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Magus / The Winter Tree


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Magus / The Winter Tree Earth Below album cover
3.97 | 16 ratings | 1 reviews | 19% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2015

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Plank (6:50)
2. Earth Below (6:40)
3. Writing on the Wall (4:02)
4. The World Upon Her Shoulders (6:21)
5. The Garden of Love (3:01)
6. The Light (4:00)
7. Twilight (4:57)
8. A Thousand Futures (4:19)

Total Time 40:10

Line-up / Musicians

- Andrew Laitres / vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, composer, arranger & producer

- Mark Bond / vocals, lead, rhythm & steel guitars
- Jacob Holm-Lupo / synth (1,5) guitar (1)
- Mattias Olsson / drums, percussion
- Baiba Kranate / vocals (8)

Releases information

CD self-released (2015, US)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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MAGUS / THE WINTER TREE Earth Below ratings distribution

(16 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(56%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MAGUS / THE WINTER TREE Earth Below reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Andrew Laitres and the returning Mark Bond are back with the fourth album to appear under the Winter Tree banner, `Earth Below', and what a beautifully performed collection it is! Mostly ditching the New-Age and softer ambient electronics of the easy-to-enjoy previous album `Twilight of the Magicians', the pair this time collaborate with White Willow members Jacob-Holm Lupo and Mattias Olsson (also ex-Anglagard and current Walrus drummer) to craft a series of carefully composed pieces that, despite the actual tunes being the main priority, are still full of precisely executed instrumental qualities of great taste. This forty minute vinyl length work will appeal to more open- minded progressive rock listeners, as well as holding plenty of crossover appeal for those who simply appreciate great tunes played with skill and restraint.

Strangely, the disc opens with the most commercial piece `Plank', which, with lead vocalist Andrew's catchy melody and the proggy synth fills carefully grafted to a strong accessible tune, wouldn't have sounded out of place on any Alan Parsons Project album (bonus points for the Beatle-esque interludes too!). The title track `Earth Below' instantly calls to mind the reflective melancholy of White Willow (even though those above mentioned guests are not actually on this particular piece!), the dreamy group harmonies, drowsy slide guitar, looming synth drama and gentle piano perfectly balancing warm heart and sombre moods, and the instrumental outro is a thing of great beauty. `Writing on the Wall' teases with eerie ghostly electric piano, but the piece quickly bursts into up-tempo energy with a crashing beat, gutsy guitar and a boisterous vocal.

`The World Upon her Shoulders' is all bluesy electric guitar simmers and tasty jazzy electric piano with a moody middle, `The Garden of Love' turns a William Blake poem into a pleasant Hogarth- era Marillion type piece, and `The Light' could have almost landed on a Neal Morse solo album with its hopeful lyric and gliding sighing harmonies over comforting acoustic and slide guitar. `Twilight' jumps up and down in tempo with urgent orchestral-like synths, a propulsive beat and a catchy chorus, and with its smooth male/female lead vocal, trilling synths, confident piano and victorious organ, `A Thousand Futures' is a joyful and reassuring album closer.

Andrew Laitres offers on `Earth Below' an unapologetically melodic work refreshingly at odds with any nonsense ideas of current musical trends or even what is expected when something is applied to the `prog rock' tag. Smart tunes, enjoyable melodies and exquisite instrumental framings holding them make `Earth Below' pretty much a perfect example of how worthy crossover styles of prog- rock can be when delivered this well, and those who enjoy prog that prizes strong song-writing over overblown show-off instrumental excess will be impressed here. It will likely also appeal to those who don't like the more heavy-going self-indulgence of a lot of prog rock, so fellas, here's one your lady might really like too, so enjoy listening to it together!

Four stars.

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