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Nick Magnus

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Nick Magnus Children of Another God album cover
3.85 | 111 ratings | 11 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Children of Another God (8:25)
2. Doctor Prometheus (6:42)
3. Twenty Summers (4:07)
4. Identity Theft (3:46)
5. The Colony Is King (7:27)
6. Crimewave Monkeys (5:31)
7. The Others (5:28)
8. Babel Tower (4:55)
9. Howl the Stars Down (3:51)

Total Time 50:12

Line-up / Musicians

- Nick Magnus / keyboards, computer, lead vocals (4), composer, arranger & producer

- Tony Patterson / lead vocals (1,8,9)
- Pete Hicks / lead vocals (2,6)
- Andy Neve / lead vocals (5)
- Linda John-Pierre / lead vocals (7)
- Steve Hackett / guitar (5)
- John Hackett / flute (5)
- Glenn Tollett / upright bass (4)

Releases information

CD Magick Nuns Records ‎- MNCD 1002 (2010, Europe)

Thanks to SouthSideoftheSky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy NICK MAGNUS Children of Another God Music

NICK MAGNUS Children of Another God ratings distribution

(111 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(63%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

NICK MAGNUS Children of Another God reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars A child of a minor Rock God

Nick Magnus is most known for his membership in Steve Hackett's backing band in the late 70's and early 80's where he played keyboards on such important albums as Spectral Mornings, Defector and Highly Strung. Interestingly, four out of six members of the Spectral Mornings and Defector line up is present on this very album, including Steve and John Hackett on guitar and flute respectively and vocalist Pete Hicks and, of course, Magnus himself. In fairness, all of these people were also involved in Magnus' previous solo effort Hexameron, but the present album is much more in the spirit of what they did on those classic Hackett albums (and much better too). The Colony Is King in particular would have fitted very well on one of Steve Hackett's more recent albums with his very distinctive guitar sound and his brother John's wonderful flutes. Steve Hackett is credited only on this one track and no other guitarist is credited, but there clearly are guitars on the other tracks!

Magnus begun his musical career playing with The Enid in the mid 70's, but he left that band in 1976 just before they released their debut album In The Region Of The Summer Stars. To my knowledge there are no recordings by The Enid that feature Magnus, but I assume it was in his Enid days that he befriended Glenn Tollett who appears here on upright bass on the track Identity Theft. Other guests appearing on this album are vocalists Tony Patterson, Linda John-Pierre and Andy Neve. Magnus himself sings lead vocals on one track too which means that there are as many as five different lead vocalists on this album! This diversity of vocalists makes the album a bit less coherent than it might have been had he opted for one or two vocalists only. Despite this the album is held together well by being a concept album. The lyrics by Dick Foster constitute a protest against collectivism and conformism and an implicit defence of individualism. There is also a theme about the virtues and problems of the information society.

The three tracks on which Peter Gabriel-impersonator Tony Patterson sings are for me among the best ones, most notably the excellent opening title track which has something of a Genesis sound and approach but also Babel Tower which repeats the main theme from the title track to great effect. Patterson also sings the closing beautiful piano-based ballad Howl Down The Stars.

The most progressive tracks are the title track, the instrumental Twenty Summers and The Colony Is King. Since these tracks are rather evenly spread over the album it is kept interesting throughout. The two songs sung by Pete Hicks are slightly more towards the Pop Rock direction, particularly Doctor Prometheus, but by no means bad songs and not devoid of progressive tendencies. These songs have more of an Alan Parsons Project sound. The Others, sung by Linda John-Pierre, on the other hand, is the track that fits in the least but it is saved by some nice acoustic guitar playing.

Children Of Another God was a positive surprise for me. It was a definite improvement over Magnus' previous solo effort, Hexameron, and an excellent addition to any collection that already holds the albums Magnus made with Steve Hackett. Indeed, the sound of these albums gives a clue to what is found here and it is clear that Magnus had a large influence on the sound of those albums. Too bad the cover art is quite awful (but it comes in a nice digi-pack with a nice booklet with full lyrics and pictures of the guest artists)!

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Starting with magically enchanted eponymous track, Nick Magnus proves that he isn't minor Rock person, but rather one of the "better" guys in business. Like reminder of childhood dreams and lullabies, this song has enormous nostalgic power. These melodies in general are basically simple, just edited and worked out that they are closing Prog goal in order to be interesting.

Some of you may remember one PC game released about 10 years ago, NOLF - No One Lives Forever. There is also prominent use of Xylophone, same as here (or at least something that sounds like Xylophone), but in the game it was supposed to bring back the atmosphere of 50's / 60's spy movies. Here, strings are added (or synths that sounds similar) and also flute is trying to do something and this symphony it creates works actually quite well. Very well.

Sadly, sometimes songs get too annoying like in case of Doctor Prometheus - I wasn't able to overcome this after so many listens that I think it's something inevitable for me.

Probably the best example would be first part of The Colony Is King. In the middle this song breaks down to more dark repeat of first part. Crimewave Monkeys sounds like, ahem, soundtrack of some kind of TV movie or Army Action video game.

