Castle Canyon is a band from 1973. They are still there, yet they are here. Disbanded in high school, Castle Canyon has reformed to record their long lost progressive rock gems, and to lay down some fabulous new tracks. Here's some reviews, after the gear list:
Arp 2600; Oberheim Matrix-12; Hohner Clavinet; Hammond B-3 and M-3 organ; Wurlitzer elec piano; Nord Electro2; Yamaha PF-100 and Yamaha DX-7; M-Tron (Mellotron). Pianos: Steinway Grand; Baldwin Acrosonic (’55); AB Chase Upright (1920); Schoenhut toy piano.
Pacific DW drum
Cosmos Music (France), March 1, 2010:
OK, the title of this album is rather plain and cover most 'cheap', but damn that its content is good! Castle Canyon is a American group, totally unknown, but has yet cracked shortly in the early 70s. A long tunnel over 30 years and a resurrection later..... Gods Of 1973 Thus, a progressive instrumental 'seventies' of very high bill, dominated by the full panoply of keyboards 'vintage' supported by an impeccable rhythm section and guitar more discreet but no less perfect. To clarify further, there may well sure to add that sometimes evokes Castle Canyon ELP, Trace and other Quill, but his personality is such that the Gods of 1973 made very quickly forget
sake of rapprochement on the part of the listener. A treat! -Olivier Pelletant
IO Pages, Nov. 2009 (excerpt), translated from the Dutch:
“We come from a time when keyboards were loud and cool” You bet, that last word is not a lie, because the band sounds delicious and with the authentic original ARP 2600 synthesizer, they know how to hold the attention over the whole CD. The sound is fresh, though the tracks from yesterday (1973) were put to disk. To help you in the dream, that is. Castle Canyon is the band around keyboardist Erik Ian Walker. The band from his high school, e welt understood. After two years disappeared silently in Castle Canyon Valhalla the gods. 39 years later they returned. And there is finally the debut. The Young Gods are long gone, but they can certainly make good music. The Gods of 1973 is a great album for all fans of (mostly) ELP, Genesis and possibly King Crimson. Moreover, the great spirit in the former era. There is a terrible saying,? Better late than never? A more effective belated debut I cannot describe. -Martinka Zandijk-von Noorloos
Progwalhalla (Dutch) July 2009 by Erik Neuteboom:
Gods Of 1973 is making an adventurous keyboard-oriented travel in the realm of symphonic rock with surprising excursions to other territories. The main influence seems to be early ELP but the way Castle Canyon blends elements of jazz, rock, psychedelia, electronic and avant-garde sounds very interesting, in the true meaning of the word progressive.
To be honest, I needed a few listening sessions to get into their music but gradually I started to appreciate their daring music, performed by very skilled musicians. The one moment you are listening to fluent rhythms with Emersonian keyboard work like The Mighty Arp (spectacular synthesizer flights on the Arp synthesizer, exciting Grand piano and subtle use of the Mellotron), the alternating Gods Of 1973 (great Hammond organ sound, sparkling Grand piano and fine interplay between piano and Mellotron along a short and funny “lalala” interlude in the vein of Grobschnitt) and the final track The Last Song Ever (swirling Grand piano and sensational distorted electric guitar sound).
Four good examples of Castle Canyon their surprising compositional skills are the tracks Fjordic Njord and Random Gates (both short but intricate electronic sound scapes), Bombs Away (sparkling Emersonian Grand piano runs, accompanied by a fat, distorted bass guitar and propulsive drums) and Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs – Cantabile Semplice (written by Gorecki): a slow rhythm featuring wailing violin play by Michele Walther and beautiful prepared piano.
My highlights are two longer compositions that showcase Castle Canyon at its best. First Canoeing On The River Styx: after a spacey, a bit ominous intro, a wonderful build-up follows with excellent work on Hammond, synthesizers and piano, interrupted by an experimental part and culminating in a bombastic grand finale with glorious keyboards. Finally Triskaidekaphobia: lots of shifting moods with a wonderful vintage keyboard sound (from ARP synthesizers and Hohner clavinet to Hammond organ), a ‘soundscape’ interlude (with razor sharp Fripperian guitar runs and powerful Wetton-like bass work) and a compelling solo with a slightly distorted Hammond organ, reminding me of the overlooked keyboard maestro Dave Greenslade.
- If you love keyboard drive trio’s like ELP, Trace, Quill and Triumvirat and you have no problems with some experimental ideas, this is a band to discover, check out the four excellent MP3 files on their MySpace website!
Progressiverock.com (Brasil) Dec. 2009 by Marcelo Trotta
But it is on the long “Triskaidekaphobia“ (as suggested by the title, which means “fear of the number 13”, they stopped at 12:54 minutes) that Castle Canyon shows its best by joining the grandiloquence of “ELP”, with somber experimental and classical parts that make their work distinguishing. An impression reinforced by the new (and excellent) closing track “The Last Song Ever“ - a modern piece with a Hard-Rock base. The record still brings an adaptation of Henryk Górecki’s “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs – Cantabile Semplice“ (with participation of Michele Walther on violin); and two short introductory pieces consisting of electronic sound effects that were recorded in 1973-74: “Random Gates“ and “Fjordic Njord“. Castle Canyon is a highly recommended good old vintage band to be appreciated by all traditional Progressive Rock Fans.
Baby Blaue August 2009 (www.babyblaue.de) - by Breiling Achim (translated from the German)
"Gods Of 1973" sounds amazingly real. If not for the better sound, one could really believe that this is archive footage of a band from the year 1973 act. Well, this music is 100 percent in the spirit of the classic Progs. In the center of the music Walker's keyboard playing is on an original ARP-2600-synthesizer, with its vintage Sounds, surrounded by various other keyboard sounds, a diversified Percussion and the powerful bass. An instrumental, more voluminous, more angular and powerful electro-symphonies-Klassikprog is the result of not as the copy of one of the sizes of the 70 sounds, but a very own style developed. In the long Triskaidekaphobia "gets even in the music-free - oblique and experimental realms. With "Cantabile Semplice", after the third movement of the "Symphony Of Sorrowfull song" Gorecki Henryck of Poland, is even a successful and imaginative adaptation of classical music offered, with their elegiac Sounds almost Postrockgefilde device.
Is it therefore Retroprog? Well, since some of these compositions indeed, from the 70s came, the band had actually existed and the whole also performed with original instruments, and very cautious was produced, I would rather be called Retroprog inappropriate. With the now with this style confection concept identified by the productions Pole of the Morse and Stolt has offered nothing in common in any case, even because it is a bit angular and imaginative presented. Perhaps this music, inspired and historically informed performance practice in the classics, as HIP-designate Prog.
"Gods Of 1973" is a very entertaining piece of music with varying
classic prog from the early 70s, who just was recorded a little late. The whole thing gives me a great deal of fun, sounds really good and authentic and therefore each Progger with a thirst for more classic prog from the golden decade and aversions against the bar just mentioned very good