"Children Of Another God" - The new album by Nick Magnus reviewed by Alan Hewitt.
A new album by Nick is always cause for celebration here at TWR HQ and after having a sneak preview of this one when we conducted the interview with Nick and Dick Foster which was published in our last edition, it was a matter of keen anticipation waiting for the album to be released. And now here it is, and what a belter it is!
The album deals with a whole gamut of challenging ideas and concepts; the diametric opposition of conformity as opposed to diversity The album’s opener; Children Of Another God - a truly frightening look at the work of genetic engineering or perhaps social engineering and the push to conform - a musical Midwich Cuckoos and every bit as frightening.
Doctor Prometheus opens with echoes of Rick Wakeman’s “Softsword” album but we are soon away from that as once again we get the chance to hear Peter Hicks’ glorious vocals. Steeped in some truly marvellous lyrics I was particularly struck by the line “Prosperity or swinging from trees?” the fundamental dichotomy between pursuit of scientific knowledge or moral restraint a morality tale for the noughties if ever there was one!
Twenty Summers is a delightfully playful instrumental romp redolent of fun at the seaside or a day in the country - but the scenario gradually takes on an altogether darker cast as storm clouds gather leading into the psychological drama of Identity Theft. A dream or something much darker? You decide.
The Colony Is King, a deceptively fairground waltz styled tune but with the same hint of menace as Tales Of The Unexpected. Identity being subsumed as individuality gives way to the singularity of the colony - strong stuff and the lyric is underpinned by some incredible playing from everyone involved. The drama continues to build with the wonderful instrumental build up to Crimewave Monkeys which in turn leads to the album’s beating heart; The Others, a truly awe inspiring vocal performance from Linda John-Pierre
Babel Tower is a strident attack on the demands of society to conform and much more besides. There are some strikingly visual lyrical ideas here, particularly Slice the years off your face/Sew a smile back in their place” which is a particularly powerful image. Musically the track reprises many of the ideas from the rest of the album in a glorious recapitulation.
The album ends with the quiet resolution of Howl The Stars Down, a truly remarkable piece of work, delivered in fine style by Nick and another wonderful vocal by Tony Patterson.
Nick Magnus has always managed to bring something more than good music to his albums. Hexameron, his previous album was a case in point, and here, if anything Children Of Another God is another advance in every possible way. Thought provoking, at times frightening but above all impeccably performed with a cast of truly marvellous musicians - brilliant stuff!
Nick Magnus - Children of Another God. Magick Nuns Records MNCD1002