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Napier's Bones picture
Napier's Bones biography
Founded in UK in 2013

NAPIER'S BONES are a UK band that take the Classic Prog-Rock sound as a foundation and build upon it to create their ownchallenging and extended form of progressive rock music.

Their focus is firmly on dramatic storytelling with subject matter capable of resonating with the listener today. Music that references the past but is very much of the here and now

Biography provided by the artist and used with permission

NAPIER'S BONES Videos (YouTube and more)

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NAPIER'S BONES discography

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NAPIER'S BONES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.03 | 19 ratings
The Wistman Tales
3.81 | 22 ratings
Tregeagle's Choice
3.27 | 17 ratings
Hell and High Water
3.53 | 15 ratings
Alpha-Omega Man
4.16 | 13 ratings
3.25 | 4 ratings
The Fields
0.00 | 0 ratings

NAPIER'S BONES Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

NAPIER'S BONES Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

NAPIER'S BONES Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 2 ratings
Five Years in the Wood

NAPIER'S BONES Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Monuments by NAPIER'S BONES album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.16 | 13 ratings

Napier's Bones Crossover Prog

Review by heartscore

5 stars The opener "Standing childe", an epic adventure of 23 minutes, already sets a high mark at the beginning of the fourth album of english Progressive Rock Duo Napier's Bones. A clever move of the guys to choose this track for the prominent first slot, because the beginning is functioning like an overture. Long, dramatic melodies are sung by the lead guitar and synthesizer and I would not wonder, if mastermind Gordon Midgley would be a fan of late romantic symphonies. The overture also introduces Gordon's signature guitar sound, which reminds me on Robert Fripp. Napier's bones are dealing with the heritage of bands like Yes and King Crimson, and while both of them do not sound like in the seventies anymore, Gordon and Nathan fly with us in a time machine back to the heyday of Prog, those times, which are often missed by fans of that genre. After a sudden acoustic guitar break Nathan appears, who tells the story of Ordgur the hunter. Historic and archaic topics are an ongoing element in the works of the band. And while this might be not sensational, the expressiveness of Nathan Tillet's voice clearly is. As I stated in previous reviews about the band the voice of Mr. Tillett sets them apart from many competitors within the Neo-Prog sector. The ordinary Progrock-singer does not deliver much more than the words, Just think on Jon Anderson, besides angelic precision there are not many different colors in his voice. Tillett sounds much more like a Rocksinger, capable of raspy aggressiveness, while also not a stranger to beautiful mellow tones. Back to the song the heroic topic is nicely supported by the use of major chords. The section from "Born to this duty" up works with a chord-progression, which could also be thought out by The Beatles. The Break on the word "I see you now right before my eyes" could be my favorite moment of track one. It's quite fascinating how the mood and expression of Nathan changes. Furthermore the change between choir-sections and solo-voice makes the track even more interesting. To sum up this is an impressive start.

The second track "Mirabilis" starts with ambient sounds and acoustic guitar, which paint the scene like a good visual artist, a nice contrast to the rocking start of the previous song. Again it features well arranged background vocals, an element, which was not so much present on other albums of the band. Before Nathan enters the listener is bound by an arabic rocking interlude, some great use of the Wahwah-Pedal here on the guitar.

"Waters dark" can not grab my attention as much as the other tracks in the beginning. But the interlude surprises with Mellotron-guitar interaction. On the other hand it can function as a showstopper sitting in the center of the album. The song is like the eye of the tornado, not very thrilling, but a nice place to rest.

The third track "Free to choose" brings a Spanish character on the table and unlike the epic and complicated structures before we get classic songwriting with bridge and chorus clearly separated. It is the most accessible song on this Album, Napier's goes Pop, the verse even reminds me on a song of the Eurythmics.

"The heights" are shining brightly because of brilliant acoustic guitars. A good chord progression and again a clever vocal arrangement make this song stand out. The synthesizers stepped back and the guitars are clearly the star at the edge of the stage.

Now the conclusion: "Monuments" is clearly the best album of the Prog-Duo. Why? Well compared to the other works the songwriting is stronger (except Waters dark). They have put more care into the arrangements, which are clearer and more effective. When I think on older works of the Napier's the arrangements were sometimes too thick, guitars and synthesizers were battling against each other and not ranked clearly enough. On "Monuments" Gordon and Nathan have avoided over-instrumentation and have pushed other elements like the vocal-arrangements for the sake of clarity and more diversity. Sometimes there is a touch of Beatles, which I think is always welcome. But the red line along the work of Tillett and Midgley is still visible: Basing on 70s Prog giants like King Crimson and Yes they transfer all virtues of these old classics to the presence, while the expressiveness of the singer, the lyrical content and the influence of Folk add an own footprint. All listeners, who miss classic Progressive Rock today should visit this tall and mighty monument. Looking back on my ratings of other albums of Napier's bones this is clearly a five star album honoring the effort of these guys to get better and better.

