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Ruphus - New Born Day CD (album) cover

NEW BORN DAY

Ruphus

 

Heavy Prog

3.90 | 81 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
4 stars The prolific Norwegian label Karisma Records (situated in the wonderful city Bergen) hosts of a lot of known native prog bands, from Airbag, Virus and Magic Pie to Nordagust, Bj'rn Riis (Airbag) and Wobbler. One of Karisma its latest releases is the reissue of the highly acclaimed debut album from Norwegian formation Ruphus.

Ruphus was founded early 1970, the band signed with famous record label Polydor in 1973 and released six studio albums and one compilation between 1973 and 1979. During the years their sound gradually turned from harder-edged prog to more jazzrock oriented. Ruphus had good album sales after their breakthrough album Let Your Light Shine (1976), then got some airplay and toured successfully in Germany. Due to multiple line-up changes the band dissolved eventually in the early Eighties, but in the 2000s Ruphus did a number of reunion concerts.

An important part of their sound on this debut album is the interplay between the Hammond organ and the harder-edged guitar, reminding me of the Early British Progressive Rock Movement (somewhere between Atomic Rooster and Fruupp). Most songs contain catchy beats and sumptuous eruptions, blended with male vocals (with a strong accent) and female vocals, her raw, powerful and emotional sound evokes to me female singer Inga Rumpf (from contemporary German band Frumpy). The strong element in Ruphus its music is delivering variety in atmospheres and instruments, topped with a passionate approach.

A fiery electric guitar solo and a swirling Hammond solo, blended with duo vocals, in the opener Coloured Dreams.

First acoustic rhythm guitar and synthesizer flights, and then a swinging mid-tempo with powerful drums and a flute solo in Scientific Ways.

Bombastic Hammond, fiery wah-wah guitar and a powerful saxophone solo in Still Alive.

First a dreamy atmosphere with flute and piano and then a swinging rhythm with wah-wah guitar and in the end subtle piano in The Man Who Started It All.

From bombastic with Hammond and raw but very passionate female vocals (evoking Inga Rumpf from Frumpy) or a churchy organ sound, to dreamy with mellow organ and a catchy beat with rock guitar, and in the end subtle acoustic guitar in the compelling Trapped In A Game.

Powerful Hammond and wah-wah guitar in the titletrack.

The highlight and most varied composition is the epic final song Day After Tomorrow. It starts with swinging Hammond, a Yes- like bass sound and vocal harmonies (evoking The Byrds), then dreamy with a churchy organ sound, gradually turning into a bombastic final part featuring intense vocals, strong drums, delicate piano work and in the end topped with inspired duo vocals, very compelling and a splendid conclusion of this album!

I am very pleased with the way Ruphus has captured that unique early Seventies prog spirit (passion, skills and adventure), a true gem in the Norwegian prog history!

This review was recently published in a slightly different version on Dutch prog website Background Magazine.

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |

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