Product Search:
 
Currency:
Currency conversion & VAT information...
View Cart
Visit Our Facebook Page
Bargain Basement New & Recent Releases Rarities Special Offers Join Our Mailing List

MAGNUS, NICK - HEXAMERON (2004 PROG EPIC FEATURING STEVE HACKETT)

Product Format: CD               ** Regular Stock Item **

Price: £10.83 (exc) £12.99 (inc)

Qty:

Fantastic Prog CD with the WOW factor, mixing vocal & instrumental tracks in equal measures, featuring Steve & John Hackett, Tony Patterson & Pete Hicks!

Nick Magnus served his musical apprenticeship in the 70’s with pseudo-classical rock band The ENID and went on to become Steve Hackett’s keyboardist. Featuring on albums from ‘Spectral Mornings’ onwards, Magnus also became a vital member of Steve Hackett’s touring band for many years to come.
His first solo CD: ‘Straight On 'Till Morning’ was excellent, but that only hinted at the high standards that were to follow on the 1999 masterpiece: ‘Inhaling Green’, where a cross-section of musical influences resulted in an instrumental epic that started at 'Rock' and moved right across the musical spectrum to filmic symphonic Prog!
2004 brought: ‘Hexameron’ a Progressive rock epic that, like ‘Inhaling Green’, not only featured Steve Hackett on guitar, but also several other guest musicians and vocalists. In 2010 – again with both Steve and John Hackett and more on board - ‘Children Of Another God’, an amazing new symphonic rock concept album was released.

‘Hexameron’ is an album that takes you on a journey – Just close your eyes and imagine a start where you are going through scenery you have not seen before, yet which is somehow familiar. The travelogue continues through more obvious points of reference, until, at the very end, the person or thing or place that you would have crossed deserts, rode oceans and flown skies for, finally appears. That is this album…

‘Hexameron’ track-by-track…
The journey begins with ‘Singularity’, an instrumental that just melts into a melange of Tony Banks style keyboard work, with a wonderfully floating melody line from the flute of Jon Hackett. The track then becomes more symphonic and ENID-like as it swells out with a breathtakingly restrained and sustained electric lead guitar from Steve Hackett, as flute, guitar and massed keyboards and electronics provide eight minutes of musical wonder.
The nine-minute ‘Dancing On The Waters’ opens with a minute of gorgeous atmospheric washes of tonal colour from Magnus’s keyboards and Geoff Whitehorn’s weeping electric guitar, before the tempo increases upon the arrival of rhythms that rise from below in chunky fashion. The track bears a distinct vintage Mike Oldfield feel to it at first, but five minutes in the composition becomes stronger as organ and Moog-like solos join the Mellotron choirs and soaring strings above the rolling rhythmic base, giving a decidedly symphonic Prog feel to the piece. The track draws to a close in a more sombre mood as distant angelic choral effects and strings give an almost GENESIS ‘Hairless Heart’ like feel, with strings instead of guitar at the end of this truly exquisite piece of music.
The nine-minute: ‘Marduk’ marks a transition from beauty to strength, opening with a Supertramp-like piano-led melody over suitably solid, typically Prog-rock rhythms. Tony Patterson (from Regenesis) does a sterling job on vocals in a sort of Peter Gabriel era Genesis way of doing things, but with distinctly Alan Parsons-like tendencies in the vocal harmonies. You’ll here a melange of electric piano with added Mellotron strings and choirs, Mini-Moog-type solos and scorching guitar solo from Geoff Whitehorn, all done in pure Prog fashion. There are also two small female vocal parts in this piece, one courtesy of Debi Doss and another from the lovely voice of Clare Brigstocke. As it heads to its close the track rises up to give the feel of that grandiose type finale that you love to hear from many a Prog classic gone by, only here the music is probably more epic and emotive than most.
‘Sophia's Song’ delivers a little less than six minutes of what is essentially an Enya-meets-Sally Oldfield style Celtic-flavoured ballad, as the beautiful vocal of Siobhan McCarthy just rises majestically over a backdrop of Magnus’s string-synths, acoustic guitar keyboard work and Ninian Boyle’s violin to create a most gorgeous song that barely leaves a dry eye in the house.
‘Double Helix’ is a two-minute instrumental featuring Magnus’s acoustic guitar sounds, flute and violin – A thing of beauty that almost has the same effect as Steve Hackett’s ‘Horizons’, the track which introduced the epic ‘Supper’s Ready’ on the Genesis ‘Foxtrot’ album, in that it’s a precursor of what’s to come – and that is simply breathtaking!
All the music that follows is really three individual tracks, but it plays almost as one long sixteen-minute epic. It starts with a very strong Prog song entitled: ’Brother Sun Sister Moon’, featuring a superb melodic synth intro, a catchy hook and an infectious chorus, and the excellent vocals of ex-Hackett band (era 1978 – 80) Pete Hicks. After an instrumental finish to this track, a cross-fade then takes us into the final two pieces on the album - A passage of music starting with: ‘Seven Hands Of Time’, a piece overflowing with some of the finest instrumental symphonic guitar/synth based symphonic Prog you’ll ever hear this side of ‘Firth Of Fifth’, bringing the triad to a stunning conclusion with a fantastic muscular instrumental slice of atmospheric and driving Prog-rock that ends with a cast of choirs, choral keyboards, soaring guitars, synths, bass and drums. This is an awesome instrumental passage of string-synth led symphonic Prog, and it is a veritable showcase for some of the most gorgeous weeping electric lead guitar work from Steve Hackett that you’ll have heard in ages. It is a classic Hackett-style piece and just a fantastic five-minute instrumental passage that could so easily have fitted into past classic albums like ‘Spectral Mornings’ or ‘Voyage Of The Acolyte’.
As ‘Seven Hands Of Time’ ends with the sound of eerie, brooding synth textures, choral sounds emerge from deep down in the mix, then after a brief pause, it moves straight into ‘Power of Reason’, a wondrously atmospheric passage that is almost literally heavenly, as Clare Brigstocke’s soprano voice rises above a fantastic male choral backdrop. Synth strings soar all around and the feel becomes positively spiritual as John Hackett’s flute arrives with added organ from Magnus, then, as Steve Hackett’s electric guitar sails in again to light up the skies with its magical tonal qualities, the whole track just takes off - Wow!
After a while it all falls back to just piano, string-synths and flute, and again it’s very Banks/Parsons-esque, then, with a single symphonic sweep, the track then rises up again as Hackett’s electric guitar blazes supremely over a backdrop of choirs and strings, and the piece builds to an awe-inspiring climax that will leave you jaw-dropped in amazement.

As an example of classic symphonic Prog, ‘Hexameron’ is in a class of its own!
If you were one of the many who loved Nick Magnus’s last album ‘Inhaling Green’, then you’re going to love this album too, and if you prefer his “Proggier” tracks, then that is even more reason to believe you will like ‘Hexameron’ even more.


NICK MAGNUS: HEXAMERON Track List:

01. Singularity (7:45)
02. Dancing On The Waters (8:42)
03. Marduk (9:00)
04. Sophia's Song (5:55)
05. Double Helix (2:27)
06. Brother Sun Sister Moon (4:50)
07. Seven Hands Of Time (5:25)
08. The Power Of Reason (5:28)

TPT – 49:30