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North Star


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North Star Extremes album cover
3.82 | 41 ratings | 7 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Midnight Soldier (8:35)
2. Star Child (4:00)
3. Sometimes in the Suburbs (7:00)
4. Battles Waged Before (10:10)
5. The Form (6:55)
6. Dr. Pill's Backlash Ballroom (2:13)
7. Unleashed (6:12)
8. Live with Liberty (4:14)
9. Stained Glass Doors (3:39)
10. Living on the Fringe (8:37)

Total Time: 61:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Dave Johnson / guitar, bass
- Glenn Leonard / drums
- Kevin Leonard / keyboards, bass (2)
- Joe Newnam / vocals

Releases information

CD Musea Records FGBG 4597.AR (2005)

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NORTH STAR Extremes ratings distribution

(41 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(59%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

NORTH STAR Extremes reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars NORTH STAR are an American band who've put out 5 albums beginning with the debut in 1984. This is the fifth release from 2005.They are very much in the GENESIS realm and they would make a good tribute band.

"Midnight Soldier" has these marching style drums and prominant bass with keyboards leading the way early. It fades out 1 1/2 minutes in then a new soundscape takes over with vocals and lots of synths.Vocals stop before 4 minutes as acoustic guitar then a variety of keyboards take over. Some electric guitar here too. "Starchild" has some great sounding acoustic guitar to start before the organ and vocals take over. It settles some 3 minutes in with synths and relaxed drumming. "Sometimes In The Suburbs" has no "Be cool or be cast out" lines but I like the guitar and atmosphere to start. It picks up before a minute and vocals join in. A nice instrumental section follows 3 1/2 minutes in. Vocals are back late. "Battles Waged Before" has some more really good sounding acoustic guitar to start. Vocals and synths 1 1/2 minutes in.The tempo picks up before 7 minutes. Love the guitar late to end it. "The Form" has some good chunky bass, acoustic guitar and organ before the vocals join in. It's very GENESIS- like after 2 1/2 minutes with those pulsating keyboards.

"Dr. Pill's Backlash Ballroom" is my favourite with the dark haunting atmosphere, spoken words and other sounds that come and go. "Unleashed" has a pulsating rhythm as synths join in. Vocals after 2 minutes then it settles after 3 1/2 minutes to a very GENESIS-like section to the end. "Live With Liberty" is delicate and again GENESIS-like.Vocals before a minute with synths. Not a fan of this part. It's better though when the vocals stop. "Stained Glass Door" has lots of synths and drums and it's fairly uptempo. Guitar 3 minutes in as the synths back off. "Living On The Fringe" opens with lots going on, vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. It settles a minute later then kicks back in around 5 minutes with guitar too. It settles back as we get some lazy guitar then it picks back up to the end.

A good album but nothing more in my opinion. If you like GENESIS inspired bands you should check them out.

Review by b_olariu
4 stars North Star's fifth album to date from 2005 named Extremes issued at same lable Space monster optional entertaiment but aswell at Musea records, is to me their best album for sure. They needed 5 years to come with another offer after previous one Tempest from 2000, this time they change direction or better said they come back to what they know best symphonic prog like on Power. No more experimental moments here, this is pure symphonic prog a la Genesis. They worship a lot Genesis here Wind and wuthering era, special on keyboards arrangements, but is not a bad thing at all, because Kevin Leonard variety use of synth and keyboards is excellent, some fantastic passges here that I really enjoy. The album beggins with great Midnight Soldier, excellent keyboards, very reminescent of Genesis, seams that Kevin Leonard study a lot Tony Banks use of keyboards, very good druming aswell. Other highlights to me are . Sometimes in the Suburbs and Battles Waged Before , very good instrumental arrangements, even to some listners North Star is a Genesis rip off , to me they sound very good , the musicianship is top notch, a thing that I appreciate here a lot here. Joe Newnam is back behind the mic, a thing that gives them a far better atmosphere overall. So, a very pleasent album for me at least, I will give 4 stars for the excellent keyboards parts, Kevin Leonard is a really good keyboard player and here is in the best form. Underrated band and album I must added, they need a better view in my opinion, nice art covers front/back.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Pennsylvania's North Star return with their first release since the 2000 comeback album Tempest, which was their first record since 1991's Power. For those who are not familiar with this US prog band, they have been around the scene since the mid-70's and first made their mark in 1984 with the relea ... (read more)

Report this review (#1292609) | Posted by mbzr48 | Thursday, October 16, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars In fact, this is the DEBUT studio album from North Star. Yes it was first released in 2005, I didn't forget about that. But more than 10 years ago I was in email contact with Kevin and Glenn (I bought old North Star vinyls from them for my collection, including the test press of Feel The Cold). And ... (read more)

Report this review (#1007923) | Posted by proghaven | Monday, July 29, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars My hat goes off to this band.While they are obviously restricted by financial limitations regarding recording capabilites, they put tremendous thought and musical expression into this production. I figure that this was yet another "home" recording for this band. (all the other albums were as we ... (read more)

Report this review (#61546) | Posted by | Saturday, December 24, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "Extremes" Ive been listening to this band for over ten years.They have been around double that.I generally do not review rock music. In this case , It must be done. We have a quartet here that must be discussed. Id like to start by stating the obvious.These guys listened to a lot of Genisi ... (read more)

Report this review (#60985) | Posted by | Tuesday, December 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This band worships 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.' According to their description they borrow heavily from Gabriel-era Genesis. I definately agree with that, but when I heard "Dr. Pill's Backlash Ballroom" I immediately thought none other than the LAMB. It's very RIO approach harkens on the ... (read more)

Report this review (#38466) | Posted by Nacho220 | Monday, July 4, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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