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Ruphus - New Born Day CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.90 | 81 ratings

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3 stars The opening track on Ruphus’ debut album is a bit misleading with its seventies hard-rock driving guitar riffs, fairly simple organ bleats and dueling vocalists Gudny Aspaas and Rune Sundby. The song sounds closer to something Babe Ruth would have put out than most of what follows. Props to Ms. Aspaas for her excellent metal-like shrieking vocals here though.

The band slows things down considerably on “Scientific Ways” and introduces more variety on both keyboards and guitar than the power-dirge opener has. There’s a hint of Yes-like keyboard progression, and once again Aspaas provides stellar vocals with very good range. Sundby offers lead vocals as well as saxophone on the heavier “Still Alive” and again the keyboards are ranging against an unrelenting bass line. This is a band that undoubtedly put on an energetic live show.

“The Man who Started it All” is a typical seventies heavy rock number in the vein of bands like Uriah Heep, BTO and the like, while on “Trapped in a Game” Aspaas and guitarist Kjell Larsen come off like the Wilson sisters of Heart in their late seventies incarnation. This would probably be considered an AOR number if it weren’t for the brooding organ tracks.

The title track and “Day After Tomorrow” are rather lackluster in my opinion with nothing musically or lyrically to distinguish them from dozens of other bands doing the same thing around the same time. Unfortunately these two tracks make up nearly a third of the album and except for an extended keyboard foray around the middle of the second song are rather forgettable.

“Flying Dutchman Fantasy” has a creative, choppy guitar riff that gives it some character amid the overly-wordy harmonizing vocals of the band’s two singers, while the closing and confusingly titled “Opening Theme” picks up where the actual opening track left off with a driving guitar/bass base, but the keyboards in this case come off as almost playful in what seems to be an adaptation of a classical music riff of some sort. Kind of a Norwegian version of Ekseption but with more guitars.

Not a bad album, but not a classic either. Ruphus managed to release an impressive volume of work with seven studio albums in the mid- to late seventies before petering out amid internal squabbles and the changing times. This was the first but probably not the best, and the band reportedly moved to a more symphonic progressive sound ala Yes with their next couple of releases. This one is a three star affair, and is recommended mostly for fans of the heavier rock sounds of the mid-seventies. It does not age particularly well though and won’t likely appeal much to younger and newer fans.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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