Melisma - Like Trolls. 1978 USA

Like the Mercury Magic album, Like Trolls features an eye-popping cover that promises an undiscovered prog rock gem. And once again, that is not what you'll find here. But it is a very interesting album all the same. Melisma is a group from Philadelphia lead by academically trained composers, and that's the disposition of the entire album. The word Melisma means "a group of notes sung to one syllable of text". That should give you an idea of what we're dealing with here. Best genre description I could tag for it is "Classical Pop", but all original material, not some Hooked-on-the-Classics cash in job. At its best, it has this Gentle Giant meets The 5th Dimension type sound. Very complex, but yet highly melodic and radio friendly - if it were 1968 that is. The rock components are almost nil, but most welcome when they do arrive. This is an album I wanted to like more than I did, and that's primarily due to the overabundance of female/male vocals that become very annoying over the course of the album. It's quite Glee Club-ish, and eventually one starts envisioning the Oral Roberts show with way too many white teeth smiles and fancy gowns. You lose points for that.

Last listen: September 12, 2016

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