Northwinds - Masters of magic - 2002


"Masters of Magic" is the second CD, after the successful debut "Great God Pan", released by this French band formed by Vincent Niclas (bass, guitars, vocals), Sylvain Auve (drums, vocals), Sebastián Thuriez (bass, guitars, vocals) and Marco (keyboards, flute). In "Masters of magic" also collaborate Thomas Bastide (bass), Benjamin Leclere (drums), and David Marcos (guitars). The "special guests" are Death SS, who compose and perform both the first and the last tracks of the CD. This also happened with Black Widow (the band, not the label) in Abiogenesi´s "Le notti di Salem".


Perhaps some people don´t consider Northwinds as a progressive band because they´re too powerful (not heavy), but I don´t agree. It is, indeed, a progressive band but its influences don´t come from the brighter side of the genre. Listening to the guitars in "Masters of Magic" I notice influences of bands such as Quarz, Grand Funk Railroad, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath or Candlemass, although the whole work is smothered with a 70´s sound a la "Minstrel in the gallery", with Celtic influences (Alan Stivell), and echoes from French progressive rock (the hardest songs of Ange). Those who are Spanish or are fond of Spanish music will notice the influence of the primitive (very primitive) Rosendo´s Leño, or Ñu.

After a dark and spooky intro with organ and ghostly voices by Death SS begins "Over the mountain" (8:32), followed by "Lost Paradise" (6:08), two songs with a great seventies´ taste. Now it´s time for the suite "Entre chien et loup" (15:52), a song sung in French language where we can notice the biggest Ange´s influences -not only the language, of course- combined with guitars a la Iommi. The changes of rhythm and the nice interludes with acoustic guitars, keyboards and accordion sounds combined with the electric guitars are great and the song doesn´t bore in any way. But I miss a better vocalist. The mighty "Violet rainbow" (8:36) and "King of a green mountain" (5:45), are two tracks in the same vein as the two first, and I only save the keyboards of "Broceliande" (6:42), a song very flat. The last but one "Dancing in the moonlight" (7:11) is an amazing song with sad Celtic airs and great backgrounds by symphonic keyboards. The last track is another foolery courtesy of Death SS.


Well, perhaps you enjoy with Northwinds because it´s a band with a genuine sound, but it is also true that they loose their charm and impact after several listenings, being the best songs "Entre chien et loup" and "Dancing in the moonlight". If you love seventies hard prog and the last CD of Abiogenesi, try "Masters of magic".

author - date - rating - label

Alfonso Algora - February 2002 -   - Black Widow