 Monuments by NAPIER'S BONES album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.16 | 13 ratings

Napier's Bones Crossover Prog

Review by flyingveepixie

4 stars Monuments is the fifth studio album from Napier's Bones who in their own words :

'take the Classic Prog-Rock sound as a foundation and build upon it to create their own challenging and extended form of progressive rock music.

Their focus is firmly on dramatic storytelling with subject matter capable of resonating with the listener today. Music that references the past but is very much of the here and now.'

The band comprises only two members : Gordon Midgley who is responsible for the music, lyrics and backing vocals, and Nathan Jon Tillett who provides lead vocals and does all the bands artwork.

The album 'Monuments' consists of 5 tracks totalling 51 minutes with the longest track being the epic opener 'Standing Childe' at 23 minutes.

In keeping with all of their previous albums, Napier's Bones have maintained consistency in giving this album the classic vintage style production which hearkens back to the golden era of traditional prog, the influence of which is obvious not only in the song writing style, but also from the omnipresent mellotron, the delightfully vintage sounding lead guitar work, and the overall song arrangement and production.

Listening to this album is a little bit like stepping through a time portal to the early 1970s, and the listener could easily be forgiven for thinking that this was a heretofore undiscovered classic album from the likes of early Genesis or Barclay James Harvest. This is also one of those albums which has a multitude of little sonic secrets to discover with many hidden gems in the instrumentation which you seem to start noticing only after several listens. There is diversity in the music throughout with peaks where all the instruments are working flat out and more delicate troughs consisting only of acoustic guitar and vocals.

I'm currently working through the album on my third listen and find it to be one of those albums which grows on me with each listen. I recommend it for fans of the old style classic prog who might be looking out for some new music which holds to the old traditions.

 Hell and High Water by NAPIER'S BONES album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.27 | 17 ratings

Hell and High Water
Napier's Bones Crossover Prog

Review by heartscore

4 stars Introduction

I was very pleased about Napier's bone's 2015 release ?Tregeagle's choice" so I pulled the trigger and purchased ?Hell and high water" via band camp here: It is the third album of the british Progressive Rock band, which consists of the singer Nathan Tillett and Multi-instrumentalist and mastermind Gordon Midgley, who is responsible for all instruments, lyrics and the production. The duo could convince me with a thrilling mixture of 70s Prog in the tradition of King Crimson and YES combined with a dramatic story.


?Hell and high water" is another concept-album. It tells the story of a ballad-monger in the tradition of ?Tannhäuser" maybe. The first three songs are located in the presence, when the narrator, it seems to be a scientist, is affected by strange feelings in an old church. Machines and other scientific methods can not uncover the secret of this place. The topic is science against supernatural phenomenons. With the beginning of ?Mallerstang morning" Gordon Midgley and Nathan Tillett abduct us from the presence to the past and their time-machine is landing in a typical english Pub, where the ballad-monger is asking for a bed in exchange of singing some songs for the guests. But the mighty landlord refuses and the poor main character has to leave the town, wandering away alone into through the dark. At last he finds some friendly farmers, which appreciate his tales and songs, but he is still in anger about the rich town and curses it to fall. A heavy rain is falling and the selfish landlord and his staff drown. At last the balladeer feels free again after his revenge and talks about himself as a seer and healer, a man with supernatural powers. I call the story a gothic tale in the romantic tradition of Poe, E.T.A. Hoffmann and maybe Anne Radcliffe. I want to accent, that this kind of story is not the usual lyrical topic of Prog Rock and adds a refreshing element to the genre. The lyrics are whether esoteric nor philosophical as many others in the Prog Rock genre. Napier's bones is telling dark dramatic stories, sometimes close to Theater and Audio-drama.