There is also something like main theme repeated through some tracks, most prominently first and last of course, but others do have these traits too, even often edited, changed.

4(+) as I said, this record has big nostalgic value for me and that's something that I can appreciate.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars I didn´t remember who Nick magnus was when I saw this album on the store shelf. It was only later that I remebered he was the keyboards player with ex Genesis guitarrist Steve Hackett in the late 70´s. Also I came to know he was also a member of The Enid at the very beginning, but he left before that group had released their first LP (I recently read that some early recordings did appear on the market as an mini CD, more than 20 years later). I was glad to see that Hackett, algong with his brother John, were playing in this CD. That spurred my curiosity.

Children Of Another God is a concept album criticizing today´s techonologycal way towards massification and conformism. As a whole I found it to be very interesting and varied, although, like on most concept albums, the flow is a bit uneven on some parts as the music has to follow the lyrics. However, there are great moments too, with a lot of guitar playing here, something not very common concerning keyboardists solo effords. Not surprisingly there are several moments when the music sounds like Steve Hackett´s works (Spectral Mornings and Defector specially), with a sort fo mid 70´s Genesis thrown in for good measure (beautiful mellotrons on the first two tracks). On the other side, the vocals and a few of the arrangements reminds me a lot of Alan Parsons Project around the time of I Robot and Eve.

Production is top notch and the musicianship is simply excellent. The cover is bad, but I can live with that.

All in all I found this album extremely pleasant and charming, even if the last segment of the CD is not as captivating as the first and middle parts. A great find and if you´re a fan of Steve Hackett, Genesis and Alan Parsons, you should check this out. You won´t be disappointed. My rating keeps shifting form 3,5 to 4 stars when I listen to this record. I´ll give it four since it is more than just good.

Review by lazland
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.

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Nick Magnus is without hesitation one of my fav musicians and keyboard player ever, his contribution to first period of Steve Hackett solo albums is exemplary, albums as Spectral Mornings and Defector are still regarded today as some of the most intresting prog albums ever made. Aswell Nick Magnus was part of The Enid at the very beggining of this band, his started his career with this symphonic prog band, then moved to form Autumn in 1977 and then was membership to Steve Hackett in his most prolic solo career. As a solo artist his first album will come in 1993 and since now he released 5 albums. His forth album Children of another god issued in 2010 is to me and for many fans his best album as solo artist . This is truly an elegant release with pleasent warm complicated prog, very reminescent of mid to late '70s and aswell smells in many pleaces with Hackett albums, specially Spectral and Defector. It's obviously that this album remind me a lot of Hackett albums, 4 out of 6 musicians from this album were present aswell on Spectral Morning and Defector - Steve Hackett together with his brother John, Pete Hicks and Magnus of course.

Beautiful arrangements, old school, type of prog, with the killer title track being the highlight, such strong and catchy tune, very good, The rest of the pieces are strong aswell, the instrumental Twenty Summers follow as second. In some parts I can trace besides Hackett influences, some Alan Parson passages and even some Manfred Mann's Earh Band elements here and there.

All in all definetly a worth album to have, this si the type of prog that was made decades ago still being fresh today with many intresting parts. Nice package overall, digipak format. 4 stars from me, excellent, warm, pleasent and catchy.

Review by kenethlevine
4 stars When I put my feet up, open my ears and take in this 2010 release by the keyboard magus Magnus, the last impression that comes to mind is "low budget". Yet, in spite of all the guitar figures charitably distributed throughout this work, apparently only one track actually includes that instrument strewn about the shoulders that is fretted and picked. The rest is apparently synthesized, which really goes to show how far technology has come, and how, in the right hands, it can craftily dispense with codependency on big budget studios and production. And this man seems to have two right hands.

Still and all, I guess what upsets me most is that I thought Messieurs Hackett and Magnus were old buddies, and surely Steve and his brother could be persuaded to join Nick for old times sake. You mean he has to pay them? I guess we are spoiled by the explosion of prog from all quadrants that masks its minimal commercial viability, but economic realities impinge, albeit in this case not enough to denigrate the quality in the slightest. Leaving production aside, the concept, lyrics, musical score - yes this is a visually resplendent album, and arrangements are all best of breed. Magnus has traded the more poppy and world oriented songs from "Hexameron" for a more uniformly progressive release that is still quite vocal oriented. The only exception would be the ALAN PARSONS like "Doctor Prometheus", which is ironically one of the most accomplished, but the title cut introduces a soothing melody that reappears much later, while "The Colony is King" is possibly the best STEVE HACKETT track not to appear on a Hackett album. The dark and foreboding "Crimewave Monkeys" laments the anonymity of today's average cyber crook. Linda John-Pierre cops a quasi JON ANDERSON persona for the delicate "The Others".

