The Wizards of Winter’s New LP Is An Enjoyable Musical Gift For Classic Rock, Holiday Lovers Alike

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

The countdown to Christmas is officially on, and in anticipation of its return, The Wizards of Winter has released its new holiday-themed album The Christmas Dream.  Released Friday through BMI, the 10-song, 44-minute record is a gift in itself for fans of the band and those whole enjoy the holiday season.  That is due in part to the record’s musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  It is also thanks to the album’s lyrical content, which will be addressed a little later.  The album’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to its presentation and will also be discussed later.  Each item does its own part to make the album an enjoyable addition to any holiday lover’s music library.  All things considered, they make the album a work that audiences will enjoy every Christmas season.

The Christmas Dream is a positive new offering from The Wizards of Winter, and a presentation that will appeal to fans of WOW just as much as lovers of the holiday season and its musical offerings.  That is proven in part through the album’s musical arrangements.  The arrangements are in part, familiar compositions to which the band’s longtime fans have come to expect from the group.  Along with featuring its own familiar sound, the album also features more comparisons to works from fellow holiday band Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  That should come as no surprise, either, considering that some of the band’s members are also directly associated with TSO.  One could even argue that there is even a hint of a Mannheim Steamroller influence incorporated into the album’s arrangements, with its keyboard and flute lines.  The album’s lead single ‘Handel’s Torch’ combines the noted influences through its heavy guitar riffs and the use of the flute.  ‘The Four Kings’ is a direct link back to TSO’s works with its bluesy arrangement that almost exactly mirrors the arrangement in that band’s song, ‘The Three Kings (What Really Happened.’  Lyrically, the two songs are a little different, but stylistically, there is a quite close similarity in the two arrangements.  The arrangement at the heart of the album’s title track, which comes late in the album’s run, is another example of the influences from the aforementioned holiday bands.  Again that is due to the combination of the guitars and more traditional musical elements.  What’s more, the song’s title may be ‘Christmas Dream,’ but it actually presents a full-on rock take on the beloved song ‘All Of My Favorite Things.’  That is crossed with the group’s take on the equally beloved song ‘Carol of the Bells,’ with the end result being one of the album’s strongest compositions.  It is just one of the album’s most notable compositions, too.  The old school power metal approach of ‘Polar Eve,’ the orchestral vibe of ‘The Happy Song’ and ‘Secrets of the Snow Globe’ offer their own notoriety, too.  Between those arrangements, the others noted here and the rest of the album’s arrangements, the whole of the album proves to be a presentation that is well worth the listen if only for its musical elements.  It musical elements are not its only notable elements, of course.  Its lyrical content is just as notable as its musical elements.

The lyrical content featured in this record is notable because while it does take listeners on a new ride through some old holiday songs, there are also some more original works featured in the record.  Among the more familiar holiday tunes featured in the record are the aforementioned ‘My Favorite Things’ and also ‘Jingle Bells,’ Handel’s ‘Messiah’ and ‘The First Noel.’  Those songs are given a new life in each of their presentations through the already discussed arrangements that form the album’s foundation.  The noted familiar song choices are complimented by more original works, such as ‘The Secrets of the Snowglobe,’ ‘In Plain Sight’ and the stirring, emotional finale that is ‘A Toast To Time (Farewell).’  The combination of the traditional holiday songs and the band’s original works – and their original new arrangements – strengthen the album even more, and shows that much more, why The Christmas Dream is its own dream come true for fans of WOW and lovers of the holiday season in general.  They are just a pair of the album’s most notable elements.  Keeping in mind the importance of that whole, the album’s sequencing is just as important to examine as its overall content.

The Christmas Dream’s sequencing is important to note because of its impact on the album’s general effect.  As already noted, this record features a mix of original content and new takes on a handful of traditional holiday songs.  The record never sticks too long to one or the other.  It opens with one of the band’s original works before changing things up both stylistically and in general with ‘Handel’s Torch.’  The song’s arrangement takes the power rock sound featured in the album’s opener and steps it up slightly while also presenting the band’s own fresh take on Handel’s ‘Messiah’ and at least one other traditional holiday song.  ‘Gonna Snow’ keeps the album’s energy stable with another 80s hair metal style arrangement that also gives a new take on ‘Jingle Bells’ while giving listeners something new at the same time.  Again, here listeners get that mixing of old and new, this time in one, keeping the album engaging and entertaining.  ‘The Polar Eve’ is slightly slower than the album’s first three works, but is still heavy in its own right while also giving listeners something original from the band once more.  ‘Midnight Noel’ is another example of the band taking a traditional holiday tune and giving it a new life (though there is the very close similarity to works from TSO) here.  The variances in styles and old and new holiday songs continue from this point, and still manage to keep listeners engaged and entertained right to the album’s finale without fail.  By the record’s end, listeners are left fulfilled and agreeing that this album is its own special musical gift from The Wizards of Winter to listeners everywhere.