The songs

An air of mystery: The album starts with majestic chords and a classic Moog-sound and dissolves soon into a mid-tempo rocker. The chorus is very catchy and the long ?Oh" of the choir illustrates the long way to go for the main character. At 3:30 a breakdown with YES-like volume-swells creates new excitement. The song ends with the repetition of the chorus. The tone of the guitar reminds me on Robert Fripp, though not often leaving the usual Pentatonic and Blues-area. All in all the beginning and the catchy chorus stand out. A decent opener while in my opinion not a highlight of the album.

Broadcasting live: In the beginning a nicely created terrific atmosphere, painting a strong picture of the haunting church. The newly introduced piano and harpsichord create a historic mood, pointing to a dark past. Nathan Tillett is able to create an immense suspense in this track. The choir becomes another fresh arrangement-detail compared to the first track. My favorite moment is, when Mr.Tillett creates an impressive climax up to 7:10 and the final words ?The squire's return". More original, more dramatic than track one. Now I am caught by this record.

No return: The syncopated guitar-riffs at the start will appeal to Rock-fans. Soon the Mellotron take over and we are back in Prog-territory. The part starting at 2:10 is amazing, colorful chords paired with a high Synthesizer- (or guitar?) melody, one of the best moments of the album. The break at 4:23 prepares the appearance of the singer. At 6:30 another magic moment, when the long tone of Mr.Tillett melts with the following Choir and Keyboard. The song cites again the motif of the long way and ends with another catchy chorus and a gilmourish guitar-solo. This is the strongest track so far with many magic moments for the Prog-lover. The Napiers manage it to keep the attention with diversity and surprising shifts.

Mallerstang morning: Now we are suddenly on a blooming meadow. Strummed Folk-guitars and an optimistic tone and melody from Mr.Tillett put a smile on every listener's face. The higher Tempo supports the change of mood effectively. After a breakdown at 3:15 we are entering YES-territory with a Bass-solo, Mellotron-flutes, then coming back to the positive Folk-beginning. The singer sounds enthusiastic. The end is a bit abrupt, but so far this is my second favorite of the album.

No room at the Inn: Well now we have a track here, which showcases another talent of Napier's bones. They can write little audio-dramas with pseudo field-recordings, different roles and a highly dramatic action-laden plot. Pink Floyd have often integrated some ?musique concrete" in their works (like at the beginning of ?Time") and developed different characters and roles (like in ?The Wall"), but Napier's bones topics are different: The gothic tale with supernatural elements becomes their trademark. Special applause to Nathan Tillett, who sounds really desperated here and fills his role with life and expression. The breakdown at 3:49 reminds again on YES with the guitar-riffs set against the long Mellotron-chords. A conciliatory choir of friendly farmers changes the atmosphere again towards a happy end. The balladeer is finally accepted by the society, but before you think on a happy end wait for the next track ? This song could easily be interpreted as a general statement against racism and prejudices.

Rain down: The song marks a heavy turn of the album's mood, introduced impressively in the beginning with its atonal roughness, one of the most surprising and striking instrumental parts of this album. Here the King Crimson influence is shining through. I admire the precise interaction of guitar and drums accompanied by the Mellotron. The change from the happy end of ?No room at the Inn" to the evil and dark atmosphere of ?Rain down" is disturbing. Maybe a very good author of theater-dramas could create something like this, an emotional roller coaster ride.

A wake in Yorkdale: The beginning with its 12-string guitar could be played by Steve Howe. The call and response principle of the chorus sets a nice contrast between Nathan Tillett and the choir. Napier's rollercoaster stops at a very positive and beautiful mood. The balladeer is free and happy to continue his voyage. The song (and the album) ends with the balladeer's whistling veering away from the listener.

Conclusion The good: Napier's bones third album continue the successful trademarks of its predecessors. Take ingredients of classic 70s Prog, particularly of King Crimson and YES, stir this with an atypical Prog-singer with a rocking edge and an amazing talent for dramatic climax, shake it with a gothic story in the tradition of Poe and E.T.A Hoffmann, add at last a splash of audio-drama and clever arranged instrumental parts and you get an album, which will attract all, which still think, that Progressive Rock is not Progressive Metal. The singer is awesome and all instruments are played and arranged with an eclectic taste and much diversity.

The bad: The best tracks are not at the beginning, wait for track three before you skip. I don't know, how Napier's bones create their drums, but whatever they use, a programmed drum-track or a live-drummer, I can hear the effort to create drums, which go along with the music and the complicated guitar-riffs and structures. So sometimes I wished to hear the drums better, especially the snare and the kick, and I am sure it's worth to hear them a bit more upfront.

