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DRUID

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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Druid biography
Here's another acclaimed YES-oriented progrock band named DRUID with Neil Brewer on bass guitar, Andrew McCrorie-Shand on keyboards, Cedric Sharpley on drums and percussion and 'Dane' on guitar and vocals. In '75 they released their debut-LP "Towards the Sun" and a year later a second album entitled "Fluid Druid".

Their first effort is their best: fluent and melodic songs, layered with Mellotron, often in combination with sensitive electric guitarwork. The echoes from YES are obvious: lots of vocal harmonies, a Chris SQUIRE-like bass, WAKEMANesque keyboards and even the high-pitched vocals like Jon ANDERSON. But DRUID plays less complex and virtuosic, their pleasant sound appeals to me, more than the 24-carat YES-clone STARCASTLE. The second LP entitled "Fluid Druid" is in the vein of their first but less mature, as if the band is a bit running out of ideas. Nonetheless it's a nice album.

: : : Erik Neuteboom, The NETHERLANDS : : :
Fan & official Prog Archives collaborator

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DRUID discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

DRUID top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.47 | 134 ratings
Toward The Sun
1975
3.07 | 82 ratings
Fluid Druid
1976

DRUID Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DRUID Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

DRUID Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.58 | 21 ratings
Toward the Sun / Fluid Druid
1995

DRUID Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

DRUID Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Toward The Sun by DRUID album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.47 | 134 ratings

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Toward The Sun
Druid Symphonic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars I've just discovered this band, thanks to David Silly Puppy and a YouTube suggestion link. I'm impressed. The Yes similarities are obvious but this album leaves me wondering, "Did every band who ended up sounding like Yes or Genesis intend to come out that way?" Something here makes me answer, "no." The folk-like use of sound and space, the unusual and impressive poetic pronunciation of the singer, the constructs are not quite as classical or hard rock in their outcomes. Classic rock, psychedelia, folk, and even early Styx and Rush and Narada Michael Walden/Nova come to mind. I like the vocal arrangements and sounds more than any of the above (though I find it remarkable that they're all performed by male voices.) A truly enjoyable find that I will without doubt enjoy coming to know more intimately. Nice sound engineering and production throughout. Nobody trying to impress me with their egos, just nice, solid, cohesive, beautifully-constructed songs.

Favorite songs: 1. "Voices" (8:14) (8.5/10); 2. "Remembering" (5:24) (8.5/10); 3. "Theme" (5:26) (9/10) and the title song (5:08) (9/10).

 Toward The Sun by DRUID album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.47 | 134 ratings

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Toward The Sun
Druid Symphonic Prog

Review by aglasshouse

2 stars Does cloning Yes well make a good album?

Well if we take that "well" part, then you must be. Having the ability to play so similarly to such an eclectic and talented band must mean you have a certain share in that talent. This is the case for the 70's symphonic rock band Druid, and their debut Toward The Sun in 1975.

This album is undoubtedly influenced by Yes, who was a very prominent example of progressive music, especially during the 70's. But no matter how eclectic or dynamic Yes was, they still followed a formula, and that formula could be done by other bands. Many are quick to juxtapose many symphonic prog bands with Yes, but it's really only true in obvious examples. Toward The Sun is one of these examples. Everything from 'Dane''s high pitched, ultra soprano vocals to Neil Brewers thumping Squire-inspired bass. One thing I do have to give to Druid is that their percussionist, Cedric Sharpley, is fantastic. His abilities hold a candle to both Bill Bruford and Alan White with his talents.

Don't simply shrug this off as just a Yes clone just yet, because there's a deluge of other influences Druid takes in other than them. Dane has certain moments where during his self-harmonizations sounds oddly like Crosby Stills Nash and Young of all bands, most prominently on 'Remembering'. With this is an admitted folk undertone, no matter how vague and poorly executed it is. Some jazz influences that hopefully become more prevalent with their followup Fluid Druid (1976) that are done pretty well, as Druid sort of deals with this genre of symphonic jazz rock, a genre so strange that I wouldn't mind seeing more often.

Okay, I have to come clean. This album is not easy to review. At all. If you've heard Yes enough you've come to understand and accept their formula: overly complex drumming, long winded choral-like guitars, and high airy vocals. Many bands did copy this concept, but the worst ones were the ones in the 70's, where there was no newer technology present where they could tinker with the idea in any unique way, and were simply stuck to just playing the same thing. Druid, or rather Toward the Sun is one of these 70's rehash. I'll say it now and in the future; if I want to listen to Yes symphonic prog, I'll listen to Yes. There's no other reason to listen to a practical trudge through the same concepts as the band except with a lack of creativity.

In conclusion, the album isn't the best. I would go so far as to say it's one of the less interesting albums of the 1975 when it comes to symphonic rock, hell, progressive rock in general. Listen if you must.

2.5 rounded to 2.

 Toward the Sun / Fluid Druid by DRUID album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1995
3.58 | 21 ratings

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Toward the Sun / Fluid Druid
Druid Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 for sure

Druid was one of the promising bands from mid '70's manageing to release ony two albums and then gone almost unnoticed. The re issue of both album by Beat Goes On in 1995 is good aqusition if you want to have both albums in one packaging.

