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North Star


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North Star Feel The Cold album cover
3.47 | 35 ratings | 6 reviews | 9% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1985

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Feel The Cold (7:03)
2. Sands Of Time (4:41)
3. Moving The Base (5:30)
4. Plastic Fantasic (7:36)
5. Time Warp (4:30)
6. Tomorrow Never Comes (8:58)
7. Ocean On Venus (4:34)
8. Finale (3:11)

Total Time: 46:03

Line-up / Musicians

- Glenn Leonard / drums, marimba, keyboards (3-6)
- Kevin Leonard / keyboards, flute, acoustic guitar, bass (7)
- Joe Newman / lead vocals, bass, electric guitar

Releases information

CD Syn-Phonic SYNCD2 (1991) USA (with different cover)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Grendelbox for the last updates
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NORTH STAR Feel The Cold ratings distribution

(35 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

NORTH STAR Feel The Cold reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
3 stars The heavy symphonic progressive rock band NORTH STAR was formed in 1976. They are playing a music that is filled with tight, complex music with many rhythm changes and odd time signatures. A most notable is the astounding keyboard player Kevin Leonard, who I rate as one of progressive rock's finest keyboard players. They also got great compositions and the whole band is performing it very well, as they all are good musicians. An exciting band that excites you! A good buy!
Review by Prog-jester
3 stars 2.5 rounded to 3. What more can I say about this record?

Don’t be fooled with an intro like this, it shouldn’t mean that NORTH STAR is nothing to write home about. They have strong melodic component, very skilful keyboard player and their singer tries so hard to sound like Gabriel. But this release is definitely forgettable; it fails to stand among others obscured CDs from 80s (there WERE Gems, believe me!). If you’re into GENESIS/ELP- inspired bands, you may try it, but don’t set your expectations too high. Mainly a collector’s item.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars On the surface, this sounds like another Marillion, a band that wanted to be Genesis. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, since by the time this album was released, Genesis was really no longer Genesis. So what's wrong with other bands carrying on the tradition? They are playing their own original music.

Underneath, you'll find some fine musicianship. Glenn Leonard is really a great drummer, and his brother Kevin could play rings around Tony Banks. But the weak link on this album is singer/bassist/guitarist Joe Newman. Unfortunately, his bass and guitar work rarely transcend above obvious notes, and his vocals sound eerily similar to Fish's Peter Gabriel imitation.

But there are a few non-Genesis-like tracks on this album, and they stand above the others. Time Warp, an instrumental piece, has a keyboard solo that somehow manages to remind me of Zappa. Tomorrow Never Comes favorably compares to the first U.K. album, and Ocean On Venus shows off Glenn Leonard's fine marimba chops.

It's too bad that these guys were together during the forgotten years of prog. If they were around either a few years sooner or a few years later, they might have been better known.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Already during the recordings of ''Triskelion'',guitarist Dave Johnson decided to quit from his duties and the rest of the band continued as a trio with bassist/singer Joe Newman taking over the electric guitars as well.The new North Star formation recorded the LP ''Feel the cold'' in 1985,a very rare issue nowadays,fortunately re-issued on CD by Synphonic in 1991 with a differrent cover.

Despite time moving forward,the new North Star album finds the band moving backwards in terms of their sound,which is now more vintage and as always much inspired by classic-era GENESIS.''Feel the cold'' is extremely well-crafted and polished,yet far from original.The compositions are pretty nice with non-annoying symphonic synthesizers and floating moog solos,sometimes even ripping TONY BANKS work with GENESIS,with the drumming being also fantastic.Actually ''Feel the cold'' is much keyboard-driven compared to the debut,the electric guitars are quite limited,maintaining the obvious STEVE HACKETT influence.Vocals remain a strong point of the band: Newman performs again in a very expressive and lyrical way with a PETER NICHOLS-color.Limited are also some cheap synth sounds of ''Triskelion'',the band decided to work extremely well on this section to present a very retro-sounding keyboard delivery.The result is an album full of intricate arrangements,odd time signatures and emotional content at moments.

