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NORTHERN WIND

Harvest

Neo-Prog


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Harvest Northern Wind album cover
3.90 | 78 ratings | 2 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Into the Void (1:09)
2. It All Becomes Clearer (9:28)
3. This Day (6:17)
4. Northern Wind (4:02)
5. Sending Signals (5:07)
6. Something's Changing (6:09)
7. Under the April Sky (5:39)
8. Shadows Behind the Lilacs (3:24)
9. Rush (6:04)
10. Tonight (6:33)
11. Colours (8:31)

Total Time 62:23

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Monique van der Kolk / vocals
- Jordi Prats / guitars
- Jordi Amela / keyboards
- Toni Munné / bass
- Alex Ojea / drums

Releases information

Label: Red Phone Records
Format: CD, Digital
December 7, 2014

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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Buy HARVEST Northern Wind Music


Northern WindNorthern Wind
Import
Red Phone Records
Audio CD$19.99
$19.99 (used)
Northern Wind by Harvest (2014-05-04)Northern Wind by Harvest (2014-05-04)
Red Phone Records
Audio CD$50.69


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HARVEST Northern Wind ratings distribution


3.90
(78 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
13%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
47%
Good, but non-essential (31%)
31%
Collectors/fans only (5%)
5%
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)
4%

HARVEST Northern Wind reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lazland
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Northern Wind is the third album released by Harvest, a band I have followed since their inception.

From the moment the melodic, short intro, Into The Void, enters your consciousness, to the final moments of Colours fading, the listener is in for a treat of modern progressive rock.

The first thing that hit me was the incredible leap forward the band have taken in terms of production. This album sounds grandiose, and the entire experience washes over one, in much the manner as those Northern Winds drive the waves onto the shore. Witness the dark intensity of Under The April Sky, which creates a wall of sound that reminds me of putting on Genesis circa Home By The Sea. It is moody, and a damned sight harder than anything the band have put out before, a real standout track. This then segues into an instrumental piece, Shadows Behind The Lilacs, which Messrs Gilmour, Wright, and Mason would have been proud to release.

Secondly, there is also a move in terms of song structure, length, and, yes, progressiveness. This is the sound of a band so utterly comfortable with themselves, and their abilities, and it is a pleasure to hear. There is a beautiful piano interlude midway through the first longer track, It All Becomes Clearer, which, itself leads into the most gorgeous main description by Monique and the entire band creating such a calm pastiche.

Harvest are one of two bands I have followed who unashamedly took their influences from Hogarth era Marillion, the other being Gazpacho. The latter, to these ears, have, in truth, made one too many similar albums. Demons contains nothing new whatsoever, whilst, in contrast, Harvest have developed, progressed, and created an album which stands alone. Actually, much like Marillion, they are making new sounds and experimenting as they go along. The lyrics of the title track, which expertly mixes commercial Prog and a harder, tough set of riffs, puts it very well when it talks of a New Direction and New Horizon.

The band are equally comfortable in creating calming, melodic music, as they are when they rock out, and there are plenty such moments of such contrasts throughout this album. When they rock, then the noise that is created will appeal to the most enthusiastic fan of the harder stuff. Neither, though, have they lost that clever knack of creating a catchy song, as Something's Changing tells us. This track features one of the most expressive guitar solos of 2014, by the way.

The musicianship is allowed time on this album to expand. Amela's keyboards soar, Prat's guitars sing, Munne's bass is played as a lead instrument in its own right (a pleasing trait shared with Messrs Trewavas and Squire), whilst the drums of Ojea keep it all together (I just love his work at the close of Tonight). Once again, of course, the precious and pleasing voice of Monique van Der Kolk is at the heart of it all. The dreamy Sending Signals reminds me of just why I fell in love with this voice and band in the first place. Simply beautiful, it touches and emotes, and there is a foot tapping mid-section that I know will become a massive live favourite. Hands together, everyone!

