They say that all good things are worth waiting for and the new album “Children Of Another God” by prog stalwart Nick Magnus is no exception.Beautifully packaged including impressive art work the album is without doubt a prog masterpiece. For those of you au’fait with Nick’s earlier work you will know that Nick’s music invokes atmosphere. His latest opus relies more on direct communication of lyric and melody rather than atmospheric soundscape.
I will attempt to draw not one comparison to others though i am sure that many listeners will identify the obvious. Though all of the retro keyboard sounds are faithfully replicated utilising modern software technology the authenticity is startling. It would be very easy to imagine Mr Magnus betwixed his elaborate 70’s/80’s keyboard rig armed with Mellotron, Moog, organ, etc,etc.
Children Of Another God is an operatic production in my opinion. This is the most song based album Nick has made to date, Hexameron being very close behind. This is no doubt to convay in full the story on which the album is based. Having been briefed on the idea behind the album by the man himself i have to confess that i am still as wise as anyone else. I am sworn not to give the game away even if i did fully understand it.
Between the the superb artwork and clarity of the songs all is laid bare for the listener’s own interpretation. The songs themselves are a dparture from them to be found on previous albums due to their descriptive nature though none the less impressive. The opening song “Children Of Another God” sets the pace and indeed the stage for the rest of the album. Tony Patterson’s voice is a little more on the mellow side on this particular piece yet brilliantly sets the foundation for all that follows.
Tony Patterson along with Pete Hicks, Andy Neve, and last but definitely not least Linda John Pierre do a fantastic job of the vocals. Nick himself makes his oral debut (Oo er matron) On the sumptuous “Identity Theft” ably accompanied by the ex Enid man Glen Tollett playing upright bass. This really is an oasis of tranquility in the big tapestry of textures and overlaid songs and musical pieces like Doctor Prometheus, The Colony Is King, and Crimewave Monkeys. The brothers Hackett make their contribution to the afore mentioned The Colony Is King playing their now famous guitar and flute swathes. This is without doubt with perhaps the exception of Crimewave Monkeys the most powerful song on the album. I can definitely hear echoes of Tigermoth in this track too (sorry Nick) which brought a smile to my face.
“The Others” brings to the fore the lilting yet powerful voice of Linda john Pierre who brings about a West End feel about this particular song. I could imagine this song being included in a stage show. The final two songs Babel Tower and Howl The Stars Down See Tony Patterson doing what he does best, giving notation and poise to the songwriters craft. A fitting if not explicit ending to a powerful story. To don my water repellant hooded jacket for a while. The piece that i enjoyed the most was the one that i have yet to mention, “Twenty Summers”. Quite simply Progtastic pop pickers. This piece finds Nick playing as he does without restriction of vocal content. Twenty Summers is one of those musical pieces that you used to find on every Prog album that were probably there to fill up the vinyl tracks and ended up swimming around your head as one of the best tracks on the album. Hats off to Dick Foster who provided the fantastic narrative for this album and being bold enough to use the words needed to conclude the tail. Nick Magnus is without doubt a virtuoso of the digital age.
The work that has gone into the making of this album is evident from the first few bars. Exsisting fans will love this new offering and those seeking something to bring out the best of their expensive h-fi equipment will be well pleased. I have had as much pleasure listening to Children Of Another God in the car, i-pod and even the bath. Ladies and gentlemen, purses and wallets at the ready. Make your way to the counter.
The Progmeister Says…What the hell are you waiting for?