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Chris Neal - Winds Of Isis CD (album) cover


Chris Neal


Crossover Prog

3.62 | 11 ratings

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4 stars One for the Mellotron fans!

Aussie Chris Neal's one and only claim to fame in the progressive rock field is the 1974 Mellotron-drenched instrumental offering Winds Of Isis.

The work itself is competent, though not overly complex, and Neal displays good skills on the Mellotron and the other keyboards employed, as well as the various guitars, bass, drums and other percussion he plays. He also has a penchant for the Mu-tron synthesiser, which is put to good use throughout WOI. With the exception of some bass playing and drumming on a few tracks, Chris Neal plays all the instruments, somewhat in the mould of Mike Oldfield. At times the music takes on a very Oldfield type of sound, too.

My favourite track is the side-long, seven-part epic, "The Winds Of Isis Legend", which explores many moods over its nearly 20 minute time span. "Ritual Eternal", WOI's next longest track at a bit over eight minutes is another highlight.

Throughout the album one is reminded of keyboard greats such as David Greenslade (the Pentatauch Of The Cosmogany album comes to mind, though I haven't heard this in some time), and touches of Keith Emerson or Rick Wakeman. There is even a little honky-tonk style piano here and there as would be used by messers Emerson and Wakemen from time to time.

A disappointment is that there are no liner notes to support the story of what appears to be an instrumental concept album. (To help there are what appear to be 'clues' at the end of some tracks to give a little context, for example "Into The Valley Of The Ancients" is followed by the contextual reference "a glimpse of Isis".)

An album recommended for Mellotron enthusiasts! 3.5 stars for this Australian rarity, rounded to 4.0 as decreed by the laws of mathematics!

T.Rox | 4/5 |


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