In almost every way an improvement on Magnus' prior work, "Children of Another God" unfolds as a victim of its own success. Like that A student needing just marginal accretion, it never quite lunges beyond its comfort level long enough to attain highest honors. Still, this is an excellent album by an artist who has kept the faith far longer than many of prog's erstwhile Deities.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Steve Hackett protégé, ex-Autumn and ex-The Enid keyboardist Nick Magnus should be no stranger to prog fans, not only for his mellotron-drenched style but perhaps also for his walrus-like facial hair (he does look a bit weird). I do not know his debut 1993 album, appreciated his second "Inhaling Green" (1999), really loved and reviewed his 2004 release "Hexameron" that owned a slew of crafty pieces that really made the grade, the result surely did not disappoint with some lovely symphonic-laced tunes such as the epic and lush "Dancing on the Waters", the über- Celtic "Sophia's Song" and the seductive "Seven Hands of Time", interspersed with some poppier material ("Marduk", "Brother Sun, Sister Moon") that noticeably recall the Alan Parsons Project (APP). So suffice to say, "Children of Another God" was a no-brainer purchase, as far as I was concerned and certainly delivers a strong contingent of elegant pieces that will please the undemanding progfan.

The widely varied menu is therefore similar to past releases with profligate melodies such as the magnificent title track that features the warm Gabrielesque voice of Tony Patterson or the sweeping , flute-laden and buzzy guitar- driven "The Colony is King", both being outright marvels and prog classics. This last piece could have graced any Steve Hackett album and received the suitable applause, as its quite deserving.

Then there are some of those more accessible songs, such as the APP-like "Dr. Prometheus", sung by Pete Hicks (Hackett's old band) who also sings on the cinematographic "Crimewave Monkeys". The rather liquid "Identity Theft" has Magnus taking over the mike and doing a decent job, but I fear it's a bit of the weakest link here, though that xylophone patch does have some merit. The instrumental "Twenty Summers" certainly entertains the faithful and does not shock any monkey.

The sensational vocal-led "The Others" features a clear and powerful female voice that shines ever so brightly (owned by a Linda John-Pierre) and rekindles semi-operatic themes within the symphonic curtains (synthetic oboe, piano, orchestrations). Tony Patterson shows off some more vocal variation on "Babel Tower" which does sound like a Rael outtake, full of ivory bombast and muted shrieks, sudden acoustic guitar pastorals and a raging organ/mellotron passage to rouse the innocent (a reprise of the majestic title theme) and garner this with a stamp of class. But he really kills it on the glowing finale, a monster delivery floating upon sheer symphonic beauty, a masterstroke that will convert the unbeliever, "Howl the Stars Down" is a definite keeper.

In its essence, there is nothing ground breaking here in terms of progressive development, just an array of finely chiseled songs that relive the Broadway Sheep, and smooth the weary soul. All in all, a great recording that has all the goods.

4 Gigantic Slices

Review by kev rowland
3 stars Nick first started his musical career with The Enid, but it will be with Steve Hackett with whom he will always be most associated with. He toured as part of his band, and of course provided keyboards on albums such as 'Spectral Mornings', 'Highly Strung' and 'Defector'. In many ways, the opening title cut could have come from the last of these, and given that Nick of course is on keyboards, with John Hackett (flute) and Steve Hackett (guitar) very much in evidence perhaps that isn't too surprising. This isn't a Steve Hackett solo album, but it can be heard from just this one song how important Nick's contributions were to those seminal works, with very similar keyboard sounds being utilised to what we all know so very well. Vocals on that number is by Tony Patterson (probably best known for his time with ReGenesis), but another ex- 'Defector' luminary takes that role on "Doctor Prometheus", which to my ears is much more of an Alan Parsons Project romp, and is great fun with a bouncy singalong style.

It is an incredibly diverse album, with one of the highlights being "The Others", which is far more orchestral in feel, with some delicate acoustic guitar and some wonderful vocals from Linda John-Pierre. Quite simply, this is a beautiful song that sounds as if it has been taken from a stage musical, where it is the closing finale of the first act. Restrained passion and power never sounded quite so good. Nick provides vocals himself on "Identity Theft", and while this is in many ways the weakest song on the album his voice is pleasant and I am sure he could have undertaken more of this role if he had wished to. This is an album that is solid but not brilliant, but does contain some glorious moments. Well worth hearing if you get the opportunity

Latest members reviews

4 stars After playing with The Enid and Autumn keyboard player Nick Magnus joined The Steve Hackett Band on the road during their Please Don't Touch tour in 1978, my first Hackett solo gig, in a long row. Of course I was delighted to witness the guitarist of my beloved 70-77 Genesis, but I was also impr ... (read more)

Report this review (#1937839) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Friday, June 8, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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 anothe ... (read more)

Report this review (#294768) | Posted by Marc M | Monday, August 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The first two songs on this fantastic disc - the title track and "Dr Prometheus" - appeared on Nick Magnus' YouTube channel (an essential thing these days). I was alerted to it via the former website of Steve Hackett (Camino Records) and I pre-ordered the disc on the strength of those two trac ... (read more)

Report this review (#273537) | Posted by TheBear | Monday, March 22, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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