Not an absolutely essential release,mainly due to the total lack of originality,but definitely an improvement over their debut,''Feel the cold'' is a great discovery for all fans of Symphonic Rock and a file next to other interesting US Neo/Symphonic acts like ILUVATAR, CRUCIBLE or PUPPET SHOW.Warmly recommended...3.5 stars.

Review by b_olariu
4 stars North Star is to me one of the most underrated symphonic bands from USA, with nearly 35 years of career and only 5 albums released, North Star for sure needs attention. I reviewed already 3 of their albums and I liked very much what I've heared, so another review for this unnoticed band will give maybe more exposure. Feel the cold , their second album from 1985, issued on CD in 1991 by mighty Syn-Phonic label with a diffrent cover, is a true gem in symphonic prog world. I never thought I will like so much, this is consistent and solid symphonic prog with lots of excellent keybords arrangements made by Kevin Leonard and very good druming by his brother Glenn Leonard, the two are helped by the vocalist/bassist Joe Newman who done a good job here. Untill discovered this album some years ago, their latest Extremes was my fav album from them, now I say this is my fav for sure followed by Extremes and Power. North Star is a very inspired Genesis band, and they are not afraid to show it on every piece. Vintage sound with lots of layers on keybords, very very good btw, I really love the moog on this album, Kevin Leonard new how to make the album intrested his is the main composer, giving to the listner some fantstic passges, as an example is the opening track Feel The Cold who has some superb and very well crafted arrangements on keybords, the solo from here is brilliant, another worthy one is Plastic Fantstic followed by the longest pieces from here Tomorrow Never Comes with nice instrumental arrangements, these guys really know to play, the ending track Finale, an instrumental piece is top notch. So, over all I like it a lot this album, I have a soft spot for this band, even to many are only Genesis clones, to me they are very good in what they do, despite the lack of originality. Keeping in ind that this album was release in 1985 when prog was nowhere to be found with some exceptions this album Feel the cold keeps the flag high, this is a truly great symphonic prog album that desearves attention. Great cover art front and back on the CD version. For me 4 stars easy, love it from first to last note.
Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One does wonder when listening to North Star's Feel the Cold if a band like this could even exist if not for Gabriel-era Genesis. It is both an obvious and unfair question to ask such a dazzling trio: Would the two brothers & singer have ever composed such distinctive and complex art-rock if not for the British prog institution, or would they've done something less derivative but not as attractive? And do acts like this stunt their own musical potential by being wed to a group so inimitable? The world may never know. The world doesn't care, for that matter. To think that in 1985 anyone other than a handful of teens and a few weepy thirtysomethings had access to, let alone an ear for, these fellas is adorable but mistaken.

But I can't quite get past what a kickin' little record of post-Symph this is. Channeling other artists is risky at best, a disaster at worst, but when you figure it's just three guys handling all the keys, strings, percussives and voxes, it is admirable. And the material is tasty, well performed and reasonably mixed. The title has Joe Newman's plaintive Gabriel grouse and the Leonard's orchestrina synths laid down with pro acumen, almost indistinguishable from what Peter & Co. would've done as a demo for a new album, followed by '80s ringer 'Sands of Time' with a simpler drone and bass pedals bringing up the rear, and racing if un-intoned and not-quite-right 'Moving the Base' with nods to the Police.

'Plastic Fantastic' is a midtempo prog charmer, playful and light with flavorful synth settings, tricky time changes, and never bores; Nine-minute 'Tomorrow Never Comes' is unabashed Genesism ~ absolutely no shame ~ but kicks ass so we don't really care, even reaching UK levels of showmanship, a marvelous cut, with two leisurely instrumental trail-offs.

When you're good, you're good, and credit must be given when due. Such reverence for a band other than one's own does not exclude one from occasional greatness, and North Star proves that here. Nice work, boys.

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