The ugly: Nothing ugly here (except the landlord of course ?)

I will not forget the time I spend with this album ?

 Tregeagle's Choice by NAPIER'S BONES album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.81 | 22 ratings

Tregeagle's Choice
Napier's Bones Crossover Prog

Review by heartscore

4 stars Following the traditional path of the concept album Napier's bone's album "Tregeagle's choice" is based on the true historical story of Jan Tregeagle. The legend tells, that he sold his soul for success in life and Napier's bone's album is focusing on the legend creating an uni-directional story-line. The dramatic content is supported by the use of different singers. While the main role is taken over by UK based singer Nathan John Tillet, mastermind Gordon Midgley gives roles to other people as well. He takes over two roles himself. Other guests join a scene at a village, recreating an authentic crowd (track 5 "Vox populi") The story-line remind on other genius-stories like the one of Robert Johnson, Niccolo Paganini. Musically Midgley and Tillet have created a progressive rock style, which is also based on tradition (matching the historical story), but adding some unusual ingredients. The music is arranged with much diversity using all well- known elements of the classic phase of british progressive rock. The mellotron is intensively used, many different guitar-sounds and layers of guitar-sounds, some fine vocal-harmonies. Everything is pointing to the big ones of progressive rock: YES, Genesis and (most apparently) early King Crimson. Some people might be sad about the stylistic change of King Crimson after their first three albums towards Jazzrock and Avantgarde and exactly this group of people could be very happy with Napier's bones, if they are longing for a secret King Crimson-album between "The wake of Poseidon" and "Lizard". But "Napier's bones" is more than just a Yes/King Crimson - recreation for two reasons: The story told in "Tregeagle's choice" is much more concrete than the usual progressive lyrics. From the very beginning the listener is catched by the story-line, which is more comparable to 18th-century romantic ballad than to hard to understand Yes-lyrics. Second Nathan John Tillet's performance on the lead vocals is breathtaking different compared to classic prog- singers. Tillet sings like a very good drama-actor with emotional expression and much variety. His voice is causing suspense. Which progressive-rock-singer has ever caused suspense? Anderson? Greg Lake? Hamill? They are all very static singers, more another voice in the arrangement, more beautiful than thrilling. The emotional deepness of Tillet's style, and the rough and sometimes raspy timbre of his voice injects an unheard flavor to this progressive album, as if Roger Daltrey had joined King Crimson back in 1970.

A very pleasing album for listeners of both, Classic Rock and Progressive Rock

 The Wistman Tales by NAPIER'S BONES album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.03 | 19 ratings

The Wistman Tales
Napier's Bones Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars An interesting project from the British Islands, apparently led by Mr. Gordon Midgley, who happens to be a multi-instrumentalist, composer and lyricist, he is backed up by singer Nathan Jon Tillett.They are influenced by the classic bands of the country, such as King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator, Pink Floyd and Genesis and in July 2014 they launched their debut ''The Wistman tales'', a free download via the bandcamp sevice.

Sound of Napier's Bones is trully mysterious, innovative and often majestic.Their production on guitars and the use of a drum machine show some emphasis on the contemporary Prog/Art Rock scene, they sound a lot like the most recent PINK FLOYD-ian wannabees, RIVERSEA, EDISON'S CHILDREN and NINE STONES CLOSE to name a few.But they distinguish themselves quite easily from this group of bands, because Midgley has chosen to use constantly the Mellotron in all of the tracks, producing a genuine mix of nostalgic and modern Prog, the actual result is somewhere between KING CRIMSON's early orchestral offerings and PINK FLOYD's atmospheric acoustics.Pretty symphonic sound, which swirls around softer and more powerful moments, featuring a singer with a raspy voice and delivered mostly in mid-tempo textures with interesting solos and measured rhythms.Plenty of acoustic guitar as well to go along with big time grandiose, Mellotron-drenched orchestrations.Piano and other keyboards are used only sporadically, this one is mostly a combination of heavy electric guitars and Mellotron with some smooth plays in the process.The arrangements are pretty cool, albeit not extremely rich due to the limited instrumentation, Tilett's crunchy vocals work nicely next to the sinister instrumental parts and the result is pretty satisfying.

Atmospheric and often quite dark Prog Rock with orchestral overtones and huge references to very early King Crimson and Genesis as well as mid-70's Pink Floyd.Pretty hard to come up with accurate descriptions though, you need to hear this and conclude yourselves what this work is all about.Recommended.

Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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