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Magus / The Winter Tree - The Garden CD (album) cover


Magus / The Winter Tree



2.67 | 10 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I have sort of a love / hate relationship with this record. My biggest problem is getting past Andrew Robinson's vocals.They are fine actually, but they sound so much like a Canadian folk singer I don't like, it's hard to get past that.The good news is that it's only on one track where they sound like that,the bad news is the track is over 24 minutes long. There are several guests on this recording including Thomas Hjort from CROSS playing drums. Gary Strater from STARCASTLE playing bass. Lynette Shelley from RED MASQUE adding some vocals. There are others who are not so well known.

"The Garden" is that song I was talking about. It is divided into 12 sections, and is a story Robinson made up about a fellow named John and his friends. One day a band of bad men who travel around kidnapping and killing people came into our John's area wreaking havoc when they are confronted by a good man and his followers. The battle happens as John and his friends hide in a cave. The good guys win the battle and our subject eventually gets married and goes back to dream often in the garden he spent a lot of time in as a child. The song itself changes a lot, from the spacey beginnings to the vocal sections that are folksy in nature, to some scorching guitar before 7 minutes. Piano melodies follow, before a long section of bass and drums. Flute after 15 minutes followed by a spacey passage. I love the synths late in the song. With a story this long you know the song is going to twist and turn instrumentally with different climates and tempos.

The last three songs really impressed me. I just wasn't expecting to be wowed after the "epic" that didn't do a lot for me. "The Sailor On The Seas Of Fate" is a very spacey and experimental track. I like it. The synths before 3 minutes are a highlight. This is about creating a soundscape, and not about melody. I like these types of songs if they are done well,and this is. "Grains Of Sand" opens with acoustic guitar as drums come in before 2 minutes. This has such a catchy beat to it. The guitar after 3 1/2 minutes is well done. It is quite aggressive for a change. "The Stone Circle" has those female vocals for about a minute.The atmosphere is dark. Some good guitar and synths. Spacey sounds abound as we get some electronics after 4 minutes.This is great !

So 3 stars seems fair to me.This is good and some might think it's excellent. I could see some reviewers liking the main song a lot and not liking the three shorter tracks. It's all about your taste in music isn't it ?

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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