RUPHUS - New Born Day
Ruphus hailed from Norway, and were one of the most important porgressive bands to come from that country. Their 1973 debut album 'New Born Day' was a heavy progressive effort, with plenty of heavy guitar but slightly histrionic vocals. Although it still sounds pretty good today, it probably sounded even better at the time, as there were nods towards Heep and Sabbath in the musical style, and Ian Gillan in some of the vocals. The heavy rock tracks like 'Coloured Dreams', 'The Man Who Started It All', and the title track are very good, with the latter including a great guitar solo. The slower tracks tend to introduce the flute, and with the vocals taken down a notch actually sound better to me. Ruphus went through a number of line-up and style changes over the years, and their follow-up album to this one had a more symphonic approach, likening it to early Yes, while their third album was polished jazz-rock. This album is not actually out on CD at the moment, although I believe that it has been in the past, but there is a compilation album from the first six years of their career available, as well as the afore-mentioned Yes-influenced 'Ranshart', which I will be trying next.