The Wizards of Winter’s new album The Christmas Dream is a positive new album from the classic rock collective, which is made up of members of Blue Oyster Cult, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Ted Nugent’s backing band.  It is a piece that gives audiences another welcome option away from all of the standard holiday musical fare that hits stores every year.  That is due in part to its arrangements, which bring together the influences of the members’ own bands.  The varied musical choices in general, which are new takes on traditional holiday tunes and new original works, add even more interest to the album’s presentation.  The album’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to the album’s whole.  Each item is important in its own right to the whole of its presentation.  All things considered, they make the album in whole, its own enjoyable gift for the band’s fans and lovers of the holiday season alike.  The band will launch a tour in support of the record in November.  Its schedule is noted below.

THE WIZARDS OF WINTER 2019 Holiday Tour Dates:
11/13 – Key West, FL @ Key West Theatre
11/14 – Melbourne, FL @ Melbourne Auditorium
11/15 – Clearwater, FL @ Ruth Eckerd Hall
11/16 – Stuart, FL @ Lyric Theater
11/21 – Pueblo, CO @ Pueblo Memorial Hall
11/22 – Alto, NM @ Spencer Theatre
11/23 – Gilbert, AZ @ Higley PAC
11/24 – Wickenburg, AZ @ Del E. Webb PAC
11/29 – Patchogue, NY @ Patchogue Theatre
11/30 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Paramount Theatre
12/1 – Englewood, NJ @ Bergen PAC
12/5 – Angola, IN @ T. Furth PAC
12/6 – Pontiac, MI @ Flagstar Strand Theatre
12/7 – Johnson Creek, WI @ Gobbler Theatre
12/8 – St. Charles, IL @ Arcada Theatre
12/12 – Wisconsin Rapids, WI @ Wisconsin Rapids PAC
12/13 – Harris, MI @ Island Resort Casino
12/14 – Harris, MI @ Island Resort Casino
12/15 – Wabash, IN @ Honeywell Theatre
12/17 – Canton, OH @ Canton Palace
12/19 – Derry, NH @ Tupelo Music Hall
12/20 – Jim Thorpe, PA @ Penns Peak
12/21 – Roanoke Rapids, NC @ Roanoke Rapids Theatre
+More dates TBA!

More information on that tour is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.thewizardsofwinter.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheWizardsofWinter

Twitter: http://twitter.com/wizardsofwinter

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Wizards Of Winter Announce First Holiday 2016 Tour Dates

2016 is only four months old.  But don’t tell that to the members of Wizards of Winter.

Wizards of Winter announced today a new handful of live dates for this fall.  The band announced today a trio of dates that begins just before Thanksgiving in Syracuse, NY and currently runs through December 8th in Tarrytown, NY.  They are just the first of many more dates to come.  Tickets are currently available now for the band’s November 26th show in Red Bank, NJ.  They can be purchased online now at http://www.countbasietheatre.org/calendar/show/show.asp?id=43249962.  The band’s current tour schedule is noted below.

 

The WIZARDS OF WINTER Tour Dates:

11/23 – Syracuse, NY @ Crouse Hinds Theater – tickets on sale soon!
11/26 – Red Bank, NJ @ Count Basie Theatre – TICKETS
12/8 – Tarrytown, NY @ Music Hall – tickets on sale soon!

 

Music Directory/keyboardist Scott Kelly discussed the band’s upcoming dates and the band’s return to the Count Basie Theatre in a recent interview.  He noted the band’s excitement at returning to the road saying, “The Wizards of Winter are beyond thrilled to announce our first shows of the holiday season! We cannot wait to once again share our passion of holiday rock music with families all over the northeast. We hope to see many familiar faces and make new friends at these shows.”  In regards to the group’s return to the Count Basie Theatre, Kelly said, “Also, we’re excited to be launching the tour with our return to the Count Basie Theater. The venue and the fans who attended last year’s performance were just fantastic. We can’t wait to present our even bigger production and some fun musical surprises to our fans. After all, it is the most magical time of year!” More information on WOW’s upcoming live dates is available online now at http://www.wizardsofwinter.com/tour-dates.

