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Wizards Of Winter, The: The Magic Of Winter

Starting out as a TSO tribute act, New Jersey's Wizards Of Winter are back with their sophomore effort The Magic Of Winter. Their self-titled debut was quite a delightful little Christmas album and the new release carries on in that tradition. If you enjoy what TSO has been doing the last number of years The Magic Of Winter should be on your Christmas playlist. Yes it is February and yes I am still enjoying this release. There is no doubting the similarity between the bands especially when you consider former TSO members Guy Lemonnier (vocals) and Tony Gaynor (narrator) are W.O.W. members. Rounding out the band are Scott Kelly (keyboards, arrangement), Sharon Kelly (flute, vocals, arrangement), Steve Ratchen (bass, arrangement), Fred Gorhau (guitar, arrangement), Mary McIntyre (keyboards, vocals), Tommy Ference (drums), T.W. Durey (guitar), Natalia Niarezka (violin) and Vincent Jiovino (vocals).

With snippets from the classic "Little Drummer Boy", "Flight Of The Snow Angels" begins the disc in dramatic fashion. A huge keyboard arrangement and grandiose rhythms lead to soaring lead guitar and snippets of neoclassical shredding. The melody is joyful and upbeat and the orchestrations certainly invoke the spirit of Christmas. "Winter Magic" is another orchestral delight highlighting softer piano and heavier guitar riffs. The female vocals are outstanding. The symphonic metal of "Spirit Of Christmas" features a wealth of keyboards and piano lines of subtle beauty. Heavier bits of orchestration add to the drama and Lemonnier's lead vocals are excellent (as we have come to expect from the former T.S.O. front man). "Season's Lament" starts softer, the melody a little more somber before neoclassical guitar fills and a bombastic keyboard arrangement take hold. Keyboards and guitar emulate each other in a most satisfying way. For a softer touch, the pretty piano ballad "I Am Here" is a heartwarming piece whereas the heavier "Ebeneezer" is much more symphonic with alternating female and male lead vocals, shredding guitar and massive rhythmic crashes.

Is The Magic Of Winter original? Not really. Is it an enjoyable listen? You bet it is. If you dig what the Trans-Siberian Orchestra has been doing the last number of years there is little doubt you will find The Magic Of Winter much to your liking. Another excellent four star release!

Track Listing:
1. Flight Of The Snow Angels (3:52)
2. Winter Magic (4:18)
3. Spirit Of Christmas (4:54)
4. Season's Lament (4:28)
5. Waken To The Sound (4:20)
6. Christmas Cotillion (3:37)
7. I Am Here (3:25)
8. Ebeneezer (6:16)
9. With One Voice (3:59)
10. Reprise (1:13)

Added: February 15th 2016
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1579
Language: english

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