Gryphon – Treason (1977)

frontcover1Treason is the fifth and last album by progressive rock band, Gryphon, originally released in 1977 by Harvest, catalogue number SHSP 4063.
The album was produced and co-ordinated by Mike Thorne with engineering by Mick Glossop and John Leckie. It was recorded at the Manor, Oxfordshire and Abbey Road, London. (by Wikipedia)
This is in my opinion the best of Gryphon’s albums and a well hidden gem, severely underrated. As has been pointed out by other reviewers, this does not sound like any other Gryphon album. But then again wasn’t there a pretty large difference between their first and their second albums as well? Gryphon has always been a band under constant progression and to me this album is still very much Gryphon. Most of their trademarks are still here (Krumhorn, anyone?).
This album is perhaps a bit less experimental than the earlier ones, but this is still very much progressive rock – and it rocks harder than any other Gryphon album. You could perhaps say that it is a bit darker and a bit less silly than earlier Gryphon albums, but there is enough silliness to recognize which band it is. Indeed, even the title of the album itself (a prediction of what people were going to say about their change of direction) shows that they didn’t take themselves too seriously.
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There are also a lot more vocals here than on most Gryphon albums, and the vocals are better too. The songs are very melodious and well written. The music is definitely similar in some respects to Gentle Giant, but without imitating them. This album should appeal to fans of Gentle Giant and to prog rock fans in general, perhaps more so than any other Gryphon album.
The only song I don’t really care for here is “Snakes and Ladders” which sounds a bit like the carnival in Rio! (by SouthSideoftheSky)
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Personnel:
Alex Baird (drums)
Jonathan Davie (bass)
Bob Foster (guitar, background vocals)
Brian Gulland (bassoon, english horn, recorder, background vocals)
Richard Harvey (keyboards, piano, saxophone, recorder)
David Oberlé (vocals, Percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Spring Song (Harvey/Sebastion) 9.59
02. Round & Round (Harvey/Sebastion) 4.30
03. Flash In The Pantry (Gulland/Sebastion) 4.57
04. Falero Lady (Harvey/Sebastion) 4.08
05. Snakes And Ladders (Harvey) 5.15
06. The Fall Of The Leaf (Harvey/Sebastion) 4.22
07. Major Disaster (Foster/Sebastion) 4.04

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