Coming from many and varied musical backgrounds, This Winter Machine is a new five member melodic progressive rock band from Leeds. Their debut album, The Man Who Never Was releases this month on Progressive Gears Records.
Suffice to say, This Winter Machine flows from the traditional neo-classical tradition. They note influences from Genesis to Marillion to Porcupine Tree, among others. Their music is characterized by large melodies, smooth vocal harmonies, substantial keyboards, and classic rock guitar solos, wrapped generally lighter, mildly technical, arrangements.
The album consists of five songs, starting with the title track, the longest song here at just over 16 minutes. Honestly, it's likely my least favorite song of the bunch. Being mostly lead by vocals over piano and glittering synths, within an ethereal atmosphere, it ambles along like benign Muzak. It seems mostly a showcase for the vocalist. The following The Wheel seems to continue the same musical motif with it's light start. But then something more ambitious arises with the heightened bass line at about two and half minutes. Then at the midpoint we start to hear more from the guitar line, and things become more lively and interesting. Now at the midpoint with instrumental Lullaby (Interrupted), the guitar rises again in the latter half, and my interest deepens. Why? Because the guitar work is the missing link to This Winter Machine's sound. Now I'm expecting things to be more dynamic to the end. Though After Tomorrow Comes and Fractured still pursue that lighter airy atmosphere, there's definitely some stronger guitar work. More so in the former with large solo, a bit more muted in the latter.
In the end, what This Winter Machine and The Man Who Never Was reminded me of was "easy listening" melodic progressive rock. The kind of music that lilts and floats along with little impression and could quite possibly lull you into slumber. Take with a fine Pinot Grigio, while resting in your favorite lounge chair, on a light Summer afternoon. Recommended.
What This Winter Machine and The Man Who Never Was reminded me of was "easy listening" melodic progressive rock. The kind of music that lilts and floats along with little impression and could quite possibly lull you into slumber.
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