Wizards of Winter’s most recent full-length studio recording is 2015’s The Magic of Winter.  The album was produced by Eric Rachel at Traxeast (Symphony X, Skid Row, Styx).  It can be ordered online now at http://www.wizardsofinter.com/store and downloaded direct online via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-magic-of-winter/id1069394443.  Audiences can vie the video for ‘The Spirit of Christmas’ online now via WOW’s official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZqGpNkIv9k&feature=youtu.be.  The song is included in The Magic of Winter.

 

 

Courtesy:  Snow Owl Productions

Courtesy: Snow Owl Productions

 

 

More information on The Wizards of Winter is available online now along with all of the band’s latest tour updates, news, and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.thewizardsofwinter.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheWizardsofWinter

Twitter: http://twitter.com/wizardsofwinter

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Magic Of Winter Casts Its Own Special, Musical Spell On Listeners

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR/Breaking Bands, LLC

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR/Breaking Bands, LLC

Early last month, power prog band The Wizards of Winter released its latest full-length studio recording The Magic of Winter. The album, the band’s second is a fittingly titled offering from the band, which includes former members of fellow power prog rock act Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO). That is because the ten-track, forty-plus minute recording. That is because from beginning to end it is an album that casts its own magical spell, especially in a year when TSO’s latest release is a non-holiday recording. That is not a stab at TSO by any means just to let audiences know. This critic is a major TSO fan and has nothing but the utmost respect for the veteran prog rock act. What is meant to say here is that being that TSO is known more for its holiday offerings than its non-holiday records, the release of a new non-holiday recording (and a truly impressive one at that) this year left the door wide open for another act to pick up the slack. Enter The Wizards of Winter, which itself takes its name from TSO’s ‘Wizards in Winter.’ The Magic of Winter casts a spell on listeners that is just as powerful as any cast by TSO in its current catalogue. The main reason for this is the album’s lyrical content. That will be discussed shortly. The musical content is just as important to the whole of this record as its lyrical content. It will be discussed later. Last of note in regards to the album’s presentation is its sequencing. This plays right back into the album’s lyrical content and brings everything full circle. Each element plays its own important part in the whole of The Magic of Winter. Collectively they make The Magic of Winter a truly magic record for both fans of TSO and for audiences in general.

The Magic of Winter, is a fittingly titled new effort from The Wizards of Winter. The band’s second full-length studio recording, it is such a fittingly titled recording from the ban because in examining each of its many elements, it is a record that casts its own magical spell on listeners. That spell is created in part by the album’s lyrical content. Audiences will note that the band is made up largely of former members of TSO. Now having that knowledge and the knowledge of TSO’s albums being concept records, one would expect the overall lyrical presentation of The Magic of Winter to be interconnected as with TSO’s albums. And it is. but it is only to a point. Lyrically speaking it is more akin to TSO’s 1996 debut album Christmas Eve and Other Stories than the later releases in the band’s “Christmas Trilogy.” That is because it doesn’t necessarily follow one distinct story line. It takes listeners on a musical journey around the world, presenting what winter and the holiday season means to different people. So there is one underlying thread between each of the album’s songs. However, the story (if one wants to call it that) is not necessarily a story in the traditional sense of the term when it comes to concept albums. Even with that taken into consideration the lyrical content presented in each of the album’s songs is still entertaining and moving from beginning to end. ‘The Spirit of Christmas’ is a good example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content. The song is sung from the wide-eyed vantage point of someone that obviously loves the holiday season quite a bit. That is obvious as the vocalist sings, “Every year I get this feeling coming over me/Is it just the change of season/What else can it be/What’s this spell that grabs us/Did you ever wonder/Is it dream or fantasy or something in-between.” He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “When you see it all around you/Like the snow that fills the air/Open up to all the magic/Christmas spirit everywhere/Let the spirit work its magic/Fill your heart with love and cheer/Can you feel it all around you/Christmas spirit everywhere.” The delivery of these lines gives them so much power. By comparison, ‘I Am Here’ presents its own happy story in which a female lead sings happily on Christmas Eve of dreaming of her beloved. It is a similar musical story. But it is not necessarily any relation to ‘The Spirit of Christmas.’ It is really its own story. There is even a musical presentation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol presented here. It stands completely on its own two feet yet still boasts the same themes presented in the album’s other full songs (those with musical and lyrical content–That, too will be discussed later). All three songs show in their own way how the songs presented in The Magic of Winter connect to one another without actually being part of one bigger story that requires listeners’ devoted attention. The other seven songs that make up the remainder of the album’s body show this just as much. Collectively, all ten songs show clearly why The Magic of Winter’s lyrical content is such an important part of its whole. They are just a portion of what makes this album such a standout collection of songs for The Wizards of Winter. The album’s musical content is just as important to note as its lyrical content in its whole.

