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Neo-Prog • United Kingdom

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This Winter Machine biography
Hailed from UK, a rock quintet THIS WINTER MACHINE - Al WYNTER (voices), Gary JEVON (guitars), Marcus MURRAY (drums), Mark NUMAN (keyboards), and Peter PRIESTLY (bass) - have got started with remarkable influences from the pioneers of 70s Symphonic Progressive or 80s Neo-Progressive scene, especially from Marillion, IQ, Pendragon, Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Rush and Genesis. Their first cry was heard in the beginning of 2017, as the debut album titled "The Man Who Never Was".

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Man Who Never WasMan Who Never Was
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3.82 | 99 ratings
The Man Who Never Was

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Man Who Never Was by THIS WINTER MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.82 | 99 ratings

The Man Who Never Was
This Winter Machine Neo-Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars "The Man who Never was" would be a significant release even if it came from one of the classic symphonic or neo prog bands, but as a debut from a Yorkshire, UK band that had only formed mere months before, it's simply stunning. While enjoyable from the first listen, it stands up to repeat explorations of its plenteous sound and introspective lyrical themes. The arrangements are an archetypal blend of soaring or arpeggio'd guitars and effusive keyboards with healthy reverence for piano. The frequent vocals from Al Wynter (perhaps a clue to the band name) are a pivotal aspect to the band's lucid sound. While the tracks are long, they generally fit without stretching. Indeed, while the usual references to neo prog giants are valid enough, I would compare this release more directly with the first couple of albums by Polish group SATELLITE, with parallel musical and lyrical themes, cinematic grandeur, and a frosty veneer that belies the underlying compassion Just listen to the buildup of "Lullabye" for an example. The opening suite is truly exceptional, and everything that follows is good or better, with plenty of twists and superb playing all around. A splendid entrance that freezes out a lot of the tired old competition!
 The Man Who Never Was by THIS WINTER MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.82 | 99 ratings

The Man Who Never Was
This Winter Machine Neo-Prog

Review by The Jester

4 stars This Winter Machine is a UK-based band which I discovered recently. The band is a quintet, including good and experienced musicians, which becomes rather obvious upon listening to their debut album The Man who Never Was. The album opens with the title song, a 16-minute-long suite in 4 parts, which is one of the best songs of the album, and gives to the listener a good idea about the band's style and influences. Speaking of which, the band's seems to be deeply influenced by Marillion and IQ, among other bands. (In my opinion at least). The album includes 5 songs and has a total running time of almost 50 minutes. As you can understand, all the songs are long enough. The style here is a modern and rather "polished" Progressive Rock, with beautiful melodies, interesting changes in all the songs, lots of piano and keyboard passages and beautiful guitar riff and solos. The singer has a rather high pitched voice, which is not something special, but it fits their sound well enough. I believe that it is a very enjoyable and well structured album, which I enjoy listening to a lot. My most favourite songs are The Man who Never was and After Tomorrow Comes, followed by Fractured. The Man who Never was is a perfect addition to any Prog Rock discography, and especially those who are fond of the music sub-category named as Neo Prog, will definitely enjoy it! Give it a try! My Rating would be something between 3.5 ? 4.0 stars. (But I will put 4.0 stars here).

 The Man Who Never Was by THIS WINTER MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.82 | 99 ratings

The Man Who Never Was
This Winter Machine Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Yet another debut album that proudly and boldly introduces its craft with an epic introduction, as is the case with British Neo-prog band This Winter Machine and their initial offering 'The Man Who Never Was'. The title track is a 4 part suite that suggests a clear admiration for the habitual legends of prog as well as the more recent adventurists that combine succinct musicianship, emotive melodies, effective lyrical content and a soaring vocal delivery that exudes class and style. The well-crafted piece provides glimpses into the individual talents on display, keyboardist Mark Numan showing a strong preference for piano (always a good sign), a potent bass player in Peter Priestly who enjoys partnering with drummer Marcus Murray and finally vocalist Al Wynter, whose voice certainly adds to the mix. Guitarist Gary Jevon completes the album line-up but it appears he has since left the band. Lyrically, the focus is on desolation, a serious sense of disconnect and identity crisis, themes that surely reflect the apathetic universe we live in today. There is an obvious adulation for Rush, though in my opinion, it does not lead to any attempt at cloning the sound of the mercurial Canadians. In fact, This Winter Machine proposes a softer touch, a deeply layered sound on which the various instruments can showcase their talents, dense symphonics and a concise vision of team work and crafting strong melodic structures.

The delectable 'The Wheel' is a prog ballad that has a bittersweet tinge that perpetuates the lonely continuum theme of this album, slowly shifting to a thundering shift of intensity, Wynter's voice attempting some Geddy-isms, shrieking appropriately while Jevon throttles his axe and Priestly worms relentlessly on the low end. Drummer Murray is no two-beat wimp, thumping and propelling like a man possessed. The piece ends into a delirious upward vortex of agony.

Fittingly, a denser touch appears with 'Lullaby (Interrupted)', a sumptuous intermezzo that bestows some bombastic symphonics on a very accomplished melody, bullied by a riffing guitar bulldozer, manic synth loopings and a heavier demeanor. As befitting any good instrumental, it shifts high and low, up and down the emotional scale, slipping from serenity to sizzle.

The agonizing beauty of 'After Tomorrow Comes' has a distinct Scorpions-like feel, Wynter doing a great rendition with a softer tone not far removed from Klaus Meine or Ronnie James Dio, as the lavish piano ripples delicately and the clanging guitars chime in unison. The pain of a broken union has been a perennial source of mankind's unrelenting search for stability and understanding, assaulted by all those characteristics that make us all human: guilt, disappointment, frustration, ego and desperation. 'Nothing seems to matter', indeed! Terrific song!

And as always, the slow pathway towards healing, of moving forward and somehow finding resolution, is found on the final piece 'Fractured', where both the jagged guitar and the histrionic synthesizers combine to underline the eventual liberation, the courageous bass showing the route that lays ahead, Wynter pleading with a level of impassioned sophistication that can only impress even the most jaded misanthrope. A compelling curtain drop on an entirely satisfying release, hopefully with many more to come.

The cover art is stunning, if not outright spooky, a frozen telephone booth and one of the riders of the apocalypse walking away in apparent dismay, a fox and an owl as the only witnesses, apparently symbols of wisdom in Celtic lore. There is always hope. Always!

4 Who Whos

 The Man Who Never Was by THIS WINTER MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.82 | 99 ratings

The Man Who Never Was
This Winter Machine Neo-Prog

Review by mitarai_panda

5 stars This is a very good band, although the first album, but has been quite mature (although the band members are not young people). That voice is a bit like the lead singer of Rush, a high pitched (the band said they're greatly affected by rush), the lyrics also has some good music on the fragment, and indeed quite beautiful. It can be said that this is a very balanced band, first heard very sweet, listen to also won't feel tired. Panda brother that listen to those ambitious and experimental progressive rock, again this winter machine album is a kind of chastity, and return to the music of the heart recover the original simplicity of fun, not hypocritical, do not pretend to be profound, but very sincere, very pure.
Thanks to dAmOxT7942 for the artist addition.

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