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Magnus, Nick: n'monix

There is no denying the musical pedigree of British keyboardist Nick Magnus. His professional career in rock music started in the mid '70s when he played a couple of years with the progressive rock band The Enid followed by a stint with Autumn. His profile became much larger when he played in Steve Hackett's band from 1978 to 1989, appearing on a number of his albums including the classics Spectral Mornings, Defector and Highly Strung. He also appeared on Hackett's Genesis Revisited albums. Magnus released his debut Straight On Till Morning in 1993. His sixth and latest release is titled n'monix, and folks it's a beauty.

Suffice to say if you like '70s classic prog you will likely lap this up. The playing is top notch, the songs are strong and the melodies are superb. This shouldn't be a surprise considering the guest list which includes the vocal prowess of Pete Hicks, Tim Bowness and Tony Patterson. Steve Hackett adds guitar on three tracks.

The album's first track "Time" has a Momentary Lapse of Reason feel with big organ notes, nice guitar crunch and of course wonderful keyboards throughout. The vocals of Patterson have a Gabrielesque flavour and the song ventures into early Genesis territory. It directly leads into "Memory" with more ominous sounds, lush keyboard layers and an overall melancholic sound. Kate Faber adds some beautiful operatic vocals, a perfect match for the pastoral nature of the music. "Kombat Kid", a song about the addiction of video games, starts with an almost war-like drum march, dramatic keyboard swells and more Gabriel inspired lead vocals from Patterson. I love his rich laid back delivery. Magnus adds his pleasant lead vocals to the melodic "Headcase" where the band offer up a snappy and dynamic performance. This really is first class progressive rock. "Eminent Victorians" begins with a circus-like atmosphere and has a very English feel with playful keyboard lines reminding me of something Argen Luccasen might come up with. A main highlight has to be the slow to mid tempo ballad "Broken" with lovely lead vocals by Tim Bowness, excellent guitar from Hackett and outstanding flute and sax from Rob Townsend. Another highlight is the dreamy "Shadowland" featuring some of Hackett's best work on the disc.

Magnus has produced an outstanding album with n'monix. Brilliant songwriting and first class performances across the board. If you like symphonic prog this is a must have.

Track Listing:
1. Time (6:22)
2. Memory (5:22)
3. Kombat Kid (6:25)
4. Headcase (3:47)
5. Eminent Victorians (6:59)
6. Broken (8:03)
7. Shadowland (2:49)
8. Entropy (6:46)

Added: July 18th 2014
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1735
Language: english

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