Polyphony - Without Introduction1971

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars
 This is one of those mythical releases that you think you'll never hear because it's been out of print for so long and there seems to be no intention of re-issuing it. A huge thankyou to Todd for allowing me to finally hear this album. I first heard about it when I received Greg Walker's legendary list of his top Prog albums. I had never heard of this American band who are from Virginia Beach,Virginia. Glenn Howard came up with the name POLYPHONY after seeing this term used by some of the great Classical composers.They used this word to describe "The many voiced textures in movements designed to excite and capture the attention of their listeners".
Man that so describes this music. A five piece band with a drummer, percussionist, guitar, keyboard and bass player. And vocals too although the extended instrumental excursions are the focus. The cover art was done by this woman who worked for Sun Records. She would listen to the master tape then meditate over it waiting for the vision of what the cover art should look like. That was how she always did it. This art work won several awards. It's a picture of the "Four elements of the universe subsiding toward an energy force which was "polyphony"." Released in 1972 this really doesn't sound like any particular band or album. And it's originality certainly is not forgotten when it comes to my rating here.

"Juggernaut" opens with outbursts of sound until it stays. Some intersting spacey sounds after a minute as percussion and drums support. Synths and heavier sound follows. Solo organ before 4 minutes then drums and bass return followed by the guitar which proceeds to rip it up. Vocals for the first time after 9 1/2 minutes. So good. Guitar and organ lead when the vocals stop. "40 Second Thing in 39 Seconds" is a mini-moog extravaganza.Very experimental but short.

"Ariel's Flight" features these angular sounds early on with some raw sounding guitar. It changes a minute in as the organ and drums start to lead. Chunky bass 3 minutes in and vocals follow. Man this is so good. The bass is ground-shaking. A change 5 1/2 minutes in as the organ comes to the fore.This is actually ANGLAGARD-like. Amazing. Vocals come and go. A calm with vocals 11 1/2 minutes in then it gets fuller again with pulsating organ and vocals. Hello ! "Crimson Dagger" opens with organ and drums as guitar and bass join in. A spacey vibe comes in before 3 minutes. A relaxing soundscape follows then the vocals join in. Backing vocals too on this one.

The hype is justified here. This suits my tastes perfectly.

Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Juggernaut (14:04)
2. 40 Second Thing In 39 Seconds (1:07)
3. Ariel's Flight (15:15)
4. Crimson Dagger (7:05)

Total Time: 37:31

 Line-up / Musicians

- Martin Ruddy / bass, vocals
- Christopher Spong / drums
- Craig Massey / vocals, organ, moog
- Glenn Howard / vocals, guitars
- Chatty Cooper / percussion

Releases information

LP Eleventh Hour EH-1003-S (1971 US)
CD Radioactive RRCD117 (2004 UK)
CD Acid Symposium ACID 008CD (2005 Greece)


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