The lyrical content presented throughout The Magic of Winter is a key element to note in examining this latest full-length studio effort from The Wizards of Winter. That is because in examining the songs that boast lyrical and musical content, the picture painted by those songs is one of an album that is a concept album but isn’t one at the same time. The songs carry a similar underlying theme that could connect them together for one story. But that connection proves in the end to not be strong enough to call the album a traditional concept album yet strong enough to keep listeners engaged regardless from beginning to end. While the album’s lyrical content proves to be unquestionably important to its overall presentation, it is just one part of what makes the album’s presentation solid. The album’s musical content is just as important to note as its lyrical content. In regards to the album’s musical content, it should come as no surprise that said content bears a striking resemblance to that of TSO. That is because the band’s lineup includes a number of former members of said power prog band. This is obvious in the hugely symphonic approach to ‘The Spirit of Christmas’ with its horns, guitars, bombastic drumming and equally powerful vocals. ‘Flight of the Snow Angels,’ which opens the album, can also be cited as an example of that similarity between the musical styling of The Wizards of Winter and TSO. The driving string and horn arrangements that open the song instantly conjure thoughts of TSO. That is because together they sound quite a bit like a certain TSO song. The song’s multiple guitar approach adds even more to that similarity. ‘With One Voice,’ the album’s penultimate composition is one more example of the importance of this album’s musical content to the album’s presentation. The song is essentially a re-working of ‘Hark The Herald, Angels Sing.’ Yet it is anything but a cookie cutter rendition of the song. It hasn’t been re-imagined and re-worked per se. But the overall musical delivery of the song is quite different from the original composition. And in hearing this, listeners will agree that it is one of the single strongest examples of the importance of the album’s musical content if not its single most important example. Together with the album’s lyrical content (in the songs that contain both music and lyrics), both elements do plenty to make this record worth more than just one listen. Of course as much of an impact as they have both by themselves and collectively they are still not all that makes this record worth hearing. The album’s sequencing is just as important to the whole of the album’s presentation as its musical and lyrical content.

Both the musical and lyrical content displayed throughout the course of The Magic of Winter are equally important to the album’s overall presentation. They paint a picture that in whole will impress both TSO fans and audiences in general. As important as both elements are to the whole of this record they are but a portion of what makes its presentation so interesting. The album’s sequencing rounds out its presentation. From start to finish the album’s sequencing puts the finishing touch on it. From the album’s upbeat opener to the more reserved vibe of ‘Winter Magic’ and beyond the album’s energy rises and falls at all of the right spots. The end result of those well-placed ups and downs is an emotional impact that ensures listeners’ engagement from beginning to end. Together with the album’s equally enjoyable musical and lyrical content, the overall presentation of The Magic of Winter will cast a special magical, musical spell on every listener.

The Magic of Winter, the second full-length studio offering from The Wizards of Winter, is a wonderful addition to any family’s home music library this and any holiday season. That is because whether one is a long-time TSO fan or just a lover of holiday music, this record will cast its own special, magical spell on any listener. That is thanks in large part to the combination of the album’s musical and lyrical content. The smart sequencing of that content creates an album that will ensure listeners’ engagement from beginning to end of the album’s forty-minute plus run time. The end result of that engagement is agreement by listeners that this album is its own wonderful, magical treat for every family. It is available now in stores and online. The band is currently touring in support of The Magic of Winter and will be in Collingswood, NJ tonight and Easton, PA on December 5th. More information on The Magic of Winter is available online now along with the band’s latest news and tour dates at:

Website: http://www.thewizardsofwinter.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheWizardsofWinter

Twitter: http://twitter.com/wizardsofwinter

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.