The entire album leads up to the spectacular finale that is Colours, a track weighing in at eight and a half minutes. All of the expressions, moods, themes, and expansion of the Harvest sound are brought together on this progressive masterpiece, one of the best tracks of 2014. As the sea laps against the shore, you simply appreciate the sheer beauty of what went before.

Northern Wind is an album which should, in football parlance, move Harvest from the second division of Prog to the Premiership. I rated the debut at 3.5 (rounded up to four), the second a straight four. This one, if we had such a rating, would be 4.5. I tell you this. The next one, I know, is going to blow the collective minds out of the progressive rock world.

This album is, in fact, damned close to our top rating.

If you own and enjoy albums by acts such as Marillion, Panic Room, Renaissance, Mostly Autumn, then you will find a great deal to love here, and, thus, this comes highly recommended. By the way, Harvest fully deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as these alumni of Prog.

A very strong four star rating for a fantastic album, for which I am very grateful to the band sending me a copy to review (I would have purchased it anyway!). The album is available from quality independent retailers such as Caerllysi Music and the band themselves.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
5 stars As is often the case with my music purchases, I really on a steady stream of reviews or straightforward recommendations from a series of PA regulars, audiophiles whom I trust and who have a rare ability to express the music contained within their suggestions in a clear and concise manner. There are a few whom I rely on assiduously, no one more so than the mad Welsh dweller himself, Lazland. Yes, I follow the advice from those who I trust to have similar musical tastes to mine, and I am never disappointed, as we also share a common love for female fronted prog bands which explains why we salivate over stuff like Panic Room, Mostly Autumn, Frequency Drift, IO Earth, Blackmore's Night, Touchstone, Introitus, Magenta, Karnataka and many more. I had noticed this Spanish band before but it never really leaped out at me with a seductive wink or seduced me enough to pull my PIN. Now, I can add neo-proggers Harvest to the list, the terrific introduction to their third album 'North Winds' has monopolized my attention as well as my latest playlists, returning many times to their enchanting program of bright, romantically-tinged prog songs. Before anyone jumps to conclusions, the playing here is orgasmic and stellar, the lead vocals are perfectly sung in accent-less English by Dutch vocalist Monique van der Kolk, the song artistry always on the edge of dramatic brilliance. No, they are not from Newcastle but are both first named 'Jordi', as guitarist Prats and keyboardist Amela know how to adorn, decorate and excite when needed, never showing off needlessly. Bassist Toni Munne is a monster, very up front and center, which is always a huge attraction to yours truly, being a devoted bass aficionado. Finally drummer Alex Ojea is thunderous when required and delicate if prompted.

A solemn piano wanders through the speakers, followed by a harrowingly attractive voice, generally a portentous omen for a successful adventure, with a radiant opening 'Into the Void', a perfect set-up for the masterful electro-tinged 9 minute + epic' It All Becomes Clearer', where the pulse is heightened into a more controlled frenzy, reminiscent of the classic prog elite led by superlative lady voices. The modern pace is fresh, bold, vivacious and enthralling, easily addictive and totally fascinating. This is not the formulaic prog that had once plagued early neo bands but a vibrant hybrid of symphonic textures, sustained melodies of the highest pedigree and tons of contrasts and colorations. Yes, the romantic tinge is paramount, perhaps even seducing the lady proggers with a sensitivity to tone that can give mighty goose bumps and yet the playing is muscular enough to attract the chintzy male audience. The key to this new neo sound is a deliberate focus on timeless melodies that stick in your head like eternal stamps of sonic beauty.

By the time 'This Day' intones its melancholic reverie, you just know this is going to be a magic ride of the highest order, a heady concoction of crisp technique and heavenly sounds, with quirky synths looping like crazy, clanging guitar phrasings and a confident stride. This is not pop music by any stretch, just intelligent prog rock with a slight folk trendiness mostly due to Monique's blissful voice, the guitars can bite, the bass does grumble and the drums thrust forward with burly determination. As with all the other songs here, the live setting should be quite phenomenal to witness, a visual addendum to the stellar playing.

