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Nick Magnus - N'monix CD (album) cover


Nick Magnus


Symphonic Prog

3.84 | 79 ratings

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5 stars UK composer and musician Nick MAGNUS have been an active solo artist for more than two decades, with five full length productions to his name at this point. He's also known for a brief tenure with progressive rock band The Enid back in the 1970's, as well as working with Steve Hackett. "N'Monix" is his most recent album, and was released through Esoteric Recordings imprint Esoteric Antenna in 2014.

Nick Magnus tends to be described as a creator of symphonic progressive rock, and those with an affection for this kind of music will not be disappointed by this latest album of his. This is a production that have just about everything you could ask for from an album of this kind, especially if you have a special love for the British variety of the style as explored in the 1970's.

Fans of Genesis will adore the guitar and organ combinations that are used throughout, and alongside those with an affection for Camel they will also be swooned by the softer, layered mostly vintage keyboard arrangement used in some of the gentler escapades. Delicate piano and vocal passages have their place, and the emotional, controlled and fairly delicate lead vocals fits this type of music perfectly, perhaps not what one might describe as a great vocalist in terms of voice and range, but as far as I'm concerned vocals that are perfectly adapted to the sequences in which they are used, and able to convey emotions just about as perfect as one could ask from a human being.

In addition to the expected we have occasional dips into pastoral territories, as well as quite a few visits into stunningly beautiful orchestrated passages, where the second half of the pair Time / Memory is among the most beautiful experiences on a production that is breathtaking in it's beauty more often than not.

As this CD nears the end we're also treated to moods of a more sacral character. Shadowland most likely a rather well planned run through such a landscape with it's haunting guitar and choir backdrop, while the darker textures that opens Entropy, which then shifts into a song that in overall mood and atmosphere wouldn't be out of place on a Neal Morse worship album perhaps is more accidental, although I have to admit that I didn't follow the lyrics on that song all that closely.

Just about the only sour note I have are the lyrics for Kombat Kid. I've had computer games as a hobby for 30 years or thereabouts, and while I sympathize with the message I think the point of view is rather dead wrong in the lyrics department on that one, at least from what I could hear. Yes, games causes problems and even addictions but no, children aren't the main victims. Game addiction is rather more common among adults. Games like Football Manager and World of Warcraft will be familiar turf for people dealing with game addictions, as will so called social games on Facebook, cell phones and tablets.

If you have an interest and affection for symphonic progressive rock in general, and for the archetypical English 70's variety of it in particular, "N'Monix" is a CD you should note down on your short list of albums to inspect and most likely purchase, and those who love Genesis and Camel should probably be among the very first in line.

Windhawk | 5/5 |


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