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Gryphon - Red Queen to Gryphon Three CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.16 | 699 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars After their second album, Midnight Mushrumps, Gryphon had improved their sound dramatically from their lackluster first album, and they were very much, and clearly ready to take off their safety goggles and floaties, and dive deep into a more lush progressive sound with their third album, Red Queen To Gryphon Three.

This album is a lot more sophisticated than the last 2, having no vocals, and instead utilizes structural compositions to give the feeling of a game. This album doesn't just play a few notes, it plays a game. It's the chess of progressive rock, sophistication and smartness in all.

The first track, Opening Move utilizes this aspect very well, punching you head first into this album with a pretty high force I must say. No more of those songs with boring moments in between the keys and notes, instead we got a structural composition that knows what it wants out of you, the listener, and out of the band. They also don't try to do any funny business, everything is sound and nice to hear, and they never overstay their welcome. Already, this album has the best moments from Midnight Mushrumps and Gryphon and beautisized 10 times.

The second song, Second Spasm, keeps this ebb and flow continuously masterfully, however they practice a more chipper and livelier sound that isn't afraid to get excited and sometimes, a little weird. They also utilize the rock aspect a lot more than usual, having more elements of standard rock music rather than compared to their eclectic classical-ish sound, especially towards the end of the song.

Instead of building off from the previous track, Lament turns 360 degrees from a less bombastic piece to a more quiet and focused track. Like the album is still having fun, but is now serious, and ready to play it's game more thoroughly. Normally I'd find this rather boring, but with the more progressive and finely tuned structure this song brings, I cannot help but find it rather nice, but that's the first half, since the second goes straight back into the bombastic melody that the second song was most known for. A great shift in tone it is.

Lastly, the final track is Checkmate. This album is now fully in tune with how it is, no more messing around. This song tries many new things, each super well done. An epic sounding beginning, a quiet melody in the center, and a super crazy melody towards the end. This is when the band fully grasps the straws of a more progressive sound and played with them to the best of their abilities, and it worked out tremendously in their favor.

Now I have been giving this album a ton of praise, and for all the right reasons, but this album does fall a bit short. First off, while I didn't particularly care for the vocals of the last 2 albums, I do admit I do have a bit of nostalgia for them and seeing them nowhere near this album definitely makes me feel a bit lonesome. Again, I don't mind the lack of vocals, but it certainly feels a bit missed. And for some reason the production quality here isn't my favorite. The snare feels too loud, some of the keyboard playing is a bit muddy, and the lack of intention of the guitars makes it feel a tad weird, like it's in a weird zone where it's classical folk, but also rock as well, and sometimes it doesn't feel like a combination but rather a weird middle ground that feels a tad wobbly. Not something to be completely upset about, I am happier to hear this than what they did before, but either way I cannot help but notice.

Despite those shortcomings, I fully dig this album. This is where I feel Gryphon shines the most, and you can clearly tell the band was ready for a full oceanic swim, and they came out in tip top shape. I kinda cannot wait to hear their next release, I bet it'll be as good as this album, if not better.

Dapper~Blueberries | 4/5 |


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