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Nick Magnus - Children Of Another God CD (album) cover


Nick Magnus


Symphonic Prog

3.85 | 98 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Marc M
4 stars "Hexameron" was a nice progressive rock work slightly in the vein of Genesis with a somewhat melancholy and even darker edge, as one can find in the repertoire of Steve Hackett and IQ, the whole having symphonic arrangements and an original musical colour. We could say that "Children of another god" starts on the same basis but with subtle changes. This record contains more vocal songs (8 out of 9), even though some of them leave a wide space for instrumental sections, and the melodies are even stronger and more accessible at the same time. And the production is also superior. Nine pieces more or less linked together are featured on this CD, which is approximately 50-minute-long. Among the singers, we have Tony Patterson from ReGenesis, already present on "Hexameron" and John Hackett's "Checking out of London". Here, he doesn't especially emulates Peter Gabriel, but chose to use a clearer and rather soft range. Pete Hicks, whose clear and high-pitched voice has hardly changed in 30 years, is featured on the two most dynamic songs. Andy Neve, who's got also a clear and medium range, is working wonders on the lengthy "The colony is king", a track featuring more instrumental sections with a classical tinge. The female singer Linda John-Pierre enlightens a splendid orchestral ballad thanks to her warm and deep voice and finally, Nick himself, delivers some soft and clear, fairly convincing vocals on "Identity theft", a short, orchestral but slightly jazzy song, also featuring the double-bass player Glenn Tollet (ex-The Enid). The vocals are particularly refined, with a lot of harmonies, as on some of Steve Hackett's songs, past or recent. The album starts with the title track, that is also the longest one (8:27), a kind of orchestral bolero with an unforgettable melody, a beautiful instrumental part and several rhythm changes in the middle. Original and magnificent at the same time. This symphonic edge will come back many times all through the album. "Doctor Prometheus" is slightly more rocky, faster, with some nice instrumental developments ; that's the same for "Crimewaves monkeys" and "Tower of Babel" - at least in its first half, as the main theme of "Children" rises again in the second part. The instrumental "Twenty summers" (4:10) isn't that long but really charming and progressive nonetheless, including numerous themes, light or more serious, a rich mix featuring jerky and slower, heavier rhythms, piano and a pastoral flute, acoustic guitar, powerful organ and swirling synths. One of the highlights of the album is "The colony", without a doubt. This long song is based on different rhythms, a military march then a waltz, features some dark epic moments and two soaring electric guitar solos by Steve Hackett plus some pastoral flute by his brother John, some wonderful mellotron strings and a virtual orchestra. And finally, Magnus managed to fill his slower songs with some palpable emotion, as on the richly orchestrated "The others", featuring the lyrical and warm voice of Linda John-Pierre or the melancholy finale "Howl the stars down" where Tony Patterson is deeply moving. Some melodies like these should sell by millions, honestly. One has to read the credits to realize that everything or almost is done with keyboards and synths. Though, drums, bass and electric or acoustic guitars are incredibly realistic? but virtual - everywhere except on "The colony" where it is actually Steve Hackett who plays ! Magnus achieved a true tour-de-force in this department ! This record hasn't got in any way the faults of those done by keyboard players who do everything by themselves. About keyboards, by the way, Magnus found some new and even more splendid sonic colours to depict his musical ideas. He's got a whole array of textures at his disposal : mellotron strings and choirs, virtual orchestra, minimoog, Hammond organ, electric piano with a brilliant Yamaha CS80-type sound, and some more abstract textures. As he points out himself, Magnus prefers to build some big symphonic instrumental parts, rather than letting himself go into swirling keyboard solos, and that's not a bad thing. Nick Magnus the composer is far superior compared to so many virtuosos whose output isn't on par with their technical abilities that they show off with more or less taste. But all this doesn't exclude a few inspired solos by him anyway ! If you like symphonic progressive rock or just the most romantic side of Genesis, Tony Banks and Steve Hackett, this record is the best you could imagine?. a work of amazing melodic, emotional, and technical quality. This is The Unexpected Gem of 2010 ! Nick is unfortunately not seeling much , even compared to progressive rock artists like IQ or Pallas.. So please do the effort to buy directly from him, if possible. He is as modest as talented and we should support him if we want to hear something as magnificent as this album again in the future.
Marc M | 4/5 |


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