I’ve heard and collected a lot of American progressive rock over the years and Atlantis Philharmonic is as jaw dropping as it gets.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: Atlantis Philharmonic
ALBUM: Atlantis Philharmonic
LABEL: Dharma Records
SERIAL: LP D802
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Joe DiFazio – organ, piano, electric piano, harpsichord, mellotron, moog, guitar, foot pedal bass, bass guitar, lead & backing vocals * Royce Gibson – drums, tympani, bass drum, gong ratchet, concert snare, backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Atlantis * 02 Woodsman * 03 Death Man * 04 Fly-The-Night * 05 My Friend * 06 Atlas
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Doomy progressive rock from Cleveland, Ohio released on Chicago’s Dharma Records and co-produced with label chief Perry Johnson. Formed in 1971, the Atlantis Philharmonic wowed audiences across the Midwest with their apocalyptic Sabbathy ELP-ish sound opening shows for Styx, Wishbone Ash, King Crimson and even The Raspberries.
With their debut in stores and another album in the can, the over extended Dharma went belly-up leaving Atlantis Philharmonic without much of a future and from here their story grows cold and murky. Fast forward to the digital age and a 1990 CD reissue from Ken Golden’s The Laser’s Edge label bringing Atlantis Philharmonic back from the abyss to a new audience hungry for prog.
I’ve heard and collected a lot of American progressive rock over the years and Atlantis Philharmonic is as jaw dropping as it gets with a monolithic record poured in molten gold by the winged messengers of north coast prog.
Cloaked in black Joe DiFazio waves his magic wand over an arsenal of keyboards creating intricate dark classical motifs while percussionist Royce Gibson pounds, crashes and bangs his way, very classically of course through a cacophony of sound art.
Black Sabbath, Atomic Rooster, ELP and the late ’60s psychedelics of H.P. Lovecraft bubble and boil in the Philharmonic’s chilling brew and it would be all for naught had it not been for the duo’s ability to come up with quality songs, including the autumnal and dramatic ‘Woodsman’, the Stygian pomp of ‘Death Man’ and the Sabbath-styled funeral march of ‘Atlas’.
Unfortunately, the CD version of this album is long out of print and very hard to find, although LP copies of the original Dharma pressing are easier to locate in my experience. The good news is the band has recently released their long lost second album ‘Grand Master’ which I’ve yet to hear, but plan on picking up as soon as possible. Check out the Atlantis Philharmonic web site for more details.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)