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True Myth

Crossover Prog

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True Myth True Myth album cover
3.50 | 30 ratings | 5 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Reach for the Heavens (6:06)
2. Light Years Before (6:05)
3. It's Got to Be (3:13)
4. Time and Time Again (4:45)
5. Space Promenade (4:28)
6. In the Mist (4:56)
7. Song of the World (4:21)

Total Time 33:54

Line-up / Musicians

- Tom Treumuth / acoustic & electric pianos, synthesizer, clavinet, Mellotron
- Tony Cook / acoustic & electric 6-string & 12-string guitars
- Steve McKenna / bass, slide guitar
- Brian Bolliger / drums
- Bruce Cummings / vocals

- Ian Thomas / vocals
- Marek Norman / vocals
- Eric Cadesky / percussion
- Matt McKenna / guitar
- Armin String Quartet

Releases information

LP WEA Music of Canada (1979)

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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TRUE MYTH True Myth ratings distribution

(30 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TRUE MYTH True Myth reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars One of those completely eclipsed group from the late 70's, this Canadian group (completely unknown to this half-Canadian, until recent years) was the vehicle for keyboardist Tom Treumuth and he called the group after a deformation of his name. The quintet - standard prog quartet plus full-time singer Cummings (Bruce, not Burton), they developed an honest prog for the tail end of the decade, somewhat not far away from Rundgren's Utopia or Yes and some fiery jazz-rock. Coming in a very colourful abstract gatefold sleeve (pyramids seem to the theme), this album had a confidential distribution. This is even weirder because the sleeve claims that it was the first album ever recorded digitally

If TM's music has the afore-motioned jazz-rock tendencies, you'll find them in the opening two tracks Reach For Heaven and Light Years Before and they are the better tracks and among the proggier as well. Indeed the leadoff Heavens track allows much space for interplay and Cook's guitar solo is quite enjoyable. Light Years is a much funkier piano-lead track where again Cook's guitar entertains us, though the rhythm changes and blazing fusion ala Mahavishnu. The closing track of the very short first side is an atrocious AOR filler that was best forgotten in the wastebasket, especially coming after the two preceding goodies..

Opening the flipside is the Yes-like ballad Time And Time Again, where an Andersonian delivery vocal is soaring above some trons, and an interminable outro. Don't get fooled by my description, it's nothing to alert Jon and the boys. The following Space Promenade is a quiet and serene instrumental that shares itself between Treumuth's piano and synths and a guest's violin on the other. The piano-driven In The Mist is an up-tempo track hesitating between prog and AOR, but plagued by a relatively poor drumming line (in this track). The closing Song Of The World starts on guitar arpeggios, slowly builds up into an AOR prog and again ending on a Yes touch. This second side is a rather even affair with all four tracks of a correct level, but none pushing the eyebrow-raising buttons.

While anything but essential, not really being that worthy either of an extended and uncertain hunt, True Myth's debut is a typical product of its era. Their second album will be released some two years later and reputed even rarer than this one. Outside the first two longer tracks, there is not that much to really enthuse the proghead, even if the flipside holds its good moments.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Surprisingly good Yes progeny that turned in a quite valid post-symphonic entry with this, their debut from 1979. True Myth mined mostly from the rounded, more pastoral vein of that band, with shades of early Genesis and the jazz fusion sounds of the time. The results are pleasing if familiar, and those fond of a lower-key but no less highbrow late 70s prog would do themselves a favor to at least consider this tasteful album. 'Reach For the Heavens' has Tom Treumuth's impressive piano and shows the unusual interplay between his keys and Tony Cook's guitar. Six-minute 'Light Years Before' tastes of jazz but maintains the prog energy all the way through, and Bruce Cummings does a fine, unobtrusive job on vocals. Lofty and Anderson-esque 'Time and Time Again' is very nice if schmaltzy and a moving set of strings - cellos, violas and violins - eases open the gentle 'Space Promenade'. Cook's web of six and twelve strings push-off the terrific 'In the Mist' showing progressively tasteful lines between bass and guitar, all peppered by Tom Treumuth's exciting piano and synth leads. Nothing to write home about but a fine group and well worth a listen.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Canadian act formed in 1977 in London,Ontario and led by keyboardist Tom Truemuth.The band's name was actually a paraphrase of his surname,while the band started as a quintet with also Bruce Cummings on vocals, Tony Cook on guitars, Steve McKenna on bass and Brian Bolliger on drums.The band's debut was released in 1979 on Warner Bros,the first digital album recorded in Canada and the second worldwide after Stevie Wonders' ''Secret Life Of Plants'' from the same year.

