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Winter - Across The Circle's Edge CD (album) cover

ACROSS THE CIRCLE'S EDGE

Winter

 

Neo-Prog

3.50 | 14 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Technocrazy

Winter is an obscure Neo-Prog band from Northern Ireland that was formed in 1987 and disbanded already in 1991 after only one official release. Across The Circle's Edge - which according to the band's official website is an EP, but according to Prog Archives is a full length studio album - was released on vinyl in 1990 and then two years later on CD. Additional keyboard parts have since been added to the recordings, but as I have never heard the original releases, I cannot say with certainty if this was an improvement or not, but I strongly suspect it was. All six tracks can now be streamed for free on the band's website and the same website states that the album will be available for download on iTunes shortly. It remains unclear if there are any plans for the band to get back together, but it is fair to say that if it wasn't for the Internet people like me would never have heard of the band. It is all thanks to "technocracy", maybe?

The just over 30 minutes of good music featured on Across The Circle's Edge is very much rooted in the sound of the (early) 80's British Neo-Prog scene. While the very good vocals are certainly more than a bit Fish-like (but also reminding me of Ric Ocasek of the American New Wave band The Cars, for some reason!), the overall sound reminds me more of Pallas (especially The Sentinel) than of Marillion. The music is dark, theatrical, "futuristic" (from the perspective of the 1980's, at least) and occasionally almost metallic, but at the same time strongly melodic and even slightly poppy at times. The song Toybox reminds strongly of the Australian Neo-Prog band Aragon's excellent Rocking Horse piece (the song even contains the words 'rocking horse').

The production is not perfect (neither was Pallas' The Sentinel), but the songs are all good and engaging and the instruments and vocals sound very good. Across The Circle's Edge is a promising and enjoying recording and it would indeed have been interesting to hear more from this unknown band. One idea would perhaps be to re-record these old songs and add another handful of new songs to create a proper full length album according to today's requirements of running length and production? In an age where lots of old bands unexpectedly resurface, nothing can be deemed an impossibility anymore I guess.

Certainly a worthy listen for any Neo-Prog fan

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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