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


Nick Magnus


Symphonic Prog

3.86 | 101 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is a pleasant surprise, and one of the highlights of 2010, a year which, musically, is shaping up to be a very good one.

Magnus was at the back of my mind as a former keyboard player with Steve Hackett and with his time with The Enid, but I wasn't aware he was recording as a solo artist until I saw reviews for this album on the site.

To be honest, I took a punt and brought this album solely because the great Hackett brothers themselves feature largely on this work, and, given I have all of Steve's solo work, I figured that I would get this by way of completing his work.

I am, though, exceptionally happy to report that this album is not a Hackett lite project. This is very much the work of an extremely talented songwriter and musician, who just happened to have some exceptional guests appearing with him.

Of course, you can hear similarities. The opening track, for example, which is also the title track, would certainly not sound out of place on any Hackett solo work.

The instrumentation throughout is excellent, and this is very much reflected in the instrumental Twenty Summers, which has some very good interplay between percussion and keyboards. Magnus is a very good keyboard player, of that you can be sure. This is also evidenced on Crimewave Monkeys, a track which is reminiscent, to me, of Genesis circa the self titled album and, maybe, Abacab. Certainly, the dark feel of this track would not feel out of place, and this is easily the closest Magnus comes to sounding like Banks on the album.

There is only one track in excess of eight minutes here, and that is the title track. The rest all come in at less than seven and a half minutes, and with the shortest, Identity Theft, which has vocals by Magnus himself, there is almost a commercial single waiting to come out. Unfortunately, it is pleasant, without being essential.

The remainder of the vocals are handled by Tony Patterson, Pete Hicks, Andy Neve, and Linda John-Pierre. The latter sings beautifully on The Others, accompanied by delicate and understated acoustic guitar, keyboards, and orchestral simulation. This is, perhaps, the highlight of the album for me, and I will have to explore more fully this lady's work, because she is a huge talent. The chorus is uplifting and sumptuous, and we are treated to Hackett magic in the electric solo. The Hackett solo in Babel Tower is also magnificent.

Other reviewers, by the way, have compared Patterson to Gabriel. I suppose this is true in the almost Lamb like passage in Babel Tower, but, when he sings normally, as it were, there is not really much comparison. He is good enough in his own right to stand alone, anyway, and this is definitely witnessed in the album closer Howl The Stars Down, on which he shines.

All in all, a very good album, thoroughly enjoyable, and a clear attempt to appeal to a wide range of symphonic prog fans, whilst also wanting to pick up those who enjoy the lighter crossover market.

Ratings are always difficult. Probably 3.5 stars in reality, but, then again, four stars signifies an excellent addition to any prog rock collection, and this would certainly qualify for that.

lazland | 4/5 |


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