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Nightwinds - Nightwinds CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.42 | 43 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Nightwinds was a curious anomaly in the late-seventies Canadian music scene. Bands like Goddo, Triumph, Moxy, The Hunt, and April Wine were delivering solid hard rock; Klaatu and FM were experimenting with a pop prog / crossover approach; SAGA and Zon were doing the pomp rock /neo prog thing; and Rush was at the peak of their progressive rock adventures. Nightwinds were none of these things. They were a straight-up symphonic prog band, wearing their love of Genesis brightly on their sleeves. Genesis indeed, with possibly a bit of Yes, and some bass and vocal lines reminiscent of compatriots, Rush.

Nightwinds seemed to have a promising future. Their live performances and subsequent foray into the student caught the attention of Draper and Long from Klaatu, and with all the work they had done on their own band's albums, it seemed Nightwinds were in good hands. But sometime during the recording of the album, things fell apart and the band split up before the album's release. The recording was shelved until almost 13 years later when Laser's Edge decided to release it. The album had never received a final mixing and the music was taken as it was off the monitors and released. As such, I personally feel that there is something missing from the recording. There's that touch in the mixing where the music gets treated to a final spit and polishing and tweaking before the mastering stage that seems amiss here.

Aside from that, the music itself does prominently show a Genesis influence often but there is a strong effort to create a symphonic prog rock album, something that was pretty rare in Anglophone Canada (the Francophones had that base much better covered). For me, each track features something ear-catching - a vocal line, and instrumental segment, a passage of particular interest - but I find it difficult to choose a definitive track to recommend as no matter how much I enjoy a track, there's a part that turns me off a bit. Often it's Sandy Singers's vocals, which are not bad, but sometimes sound to me like Geddy Lee doing Peter Hammil or perhaps the other way around. The vocals work most of the time but there are those occasional moments...

In spite of all the adventures into symphonic prog, the track I find myself enjoying the most is "Ivy" which is the most different-sounding track on the album as it is largely acoustic and features strong, listenable vocal melodies and some woodwind.

This is not an easy album to find on CD, and I was very glad to finally discover it for an almost reasonable price in my region of residence after searching the world over for a copy that wouldn't cost me a week's worth of lunch and dinner money. As a collector of Canadian rock and metal, I am pleased to have this. Had the nationality of the band been different, however, I can't say I would have been so motivated to get a hold of it. Still, I will give it more listens in the weeks to come.

FragileKings | 3/5 |


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