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4 stars This is another pearl in the past. This Canadian band debut with help of Klaatu but it doesn't sound like them much. Songs have smell of Styx and Camel but they are more sorrowful. "When the crow files" and "Ivy" are my favorites.
Report this review (#60545)
Posted Friday, December 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Nightwinds were a Canadian Prog Rock band who lived a very short life and to my knowledge unfortunately only released this one debut album. In 1991 The Laser's Edge (LE 1007) released this effort in AAD format cd. Nightwinds were a fantastic progressive band blending many different musical elements with sophistication and beautiful song writing and some allusive Mid Genesis/ Mid Rush influences. Vocalists carry a very personal style... a kind of Cure-sound on my opinion. Nightwinds play an original, energetic and positive music with a bit of "theatricallity". Mellotron, synths, analog keyboards... This album was produced by Dee Long and Terry Draper of KLAATU respectively vocalist/guitarist and vocalist/drummer. Good luck to find this album. If you can get it, enjoy it !
Report this review (#77607)
Posted Tuesday, May 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Althought there are some questions regarding the mix recording that was used to create the CD, the unquestionable live brilliance of a band that toured southern Ontario in the late 70's is captured fairly accurately. If you attended their live shows at Yonge Street Bars, High Schools or the Arthur Pop Festival this cd will bring back progressive rock memories. If you have never seen them live then this cd will provide a good idea of what you had missed. All of these songs were performed live along with Genesis, Gabriel, Kayak, Ambrosia and I think there was a Gentle Giant song too. It's too bad they weren't able to stick together and release more material! ... what could've been.
Report this review (#78258)
Posted Monday, May 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!!

As late as 79, the English-speaking part of Canada was still producing some prog that could be viewed as symphonic and this group's sole album was produced by the Klaatu connection od Draper and Long, even if Nightwish sounded more like a cross between Genesis and Marillion. The quintet seemed to have a whole array of equipment and instrument to have lasted longer than this sole album, but somehow the album is uninspired enough to have killed any hopes of doing a second.

As it was clear that with the Klaatu's duo at the production, the album's sound was to match their impressive list of instruments, they seemed to have everything set up their way, but sadly right from the leading track, the group develops a derivative an unimaginative symphonic prog filled with Hackettian arpeggios, Banksian layers, Collinsian drum rolls and even the odd Gabriellian flute (recorder actually) etc. Not least helped by some dreadful lyrics, none of the album's track manages to stand out (even the 11-min As The Crow Flies is not enthralling), but the album ends on a particularly puzzling Curious Case where the good alternates with the awfully cheesy and the downright bad (the good being the middle section) while the bad being the riff, verse and chorus.

This album's first Cd reissue was also one of Laser's Edge's first (seventh in fact) and the label was obviously investigating the rest of Canada's then forgotten lost gems. Not that Nightwinds was really that bad at all, but they were to Genesis what Starcastle's debut was to Yes: just a bunch of clones and not even that good at it, but not that bad either. Best avoided, if you ask me. But did you ask me?

Report this review (#124734)
Posted Tuesday, June 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Excellent addition to my prog music collection

Nightwinds is an obscure band from Canada who released one album in 1979 selftitled and is a forgotten gem in my opinion. First impression was really good, symphonic prog played very good and with a lot of catchy tunes. The music is inspired from Genesis ( Trick of the tail period) on instrumental parts and the voice reminds me Peter Hammill, not Anderson from Yes as is write in the description of the band. Forte tracks are the opening one We Where The Young with solid bass lines in style of Squire from Yes and great voice from Sandy Singers, The Pirates Of Rebecca's Choice ( i think the best piece from here, very catchy tune very symphonic) and the longest one As The Crow Flies ( this track sounds so Genesis, but so strong), the rest is also very good. All in all a great album, almost forgotten by many, even those who think they know Canada's prog music by heart. 4 stars without hesitation

Report this review (#178169)
Posted Friday, July 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars NIGHTWINDS were a Canadian band who recorded only one album which wasn't released until long after the band had broken up. GENESIS seems to be their main inspiration and i'm most impressed with the bass player who is very prominant throughout. Actually he would go onto play for the female fronted Hard Rock band called TORONTO in the eighties. Lots of mellotron here but overall i'm not impressed with this band. They do seem to be a cross between Symphonic and Neo-Prog.

"We Were The Young" opens with intricate guitar before it kicks in quickly. Vocals a minute in. This is catchy but i'm not a fan of this one. "Crude Exports" is uptempo with chunky bass to open. Lots of synths as the vocals join in. Mellotron a minute in. It settles with bass and piano standing out before kicking back in as the contrasts continue. "Ivy" features reserved vocals, acoustic guitar and flute. "The Pirates Of Rebecca's Choice" is uptempo with some nice fat bass lines. Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. Drums come to the fore before 3 minutes.

"Out 'N' About" puts the focus on the vocals and bass until the chorus comes in. I like the guitar before 2 1/2 minutes. "Sad But True" opens with drums, bass, piano then vocals. The guitar before 3 1/2 minutes is good. "As The Crow Flies" sounds better. I like the synths. Vocals before 2 1/2 minutes. A fuller sound after 3 minutes. Contrasts continue. The tempo picks up 6 1/2 minutes in. It settles 8 1/2 minutes in with mellotron. "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Buttons" kicks in quickly. This is very Neo-Prog sounding. Nice bass too. Hackett-like guitar after 2 minutes. It kicks back in after 3 1/2 minutes.

Barely 3 stars for me.

