The Wizards of Winter are a group of musicians from the East Coast that feature three former members of the popular Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Joe Cerisano, Guy LeMonnier and Tony Gaynor. Their music is, not surprisingly, very much in the style of Trans-Siberian. The band’s influences are classical and prog rock, which they wear proudly on their sleeves. The music features solid songwriting along with talented musicianship and vocals. These guys are good at what they do, no doubt about it, but the question that comes to the forefront is this: Does the world need another TSO band? Sadly, the answer, to be brutally honest, is... probably not.
Sure, there are 500 bands that sound like Led Zeppelin and 1,000+ that mimic AC/DC, but that’s rock and roll, and not this. The Wizards of Winter used to be, basically, a Trans-Siberian Orchestra tribute band, bringing the same musical offering to smaller, more intimate venues. Today, they are distancing themselves from their past as this self-titled album features all original songs, as did their rock opera Christmas album released in 2011. As they continue to delve into more original soundscapes, they should continue to find their place in the world of music. The music on this album is done well, and if this is your type of thing then you will snap this up in a heartbeat.
One must mention the album cover, which was created by renowned album cover artist IOANNIS. As usual, his artwork is exquisite and represents the feeling of the music that is contained within.
At the end of the day, this is a solid effort that comes off too much as a ‘been there done that’ type of listening experience.
The Arctic Flyer
Night of Reflection
Once Long Ago
Gales of December
Moments of Wonder
March of the Metal Soldiers
A Simple Gift
Ode to Eisenach
Christmas Lullaby (feat. Larry Colman)
By Jeb Wright
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