The compositions are mainly led by Truemuth's efforts along with strong guitar moments and heavy use of sensitive vocal lines,always in an Art Rock mood like a cross between SUPERTRAMP, SYMPHONIC SLAM and even early IRRWISCH, MACHIAVEL and KAYAK.Short tracks with some frenetic groovy parts featuring plenty of keyboards,melodic guitars and a rockin' rhythm section often flirting with jazzy or even funk vibes.Depending on the track Truemuth uses the electric piano for jazzy-flavored compositions,his clavinet for funky grooves,the mellotron for his orchestral moves and the synthesizers for the catchier parts.Most of them follow a fast tempo with the musicianship being quite accesible,yet rich and melodious.A couple of them though are more in a ballad style,maintaining a high level of artistic nature with fine acoustic passages and spacey synths.The vocals are a very strong point.Catchy and sensitive at the same time, Cummings vocal lines fit perfect in the overall style presented.

A very decent release,much a product of its time and balancing perfectly between captivating and accesible rock music.Not essential,but definitely warmly recommended.

Review by Progfan97402
4 stars I am really surprised to see Warner take a gamble on an unknown Canadian band to be the first band from that country to record digitally, even more surprising was it was a prog rock band. In 1979, no less when prog rock was now considered out of fashion. Yes and Genesis didn't even bother releasing albums that year (although Genesis did work on Duke at the end of the year, it was obviously too late for them to have it out the same year). True Myth was lead by keyboardist Tom Treumuth, hence the band name, with Bruce Cummings on vocals. This music seemed to be pretty typical of prog rock bands of the mid to late '70s (roughly 1975 to '78) from the American Midwest and southern Ontario, a combination of pomp with prog. "Reach for the Sky" has that rather obvious pomp rock feel, with proggy passages. "It's Got to Be" was the band's attempt at a hit, but has too many tricks up their sleeve to be FM rock fare. I really love this piece. It appear to have backing vocals. Seems Ian Thomas was credited. Some of you know him as the guy who wrote and recorded "Runner" that became something of a minor hit for Manfred Mann's Earth Band. He was also the brother of comedian Dave Thomas of Bob & Doug McKenzie fame (alongside Rick Moranis). "Time and Time Again" features some Mellotron, which is another instrument that had fallen out of favor by this time, so nice to hear. There is no doubt about the last piece, "Song for the World", it's truly amazing! This is without a doubt the album's highlight. I really love how the album ended up with a bang, especially with that atmospheric passage. I guess the best way I can describe the music is a pomp rock version of Gentle Giant. Doesn't have those vocal harmonies or really tricky time signatures, it's a fairly accessible album.

There was a couple of articles in a couple issues of Billboard in 1979 about this group, and of digital recording in general. They made mention of talks of an American release, but that was not to be, probably due to lack of sales in Canada. I guess I can't be too surprise, prog rock just wasn't so viable in 1979 the way it was in 1972.

So in conclustion, it's a very good album, but it's also a bit uneven, so I can't call it a masterpiece or anything, but if you can find it for a decent price, it's worth it.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Being a vinyl collector since 2001, I have this habit of going into second hand stores and searching for real bargains in used vinyl. I have found some very interesting things by doing this and have acquired a fairly large vinyl collection for a really cheap price. Since the vinyl resurgence didn't start until some years after I started vinyl hunting, I have been able to get some great records for about one dollar each. Nowadays, that is quite impossible, yet I still find an occasional surprise. However, I also find myself restlessly buying things that look interesting that I have never heard of and sometimes I happen to get somethings that are really good. Just a few weeks ago, I stumbled across this album and bought it for 2 dollars mostly because the album cover and the timing of the tracks looked like it could be a long, lost progressive band, plus the fact that a Mellotron is involved. Well, I was right this time.