Report this review (#266959)
Posted Thursday, February 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars I recently discovered the self-titled "NightWinds" on YouTube and have given the album several listens. I like some aspects of this obscure Canadian band's offering, particularly that certain 'weirdness' their compositions exhibit (I LIKE weirdness BTW). Prog bands often revel in odd time-signatures, chord progressions and vocals that defy pop single status. At first listen, I enjoyed this band's weirdness, especially in the first half of the album. Other reviewers compared NightWinds to Genesis and Yes, but I didn't really get that impression. I thought they were closer to Omega (Hungarian band) a bit of Klaatu (as it turns out I was peripherally correct) with a hint of Ethos and even Gentle Giant. Upon additional listenings, I could hear what people were saying about Genesis influences and that's fine. With all that said, I'd have to say that at first I kind of liked the vocals, but after a while it got very tedious to listen to. In some cases, Sandy Singers' voice seemed oddly appropriate, other times an annoyance. Most of the songs were anthems with a couple of ballads thrown in, and Singers' limited vocal range seemed more useful for the anthem. I would be curious to find the lyrics, so I could keep up with some of the rapid fire lyrics. Occasionally, everything seemed to click and those are the moments I listen for in a prog album. All in all, a nice effort and I wonder what would have happened if a second album had ever been published. I would give this album a solid 3.5 for its 'weirdness' factor and homage to other more recognizable bands.
Report this review (#1419373)
Posted Sunday, May 24, 2015 | Review Permalink
5 stars Back in the day I lived in southern Ontario Canada.. I was blessed with great friends who loved music and we were blessed with a great local music scene. We had our favourite bands like Rhinegold, who were fronted by Gowan, but our ultimate favourite band was Nightwinds. Nightwinds was amazing. Nightwinds did lots of their own music. However, they did do some cover music too. They covered bands like Kayak. However, the band that Nightwinds loved the most was Genesis and this was because they said so. If you walked into a venue while they were playing a Genesis song you'd swear the actual Genesis was playing.

The band announced an album of their own material was coming and we couldn't wait. Sadly an album never came and the band stopped touring. We actually met Sandy Singers, lead singer one night, at a bar. We had all come to hear another band. He told us the band had started fighting while recording and had broken up and that the album would not be released. We were crushed. What a waste. We were saying are you kidding us? You have that much talent and are too foolish to get along.

I would check into Nightwinds periodically. Found out that over a decade late their album was released in 1991. The album gives a clear indication of whose music inspired them. Genesis and other melodic bands were obvious influences. Try to find their performances on YouTube including Genesis covers. However, Nightwinds' style was its own and unique and had depth, in the manner than early Genesis had depth. There is no wasted instrument and any note played by any instrument has purpose. When you listen to this album it is scary to think that this was their first album and that it had been recorded in an acrimonious atmosphere. What potential wasted.

Their musicianship was always extremely high level and this fact shows on the album. One is the key components of the band is the tremendous vocals of Sandy Singers. Sandy also had great stage presence. There are great vocals on this album. Great songwriting, great musicianship, great vocals and great depth. I have always loved music with great depth and the album Nightwinds delivers.

I have given this album an Essential rating because of what I know and what I saw. Nightwinds was an incredible band and it matters not that they didn't even give themselves the chance to rise to prominence. It is hard to think about what could have been, and what was to come, as this was only Nightwinds first album. Sadly, Nightwinds only album.

Report this review (#1671143)
Posted Friday, December 23, 2016 | Review Permalink
3 stars Nightwinds was a curious anomaly in the late-seventies Canadian music scene. Bands like Goddo, Triumph, Moxy, The Hunt, and April Wine were delivering solid hard rock; Klaatu and FM were experimenting with a pop prog / crossover approach; SAGA and Zon were doing the pomp rock /neo prog thing; and Rush was at the peak of their progressive rock adventures. Nightwinds were none of these things. They were a straight-up symphonic prog band, wearing their love of Genesis brightly on their sleeves. Genesis indeed, with possibly a bit of Yes, and some bass and vocal lines reminiscent of compatriots, Rush.

Nightwinds seemed to have a promising future. Their live performances and subsequent foray into the student caught the attention of Draper and Long from Klaatu, and with all the work they had done on their own band's albums, it seemed Nightwinds were in good hands. But sometime during the recording of the album, things fell apart and the band split up before the album's release. The recording was shelved until almost 13 years later when Laser's Edge decided to release it. The album had never received a final mixing and the music was taken as it was off the monitors and released. As such, I personally feel that there is something missing from the recording. There's that touch in the mixing where the music gets treated to a final spit and polishing and tweaking before the mastering stage that seems amiss here.

Aside from that, the music itself does prominently show a Genesis influence often but there is a strong effort to create a symphonic prog rock album, something that was pretty rare in Anglophone Canada (the Francophones had that base much better covered). For me, each track features something ear-catching - a vocal line, and instrumental segment, a passage of particular interest - but I find it difficult to choose a definitive track to recommend as no matter how much I enjoy a track, there's a part that turns me off a bit. Often it's Sandy Singers's vocals, which are not bad, but sometimes sound to me like Geddy Lee doing Peter Hammil or perhaps the other way around. The vocals work most of the time but there are those occasional moments...

In spite of all the adventures into symphonic prog, the track I find myself enjoying the most is "Ivy" which is the most different-sounding track on the album as it is largely acoustic and features strong, listenable vocal melodies and some woodwind.

This is not an easy album to find on CD, and I was very glad to finally discover it for an almost reasonable price in my region of residence after searching the world over for a copy that wouldn't cost me a week's worth of lunch and dinner money. As a collector of Canadian rock and metal, I am pleased to have this. Had the nationality of the band been different, however, I can't say I would have been so motivated to get a hold of it. Still, I will give it more listens in the weeks to come.

Report this review (#2778839)
Posted Saturday, July 23, 2022 | Review Permalink

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