a band who played some pretty decent music, but suffered from doing so a few years too late to make the jump from a regional favorite to something more. This album is a great example of the kind of late-sixties fuzz-guitar and keyboard psych that bands like Strawberry Alarm Clock and Jefferson Airplane made, only six years later. Unfortunately for Dragonwyck, by the time these tracks were recorded and fully mixed in 1973 tastes had changed and their album wouldn’t see an official release until more than thirty years later under the German label World in Sound.

The core lineup of the group formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1969 under the name The Sunrise, as which they would record a local 45 single that immediately disappeared. Undeterred the band flirted with a name change to Speed before replacing their keyboard player and bassist and settling on the name Dragonwyck. This is their second album, having come a few years after their debut which was recorded mostly live at a club where the band frequently played. The group would record another single a year later (both sides of which are included on this CD issue) before disbanding altogether later that year. While guitarist Tom Brehm resurrected the name Dragonwyck in 2006 for a brief European club tour using studio musicians, this album really represents the end of the short-lived quintet.

The band has a handful of notable characteristics that set them apart from so many similar flash-in-the- pan stories of that era. First, lead singer Bill Pettijohn delivers an uncanny Jim Morrison imitation on many of these songs (“He Loves You” and “Freedom Son” in particular). Keyboardist John Hall is the other curio here, bouncing between John Pinder and Ray Manzarek on mellotron, Hammond and moog. And speaking of the Moody Blues, Pettijohn also does a pretty good Justin Hayward on “Lady” and “Forever only Last a Little While”. The band doesn’t attempt to hide their influences, with Pettijohn having appeared on the Jerry Springer Show to tout his Doors cover band and Dragonwyck having been known to play the entire Moody’s album “Days of Future Passed” at live shows in the early seventies.

But beyond the band’s early ‘tribute’ sensibilities there’s some decent music here as well, and at least these are all original compositions. Guitarist Tom Brehm plays some tasty psych guitar that, if nothing else, demonstrates the difference between British and American music of that day with a tendency toward copious layers of heavy and loud licks. Hall’s mellotron includes string tracks on songs like “Dead Man” which both reinforce the Moody’s vibe and give the music a richness to complement the guitars and drums.

The two bonus tracks are from the band’s last recording, a 45 single released in 1974 with pretty much no distribution or promotion. These are more pop-flavored tracks with piano replacing the mellotron, and a straight-ahead rock rhythm rather than the meandering psych arrangements of the band’s earlier work.

This is a decent album to listen to today, but it is certainly understandable why it (and the band) didn’t take off in 1973. Today we have a nostalgic and artistic appreciation for great sixties psych; but when Dragonwyck were donning capes and playing this stuff in the clubs of 1973-74 they were unfortunately already an anachronism. Three stars for the solid musicianship and for playing original material despite having a strong tribute-band vibe, but not quite essential.


 Dragonwyck by DRAGONWYCK album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.97 | 15 ratings

Dragonwyck Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Pretty accomplished heavy-psychedelic prog effort from this obscure german band. It's an evidence that it's not krautrock, it sounds surprisingly british with a pure mix between epic fuzzy guitars, grandiose Hammond organ parts and stylistic arrangements. My future waits is maybe the only song that admits links with kraut-melancolic-bluesy fuzzed out obssessions. Consequently this is my favourite one on this album. A very passionate song with distinctive pop-ish accents. The break part is astonishingly melodic, moody and stoned with nice fuzz psych guitar leads. Ideas within you is a more mellow song with a ravishing cloudy melody with folk-ish accents. It carries on the catchy, happy-like and tranquil Fire Climbs. The song features some serious technical, instrumental improvisations dominated by a duet between intense guitar leads and heavy based organ eccentricities. Run to the devil is a seriously spaced out composition with delicate organ chords, floating bluesy guitars and desperate melodic, emotional vocals. God dreams is a bombastic, propulsive heavy rockin' song punctuated by abundant hammond organs and awesome vocals. Ancient Child is a creepy eccentric song based on a carnivalesque demonic atmosphere, perfectly haunted, heavy and oppressive. Dragonwyck could be a teutonic version of Atomic Rooster, Lucifer's friend with a great dose of dark, dreamy, druggy elements. Mesmerizing!
Thanks to Eetu Pellonpää for the artist addition. and to ClemofNazareth for the last updates

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