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Ruphus: Ranshart

Released one year after their debut New Born Day, the sophomore release from Norway's progressive rock act Ruphus Ranshart arrived in 1974 and with a very different line-up. Gone were the two vocalist from the previous album, as well as one of their guitarists, making for a more stripped down version of the band, and a new singer was brought on board.

Asle Nilsen - Bass guitar , flute
Thor Bendiksen - Drums
Kjell Larsen - Guitar
Haakon Graf - Keyboard
Rune Østdahl - Vocal

With a completely new configuration, naturally the sound of Ruphus was bound to change a little as well. Ranshart has an overall more symphonic feel, much of the harder rock sounds of the debut replaced by lush prog not far removed from vintage Genesis and Yes. "Music Is My Light" kicks things off with piano, Mellotron, Hammond organ, and the very different vocals from Rune, who has a very high pitched voice not unlike Jon Anderson from Yes. "Easy Lovers" offers gorgeous acoustic guitar from Larsen and Nilsen's sinewy bass lines, majestic synths floating in the background...pastoral prog-rock at its best. The band rocks out a little more on the grandiose "Fallen Wonders", with tasty guitars and more of those luscious bass tones (a Rickenbacker I suspect?) complemented by symphonic keys and tricky drum fills. Again, comparisons to Yes are readily apparent. The last two tracks both exceed 8-minutes, starting off with "Pictures of a Day", a spacey gem with fluttering synths and nature sounds, hints of Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream running rampant before some beautiful flute, Hammond, and melodic guitar & bass join in on the action. The remainder of the song turns into a splendid instrumental prog-rock romp that clicks on all the buttons just perfectly. Ruphus finish up here with "Back Side", an upbeat song with plenty of groove, Mellotron, Hammond, and what sounds like Moog battling it out with legato bass lines and melodic guitar explorations, Østdahl's emotional vocals floating over the top. Symphonic '70s prog-rock the way it ought to sound.

Very different from their stellar debut New Born Day, Ranshart is no less impressive, and thanks to Karisma Records for unearthing this lost gem from the vaults for all to treasure once again or for the first time. Also want to mention a great remaster treatment here courtesy of White Willow/The Opium Cartel's Jacob Holm-Lupo.

Track Listing
1) Music Is My Light - 6:12
2) Easy Lovers - 4:37
3) Fallen Wonders - 5:51
4) Pictures of a Day - 8:30
5) Back Side - 8:10

Added: June 29th 2019
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1351
Language: english

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