Munne's playful bass revolutionizes the next piece, the lofty title track 'North Winds' takes literally no prisoners, another alluring take on classic prog balladry. Monique van der Kolk shows far more fragility here, floating over the sonic clouds with an effortless whoosh, while Prats unleashes what is best described as a classic bluesy guitar solo that hints for a few seconds at Lynyrd Skynyrd. There are strong similarities with established British acts mentioned earlier, easily sliding in comfortably into the romantic craftsmanship of UK's Panic Room.

As fabulous as all the preceding tracks were, 'Sending Signals' takes the patient listener into the intoxicating dreamland of human emotions, an intricate pattern of minute details that somehow coalesce to form one solid mass of artful message imagery. The mood is ethereal and impassionate, the voice sweet and serene and the pace utterly relaxed until we reach the half-way point and the determined beat kicks in, diverging the arrangement into a higher gear. Prats does a fine job on lead guitar as an outro fade away.

A James Bond-like hint kicks off the sultry 'Something's Changing', a terrific piece that epitomizes the sheer eminence of music displayed here, graceful and yet addictive. The rhythmic shuffle is valiant and tightly engineered, the singing again first rate and one can only agree to another compelling tune to rave for.

'Under the April Sky' is another classic prog composition, boldly fronting new ideas and methods of delivery. The mood here is spookier, as if some dark cloud is hovering overhead unannounced, somehow announcing an unexplained mystery wrapped around an otherwise simple enigma, reflective of the cover art, in my opinion. Suitable stormy with a sense of impending resolution, the track rages on nicely, heightened by a companion short instrumental track of the very finest caliber, 'Shadows behind the Lilacs', which scours the gentlest ambient horizons, almost minimalist and wholly hypnotic, bluesy lead guitar notwithstanding. The two pieces form a perfect showcase into what makes this band tick, the energy and the skills are there to behold in abundance, here closer to classic Mostly Autumn, which is a fine accolade.

Not a tribute to the famed Canadian band, 'Rush' instead seeks to reconnoiter modern soundscapes, echoed voices that have a slight Portishead moment, only to explode into a more conventional ballad of colossal proportions. The tension becomes celestial and overpowering, the playing thunderous and expansive with sudden pools of introspection and reflection that only add to the pleasure. I cannot help but admire the incredible restraint displayed, the attention to detail as well as that amazing bass leadership. The explosive finale will take your breath away in its simplicity.

Then follows a superb piano that will enchant and mesmerize, an acoustic guitar companion that seeks to underline the effortlessness of it all. 'Tonight' possesses the qualities of here and now, of musical dexterity and light storytelling, armed with little details like a subtle mellotron platform to better elevate the pangs of passion. Monique really sings her heart out, wailing like some desperate siren stuck on some craggy rock surrounded by threatening waves. A fabulous track to say the least.

This amazing album ends with the second longest piece, the suave 'Colours' , an 8 and a half minute extravaganza that just keeps the coals aglow, the art of making simple chords sound so original, adding the power and suspense where needed and basking in the warmth of Monique's tireless voice, which spans the gamut between fragile and expansive. What a talent, indeed! The gentle mid-section is to expire over, unassuming and spine tingling, of heady concoction of choir mellotron, piano, drums and bass that is sheer nirvana. Splashing waves put this masterpiece to bed.

What a delicacy! The playing is clearly first rate and tremendous, a thundering bass that pushes all the right buttons, a clever modern keyboard armada that washes and whooshes with aplomb, that senor Prats on guitar is really no slouch, playing both the fiery card as well as the gallant one. This kind of prog serves as an excellent introduction to newbie music lovers searching to better comprehend the basic progressive style before delving into the more technically demanding stuff we all love so much. Here the focus is all on the right setting and mood, ideally with a romantic partner, a fine bottle of Clos Vougeot, some discreet candles and love on your mind.

To paraphrase lazland's final comment in his glittering review 'I did not get a copy from the band to review (I did not ask for it either!) and I am very grateful to have purchased it' .

5 Reaping polar squalls

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