True Myth is a forgotten band from Toronto, Ontario and this album (released by a Warner Brothers company in Canada) was their debut album, released in 1979. I had no idea that this was the first digital album recorded in Canada (the second digital album recorded anywhere preceded only by Stevie Wonders "The Secret Life of Plants"). The overall album is only 33 minutes and has 7 tracks, the first two of which are just over 6 minutes. The other tracks stay in the 3-5 minute range.

Tom Treumuth is the central musician in the band and he provides the amazing keyboard work on the album, piano, synths, mellotron, and the like. The vocalist is Bruce Cummings who has a decent vocal style with a high range similar to Jon Anderson. The other musicians provide stellar performances also and likewise get plenty of time to show off their talents. "Reach for the Heavens" kicks off the first side and is a complex composition with tricky rhythms, excellent keyboard work and multiple moods. The music leans towards a somewhat jazzy feel with a strong hint of fusion. The music isn't as complex as early Yes, but it could be compared to "Return to Forever" with a slight bit more heaviness. "Light Years Before" continues in this style, but with a funkier edge, still complex and progressive with plenty of great guitar and keys. Guitarist Tony Cook definitely keeps up with Treumuth's keys and together they could rank up there with the best of the progressive instrumentalists. But Steve McKenna also proves his worth with some crazy bass work that gets a chance to stand out a bit more on this 2nd track and Brian Bolliger has no problem putting in complex drum fills and easily shifts from one style to another with ease. There is once again a bit of a jazz leaning to the music, but plenty of bass and guitar keep the music on the rock side. These first two tracks are excellent 5 star material, the sound is clean and crisp as is to be expected with the digital recording. Up to this point, this is very impressive and the album is worth seeking out just for these two tracks alone. The first side closes off with a more radio-friendly track "It's Got to Be", a song that is still clean and crisp, but an obvious step down from the complexity of the preceding tracks.

The last four tracks stay within the 4 minute period. "Time and Time Again" is a bit more laid back and this time around, the song is a definite nod to inspiration from Yes, including Steve Howe's guitar style. The mellotron on this track is a nice touch and actually give it a personality that makes it the band's own style, lending a certain symphonic sound to the otherwise more accessible sound while still retaining a progressive edge. This could have been developed into something if more time was allotted. "Space Promenade" begins with lovely piano work at first and then is joined by a string quartet for a sound that tips on the border between romantic and baroque-like style. It's a nice instrumental that helps to round out the album. The last two tracks are "melded" together and can almost pull off being a single track. "In the Mist" brings back a higher level of complexity and the jazz leanings return. Cummings' vocals and Treumuth's syths take on a Dennis DeYoung/Styx like feel, but with more of a progressive edge to it. The bass also stands out on this track again which is always a good thing especially when it is allowed to contribute a lot to the track. "Song for the World" is more reflective and melancholic, but continues with the feel of the preceding track and takes some time to build to a nice and complex instrumental break. It is a nice closer, but because of the brevity of the total album, the tracks on the 2nd side just seem like they could have been epic if they were given the time to breathe and develop.

The year that this album was released in was, unfortunately, a year when progressive rock was being shunned, and the record company wasn't as willing as it should have been to promote the album. If it had been released 5 years earlier, this band would have probably had more freedom to develop the songs and I have no doubt that they would have been successful. Because of the timing, this album and band only ended up becoming a forgotten project which none of these excellent musicians deserved. The band did release another album, but much of the line-up had changed, so I'm not sure whether their stellar sound would have carried on to that album.

Though this album is not perfect, it is one that should be recognized more as it is quite an impressive showcase of 5 musicians that were talented and could have made a bigger impression on the world of progressive rock if they were given more of a chance. It's another sad reminder of the wrong turn that music took overall in the 80's. If you have a chance to get this album, you should as it is quite a gem even if some of the songs didn't get to develop into epic tracks. Even the shorter songs (except for one) are quite brilliant and you find yourself wishing they could have been longer. I can easily say that this is a four star album and a definite treasure that I found buried among the old Perry Como and Paul Anka records, forgotten by the true music fans that would really appreciate it if they heard it.

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