First album rleased in 1975 named Toward the sun is a good one, with heavy prog moments combined with like Yes arppegios and passages. The voice of Dane shows a great potential somehow forgotten vocalist when we talk about great ones of the '70's. The albums is pretty varied in compostions, from opening heavy prog pieces Voices where the guitar has an importan trole, very strong arrangements on this one, to the last piece Druid make some intristing music here to much time underrated in my opinion. Yes influenced but without that lenghty parts Yes were famous for. Good album , like the druming and the re issue has a crystal sound. 3.5 for this one.

Secod album released one year later in 1976 Fluid to me is their best, even agaian is very low rated and totaly forgotten album from british school. Keeping the same attitude of the previous album, this time Druid manage to come with more intristing ideas , some of the highlights to me are the instrumental a short one FM 145, great piece, Crusade and Kestrel, nice passages, good voice , clean good album. A sincere band that I've always like, maybe they beggin their career quite to late, when the second album apper , the british scene was already preparing for the punk machine to take over the whole market, and for that matter they were restraind to close the chapter to soon disbanding in fall of the 1976 after quite promising first two albums. Aagain 3.5 stars for Druid fluid

 Fluid Druid by DRUID album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.07 | 82 ratings

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Fluid Druid
Druid Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Druid evidently decided to craft a more distinctive sound for themselves after the Yes worship of Toward the Sun - a good idea with one vital flaw, namely that they don't seem to have much idea of what they want to change their sound to! With a few bits and pieces of Yes imitation cluttering up the place, the band also try their hand at jazz fusion a little (unconvincingly) and on one track (Barnaby) try their hand at a bit of ska in the vein of The Specials or Madness - a musical direction which might have seen them survive the onslaught of punk, were it not for the fact that the song is a completely incompetent jab at the genre.

Fluid Druid is 40 minutes of the sound of sheer panic setting in, as the band remove the safety net only to find that, at the end of the day, they just aren't ready to move out the shadow of the topographic oceaneers.. Two stars.

 Toward The Sun by DRUID album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.47 | 134 ratings

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Toward The Sun
Druid Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars There's no doubt about it - Druid are a full-blooded Yes clone and make no bones about it on their debut album. But if you're in the market for a set of songs rooted in Yes' sound circa Yes Album/Fragile and performed by a talented clutch of imitators, Toward the Sun is one of the best clone albums I've heard. Guitarist-singer Dane does a passable Jon Anderson impression and is actually pretty good with that guitar of his, keyboardist Andrew McCrorie- Shand resembles Tony Kaye's style more than Rick Wakeman's (which at least shows a bit of originality in terms of choosing which Yes keyboard to imitate), and Neil Brewer's bass work is uncannily like Chris Squire's. Drummer Cedric Sharpley (who would later take up a post in Gary Numan's band) is no Bill Bruford and so wisely keeps a low profile.

But where the band really excel is in their compositions, nailing the Yes compositional approach from the era they are imitating without imitating any specific Yes song. You can imagine this material being passed off as a long-lost Yes album by a less scrupulous record company. If you absolutely have to be a clone band, Druid do a good job of showing how to do it right.

 Toward The Sun by DRUID album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.47 | 134 ratings

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Toward The Sun
Druid Symphonic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Released in 1975, 'Toward The Sun' was the debut release from British group Druid, a symphonic progressive rock act whose quintessentially-English sound bore a strong resemblance to the early-1970s works of their much more famous genre mates Yes, an observation that has seemed to dog that band throughout their sadly rather brief career(just check out the other reviews for this album on this very website). Featuring a singer(called, simply, 'Dane') with a high-pitched, almost boyish Jon Anderson-like vocal style, a bassist(Neil Brewer) who likes a nice, deep twang effect, not unlike a certain Chris Squire, to eminate from his four-string and a dominant keyboard, mellotron and moog player (Andrew McCrorie- Shand), Druid's sound seems rooted in the fabric of 'Fragile', 'Close To The Edge' and 'Tales From Topographic Oceans', just with a less rocky vibe. The music is by no means bad, and on songs such as the maudlin 'Voices' and the achingly ethereal 'Dawn Of Evening', the group even achieve a level of symphonic prog that almost matches their musical overlords. The real pity is that, wherever and whenever Druid are mentioned, whether it be in a print review, a conversation in a pub or song played on a radio station, he name Yes will never be far behind. The reasons become startlingly evident once the first thirty seconds of 'Voices' have been played, but unlike many clone groups there is much merit to the Druid sound. They also aren't the only group accused of taking Yes' music a bit too literally, as Us proggers Starcastle, and another English group, England, have also tried to emulate the quicksilver Yes sound, usually without too much commercial success. However, those fans who have exhausted the Yes discography and are hungry for more symphonic thrills should definitely check out 'Toward The Sun', an album that twinkles with a lightly-ambling and gorgeously-harmonic(though highly unoriginal) album that features excellent production. Druid's second album 'Fluid Druid' would find the group edging towards a less enthralling and more commercially-viable sound, though still with the Yes-isms firmly attached. If you like your progressive rock light-and-airy, and you don't mind a touch of harmless plagiarism, this decent release should be right up your street. But don't expect it to be 'Close To The Edge'. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2011
 Fluid Druid by DRUID album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.07 | 82 ratings

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Fluid Druid
Druid Symphonic Prog

Review by ghost_of_morphy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Every once in a while, when I am exploring the more far-flung reaches of the progressive universe, I find an album that I had never heard of back in the day that sticks with me. Fluid is such an album. Somehow I find it memorable and keep coming back to it. Not necessarily because of it's progginess, but just because I think the music is good and tastefully executed for the most part.

