Short album reviews by The Prog Yak. No puffery here, just a simple review and score from 1 to 5 yaks! Have a new album you'd like The Prog Yak to review? Let us know.
The Clockwork Man
This Winter Machine
If you're one of those people who hates reading reviews, I'll get straight to the point: The Winter Machine's 4th studio release, "The Clockwork Man," is their best album yet. OK, you can now go back to listening to Prog Radio, where you'll hear many tracks from this fantastic record. Or better yet, follow the link at the bottom to grab a copy for yourself. This album is a must-have for any prog-rock lover's library.
Al, your search is over—For me, THIS This Winter Machine is THEE This Winter Machine.
And for those who want a bit more reading material...
Over the span of four albums, This Winter Machine has seen a fair share of lineup changes. The constant force is Al Winter ("This WINTER Machine"), but Al has a talent for assembling lineups that consistently produce great albums. We're fans of all their previous releases, as those who listen to Prog Radio know.
For instance, by my count, they've had six different guitar players across these albums. For "The Clockwork Man," they've settled on John Cook. Al, your search is over—John Cook's guitar work here is remarkable. Not flashy, but expressive, much like David Gilmour. Dave Close (bass) and Alan Wilson (drums) continue from the previous album, providing a rock-solid rhythm section. Another standout addition is Leigh Perkins on keys and backing vocals. For me, THIS This Winter Machine is THEE This Winter Machine.
In the first track, ‘The River,’ Cook’s guitar will immediately put its teeth in you and won’t let up until midway when Perkins beautiful piano lets you up for air, followed on by a solo from guest guitarist, Ade Fisher. The album continues in this vein for 51 minutes, spread across eight extraordinary tracks. No fillers, all killers. Melodic vocals and harmonies abound.
The album is conceptual about a dystopian future where mankind has perfected human cloning, and even comes with a comic book you can order from the band’s website.
I know it seems like I’ve been a little foot-loose and fancy free with my yaks of late, but there’s just been so much great prog this year, so here I go yet again…