The Norwegian prog rock band The Windmill started in the autumn of 2001. Initiator Jean Robert Vita had already done some work with Morten Clason (saxophones, flutes, guitars, vocals and some keyboards) and Arnfinn Isaksen (bass). Later Bent Jensen (guitars), Vidar Kleivane (drums) and Erik Borgen (guitars and vocals) joined in. After a lot of rehearsals, a few successful shows and ups and downs with their first recordings Vidar and Bent decided to stop. Finally in 2009 they where replaced by San Arne Noland (drums and percussion).
Cinnamon, the first track is an instrumental one. A kind of a mix between early Camel and Focus. The flute and synths soloís are certainly influenced by Peter Bardens. Very good song with a repeating theme and galloping drums. Next song, The Colour of Seasons, is another good one. Very nice well pronounced and clear vocals. A little bit of Alan Parsons on his memorable albums. I like this kind of singing very much. Vocals in the middle and in the back Hammond organ and guitar soloís. Ending with a Pink Floyd style sax solo.††
A Day In the Heroís Life is the first new masterpiece Iíve heard this year. And yes: it is a very long song. Over 21 minutes The Windmill kept my attention! It starts as a beautiful Pendragon/IQ symphony. Soon all the good elements of modern progrock are in this song. Good vocals and verse. Itís up tempo and itís swinging. After 4 minutes it changes to a medieval song with organ, flute and electric guitar soloís. Arena and the earlier mentioned bands couldnít do it much better. A piano break in the middle and again the Alan Parsons vocals. Finally all the members get the opportunity to play a solo. The rhythms change several times. And then the last four of this epic are filled with more brilliant musical ideas.
The 7 minutes long - another instrumental track - The Eagle begins with big synth waves like the old Yes-songs had. The guitars of Morten and Erik sounds like if they are playing in heaven. A jazzy break in the middle. The end is a little bit different from all the other songs. Ending with piano and guitar in Gandalf and Lanvall style.
Another superb song is Donít be afraid starting as a ballad in the vein of Dutch band Alquin (flutes and sax) and slowly itís moving to their own original version of Kashmir, a legendary Led Zeppelin song. Duels between the guitar riffs and flute. An unique approach again of this wonderful band.†
The last piece To be continued is a beautiful ending: piano and a Camelesque flute solo. Again a short theme in this song, which I whistled a long time after the CD has made his last spin. Another highlight of a superb CD.
Windmillís To Be Continued is very, very, big surprise and really the first highlight in 2010. All songs have something unique and are very professionally played by these Norwegian top musicians.
If you like the music of Arena, IQ, Pendragon, Alan Parsons and all other mentioned band, please buy this CD: you wonít be disappointed. These guys of Norway certainly deserve the maximum points and a lot of sold CDís.
†*****† Cor Smeets (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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