The first thing that struck me about the album was the vocalist. He's good, but he sounds eerily like Dennis DeYoung of Styx. So eerily that it surprised me that Druid was recording before DeYoung really took over Styx's direction. That some of these tracks have the grand sweep of those operatic ballads DeYoung loved to crank out helps support the similarity.

Next I noticed the bass. Brewer is no Chris Squire from the same time period. He doesn't seek out complexity for complexity's sake, but what he does do is give Druid a very solid foundation on which to build, and those growling plodding notes he churns out penetrate through the music and really drive the instrumentals.

As for the keyboardist, he's well above average if not worshipful. Good but not great chops, and he gets some really nice varied sound textures out of his equipment. The same could be said of Dane's guitar although not with quite as much enthusiasm.

But it's the material that really distinguishes this album. These guys have transcended the material that they released on their first album. They fearlessly tread through the realms of both pop and prog, churning out the best parts of each as they play this series of songs. What results is a very good album that sticks in my mind, and given the high volume of varied music that I listen to, that is definitely a compliment. I strongly recommend this album to all prog fans. I feel you will find that it stacks up well against much more well known albums from the classic age of prog. 4 stars.

 Toward the Sun / Fluid Druid by DRUID album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1995
3.58 | 21 ratings

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Toward the Sun / Fluid Druid
Druid Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The two only albums on one CD from a band which has been branded as a clone band. A Yes clone, that is.

The music here is pretty much down that road, yes. Then again, there is nothing wrong with Yes. Fluid Druid is the best album of their two albums. Although a bit too much lightweight symphonic prog at at times, the songs here are good. The problem with Druid is that none of their members, as musicians, was anywhere near the same league as the individual Yes members. It is kind of trying to race a Formula 1 car with a Chrysler people carrier. Sooner or later, you end up in the forest. Druid does that quite often, in fact. In particular on their Towards The Sun album which proves that cloning also requires skills. That album is nothing more than OK.

Taken into account is the good value for money here and my admiration of Yes. As clones, Starcastle is a better alternative than Druid. But this album is worth an investment if you find it for a reasonable price.

3 stars

 Fluid Druid by DRUID album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.07 | 82 ratings

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Fluid Druid
Druid Symphonic Prog

Review by lukretio

2 stars Definitely not as good as its predecessor, Fluid Druid contains about 40mins of average prog pop-rock. Dane's singing, which in my opinion was one of the highlights of the debut album, becomes more aggressive and unnatural at places (e.g. Crusade). The production is also rather disappointing.

Highlights of the LP are: - Painters Clouds (after the somewhat dragged intro, Dane's romantic voice brings the song to life and a nice guitar solo ends it gracefully), - Nothing but Morning (introduced by a gentle piano and Dane's falsetto it develops in an energetic piece of music enriched with male vocal choruses concluded again by Dane's graceful voice accompanied by piano) - Left to Find (the best song of the album. It's similar to Painters Clouds in structure, but better: a calm instrumental intro based on a nice piano arpeggio leads to Dane's singing accompanied by piano)

Some of the others songs are average (the boring opener Razor Truth, the reggae Barnaby and Kestrel), others are just disappointing (the instrumental FM 145, the irritating Crusade).

Overall, a disappointing second effort after the nice debut album. 2.5 stars, really.

 Toward The Sun by DRUID album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.47 | 134 ratings

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Toward The Sun
Druid Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I heard this album after their second efford Fluid Druid and I can say Towards The Sun is every bit superior than its follow up. Of course you might have heard of them as one of those Ŭes clones´, which is not totally correct, even if the the Jon Anderson & co influences are more than obvious (specially on the bass parts). Originality was not their forte. But still I found those songs here to be quite interesting and entertaining. They sounded like a lightweight version of bands like Yes and Genesis. I mean, nice overall, but fairly inoffensive.

What really got me are the vocals: guitarist Dani is no singer. When he uses his lower registers, it is ok, but the tendency of throwing in a very annoying falsetto ruins many parts of some otherwise quite good tunes. If they wanted to sound like Jon Anderson, why not hiring a singer that could do the job? This is a mystery to me. Anyway, the instrumental parts are really good and the band showed some promises (the keyboards runs and guitar lines are very well done).

If you´re into obscure bands from the 70´s and don´t mind some derivative music and the lousy falsetto, this is an interesting CD to look for. Those guys are good players and they could have made it but somehow didn´t (with a good reason, some cynics would say!). I found the music pleasant, specially the second half of the album. Rating: something between 2,5 to 3 stars.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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