THE WINDMILL – The Continuation (2013)

THE WINDMILL - The Continuation (2013) mp3, download

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Formed in 2001 by musicians from the R√łyken, Hurum and Asker area in Norway, THE WINDMILL is a very traditional Prog Rock band with some Neo Prog and Folk influences.

“The Continuation” is the band’s second effort after seven years since their debut, an artisan piece of work full of magical progressive melodic sounds.

Despite opening track, the relatively short instrumental “… Continuation” explores some melodic modern Neo Prog territories, the music developed by The Windmill in the compositions to come are clearly influenced by the first generation of Norwegian progressive bands from the seventies.

That means classic Prog with ascendancy from the English old school like Focus, Yes, Camel and inevitably Pink Floyd, mixed with other sounds from European acts such as Eloy and Machiavel.

Track two, “The Masque” is divided in three parts. The first links with the opening number in the slightly Neo approach, blending Arena with a little bit of Alan Parsons on his memorable albums. It is in part II where The Windmill starts to show their Classic Prog heart, with vintage keys, guitars and flute in a really interesting counterpoint.

Part III enters even more in traditional Prog with some excellent melodies provided by full melodious electric guitars, some wonderful acoustic spanish guitars ala Yes and Hammond organs in the background. The musicianship on this last part is particularly impressive and an album highlight.

Next song “Not Alone” is somehow epic, not for the virtuosity, but for the the revival of the true, original seventies Prog atmosphere. It’s a laid back composition with relaxed medieval vocals, flutes all over, a spacial (and very clever) guitar solo and a dreamy chorus.

“Giant Prize” is a short uptempo track with some poppy rhythms recalling eighties Eloy. The song provides a good variation to the album, but I don’t like much the vocals of guitarist Erik Borgen, in his only leads on the entire disc. I prefer main singer Jean Robert Viita by far, owner of a baritone register exactly fitting The Windmill’s style.

Stirring synths opens last composition “The Gamer”, which in fact it is the second half of the album, as includes many parts constructing a beautiful musical journey.

From the enchanting mix of keys, flute and harmony vocals of part I to the Fish / Marillion-like of the last part, this long track features great duels between all instruments in a melodic vein, never ‘soloing’, just building a solid interplay to the benefit of the musical delivery. An unique approach again of this wonderful pure Prog band.

Windmill’s “The Continuation” is very big surprise for this reviewer and fan of good, traditional, classic Progressive music.

Their style hearkens back to the past and yet doesn’t sound dated. All songs have something unique, cleverly arranged and very professionally played by these Norwegian top musicians.

The Windmill is a band that slipped under my radar, but after listening “The Continuation” I am eager to get their debut CD and keep informed about of the next steps of this fascinating Scandinavian prog act.

1. … The Continuation

2. The Masque:

a) Part I

b) Part II

c) Part III

3. Not Alone

4. Giant Prize

5. The Gamer:

a) Part I

b) Part II

c) Part III

d) Part IV

e) Part V

Jean Robert Viita – vocals, keyboards

Erik Borgen – guitars, vocals

Stig Andre Clason – guitars

Morten Clason – flute, guitars, vocals, keyboards

Arnfinn Isaksen – bass

Sam Arne Noland – drums

Brian McNeil (Braveheart) – lyrics

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www.thewindmill.no/The_Windmill/Shop.html

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