Druid have received a great deal of flak for their Toward The Sun album and unfairly so. While Yes were preparing the Mostly disappointing Going For The One album, Druid released a real treat of an album in 1975.
The opener "Voices" sets the tone for a well constructed album awash with soothing mellotron, Chris Squire type bass and some decent emotional lead guitar playing from Dane who was also the Jon Anderson styled vocalist. The strong point of this album was in the arrangements and good solid songwriting and musicianship. Whereas Yes were flirting with jazz rock on Relayer and ultimately made the album hard to get into, Druid used the tried and trusted format of Fragile with a little Tales From Topographic Oceans thrown in to come up with a pleasing on the ear progressive album. The highlight for me amongst a collection of great songs is the album closer "Shangri-La”......a great song with many twists and turns culminating into an emotional cascading emotional ending which makes you want to put the whole damn album on again.
Druid returned in 1976 with Fluid Druid where they tried to find an identity of their own in the main. Perhaps aware of the Yes branding, they tried too hard, and Fluid Druid is a rather disjointed album...A little like a musical out of the body experience...the band were neither here or there. Give the Toward The Sun album a go I would say...some beautiful music and an experience well worth turning the lights out and turning the stereo up to.
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