TONY PATTERSON & BRENDAN EYRE: Northlands

ReGenesis vocalist and Riversea keysman make a great team.

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This project teams ReGenesis vocalist Tony Patterson with Brendan Eyre, keyboardist from neo-proggers Riversea.

Together they capitalise on a propensity for captivating keys, North East roots and shared compositional prowess. And it really works. Northlands is a class record, movingly atmospheric and imaginative. It skilfully mingles close-to-home themes with new age atmosphere and soaring contemporary progressive rock (with Steve Hackett and Nick Magnus aboard to boot). Some would quail at opening an album with a 24-minute song, but the stirring Northbound manages to be epic in a pleasingly intimate way: triumphant guitar hero solos (returning gloriously in the blissful So Long The Day), smooth synths, some fairground effects. Pastoral, very ‘British’ qualities lend a peaceful feel to softer moments, while slightly foreboding strings and choral hints add drama to A Picture In Time. Even jazzy piano and brass hints make their way in, on trip‑hoppy A Rainy Day On Dean Street. A lot happens, but it all feels natural. The closing seagull caws and lapping waves make for an understated end to a wonderful album.