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Old 01-18-2009, 08:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Mirthrandir - For You The Old Women (1976)



1. For You the Old Women (8:13)
2. Conversation with Personality Giver (5:36)
3. Light of the Candle (4:22)
4. Number Six (5:04)
5. For Four (14:45)


The American Progressive Rock scene back in the 70's was never particularly noteworthy in the eyes of most music seekers. It was more conveniant to worship Kansas and slap the label of prog. on any band that could get something on radio that was longer than 4 minutes (Styx and Starcastle being big perpetrators).

So in regards to that, all I can say is thank Goddddd for diamonds in the rough like Mirthrandir, who on this sole album (the only one they managed to record in their short time as a band) showed more individuality and showsmanship than most groups could turn out in an entire career. While guitar, keyboard, bass, etc are all to be expected here, its the seamless interplay of the instruments and movement between mood and tempo (the first few minutes on Conversation With Personality Giver and latter half on For Four being particular highlights) that elevates this sound to a place of its own instead of being a clone-copy of Yes, Genesis or Gentle Giant.

Track breakdowns:

For You The Old Women - Starts the album off with some fiery jazzy guitar/keyboard interplay before bringing in some horns and drum emphasis. Slows down dreamily a-la Floyd/Camel through most of the middle and finishes strong at the end. Nice vocals, if nothing particularly striking.

Conversation With Personality Giver - Very lush keyboard and quick drumming takes prominence over guitar, breaking down into slower tempos with piano and horns that for a nice sheen. Great track.

Light Of The Candle - More conventional structurally than the last two tracks and less atmospheric, while being harder on guitar and more straightforward on the keyboards. Vocals are also quite nice here, making this track particularly good and a hightlight of this album IMO.

Number Six - Instrumental song, which builds itself up ever so quietly with flute and sax before the drums come in, followed by some searing guitar and keyboard work spaced over the rest of the time. Technically impressive to say the very least, and ear-pleasing to boot.

For Four - Nearly fifteen minutes of awesome, taking elements of everything you've heard thusfar while throwing some organ and Mellotron into the mix to build foundation around the keyboard-driven parts. And, of course, there's lots of great guitar. A nice way to end the album all in all, and despite the length isn't tedious at all to listen to. My favorite piece off the album.

Conclusion

I heartily recommend this album to anyone who wants to get a better idea of some of the music that was being done on America's progressive front besides Kansas back in the mid to late 70's. The production is steller, and unlike a lot of music from that period, I would say Mirthrandir's For You The Old Women has aged extraordinarily well; none of it sounds dated in any way, shape or form, and deserves a place in everyone's musical collection.
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you got an up for this?
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Have you got an up for this?
Yeah! I'll send you a PM.
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hmm, I'm intrigued .. I'm gonna check this one out.
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Old 01-23-2009, 04:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I am going to check it out too...It is crazy how many band get their names from Lord of the Rings.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Mithrandir was Gandalf's elvish name :p

could i be really cheeky and ask for a PM?
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Old 01-24-2009, 12:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Anteater View Post


1. For You the Old Women (8:13)
2. Conversation with Personality Giver (5:36)
3. Light of the Candle (4:22)
4. Number Six (5:04)
5. For Four (14:45)


The American Progressive Rock scene back in the 70's was never particularly noteworthy in the eyes of most music seekers. It was more conveniant to worship Kansas and slap the label of prog. on any band that could get something on radio that was longer than 4 minutes (Styx and Starcastle being big perpetrators).

So in regards to that, all I can say is thank Goddddd for diamonds in the rough like Mirthrandir, who on this sole album (the only one they managed to record in their short time as a band) showed more individuality and showsmanship than most groups could turn out in an entire career. While guitar, keyboard, bass, etc are all to be expected here, its the seamless interplay of the instruments and movement between mood and tempo (the first few minutes on Conversation With Personality Giver and latter half on For Four being particular highlights) that elevates this sound to a place of its own instead of being a clone-copy of Yes, Genesis or Gentle Giant.

Track breakdowns:

For You The Old Women - Starts the album off with some fiery jazzy guitar/keyboard interplay before bringing in some horns and drum emphasis. Slows down dreamily a-la Floyd/Camel through most of the middle and finishes strong at the end. Nice vocals, if nothing particularly striking.

Conversation With Personality Giver - Very lush keyboard and quick drumming takes prominence over guitar, breaking down into slower tempos with piano and horns that for a nice sheen. Great track.

Light Of The Candle - More conventional structurally than the last two tracks and less atmospheric, while being harder on guitar and more straightforward on the keyboards. Vocals are also quite nice here, making this track particularly good and a hightlight of this album IMO.

Number Six - Instrumental song, which builds itself up ever so quietly with flute and sax before the drums come in, followed by some searing guitar and keyboard work spaced over the rest of the time. Technically impressive to say the very least, and ear-pleasing to boot.

For Four - Nearly fifteen minutes of awesome, taking elements of everything you've heard thusfar while throwing some organ and Mellotron into the mix to build foundation around the keyboard-driven parts. And, of course, there's lots of great guitar. A nice way to end the album all in all, and despite the length isn't tedious at all to listen to. My favorite piece off the album.

Conclusion

I heartily recommend this album to anyone who wants to get a better idea of some of the music that was being done on America's progressive front besides Kansas back in the mid to late 70's. The production is steller, and unlike a lot of music from that period, I would say Mirthrandir's For You The Old Women has aged extraordinarily well; none of it sounds dated in any way, shape or form, and deserves a place in everyone's musical collection.
I'm definitely feeling this and it begs the question why weren't there more US prog bands at the time? Or more accurately why had I never thought about it before? I don't know if you've seen this Anteater but I posted it in another thread, it's a recent documentary about prog rock.

'Light of the Candle' is probably my favourite track as well and you're right about them not getting tedious despite the song length, bastards can't seem to keep still! It just sounds like a hyperactive melting pot of several bands to these ears, particularly ELP and Gentle Giant.
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Old 01-24-2009, 02:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm definitely feeling this and it begs the question why weren't there more US prog bands at the time? Or more accurately why had I never thought about it before? I don't know if you've seen this Anteater but I posted it in another thread, it's a recent documentary about prog rock.

'Light of the Candle' is probably my favourite track as well and you're right about them not getting tedious despite the song length, bastards can't seem to keep still! It just sounds like a hyperactive melting pot of several bands to these ears, particularly ELP and Gentle Giant.
Yeah, I've been watching though that BBC documentary actually; its really something to hear about the whole movement from the mouths of those who directly participated within it. Gotta love the whole description of how people reacted when King Crimson opened for the Stones that first time!

Also, there were several other quite decent US prog. bands besides Mirthrandir doing music in the late 70's; Happy the Man, Yezda Urfa and Cathedral (who were a main influence on Anglagard of the early 90's) come to mind immediately, but there are other names I could drop if I thought about it long enough. Why these groups weren't insanely popular to a fairly receptive potential audience in that time period has mostly to due with money and lack of touring/publicity, hence the obscurity.

Glad you are enjoying the album in any case!!
__________________
My Top 30 Albums of 2018
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frownland
You can't blame the Jews for everything...just most things.
Quote:
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Trump might be the best thing since free jazz.
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