The Wizards Of Winter have been spreading their style of Christmas joy since 2011 when they released Tales Beneath A Northern Star and they have released four other albums since – the lastest of which – The Christmas Dream was just unleashed and which I just had the pleasure of listening to.
Headed by keyboardist and all-around musical badass Scott Kelly – this band is comprised of some of the best classical and progressive rock musicians to ever grace a stage and they bring a heavy, yet theatrical styling to classic carols along with a wealth of original – Holiday inspired numbers.
This new album features 10 tracks – and they are an eclectic mix of inspirational, original tracks that are sure to put even the coldest heart in the Holiday spirit. Let me tell you about my favorite tracks, which are most of them in case you’re wondering. Kicking off with the keyboard-heavy Flight of the Snow Angels – the song brings us a rocked-up version of one of my all-time favorites The Little Drummer Boy before spirling into an original piece that features some amazing guitar work from long time Trickster guitarist Steve Brown.
The third song on the album is The Spirit Of Christmas – sure to be the band’s signature song – amazing vocals, powerful, driving chords – amazing instrumentals – it all combines in this track -and it just begs to be heard live. I dare anyone to spin this track and not be smiling from ear to ear.
The band slows things down for the next few tracks – and this provides us a chance to really dig deep into the true talent of this band – they are incredible musicians and Season’s Lament and Waken To The Sound drive that point home and put a big old exclamation point at the end of it.
With I Am Here – we get a return to the spotlight being shined on the vocals – with Steve Brown once again impressing with some amazing guitar work – a gentle hug of a song that is sure to be a live show stopper.
A richer, theatrical sound greets us from the open chords of Ebeneezer – I really love the journey this song takes us on- it has a real Phantom Of The Opera feel to it, very orchestral and operatic – and that is all good!
The final full track is With One Voice where they once again take a recognizable carol we all know – and bend it into an original song that is as entertaining as it is breathtaking. A perfect conclusion to a perfect album of songs that are traditional enough for most but pack enough of an edge to satisfy those of us that like a little more meat to our Holiday music.
The actual final track is a reprise of the aforementioned The Spirit Of Christmas that just serves as a perfect little after-dinner mint to wrap things up in a neat little bow.
All in all, I have to say that The Christmas Dream is a dream come true for this Holiday rocker and I can’t recommend it strongly enough to you all – consider it my early Christmas gift to you all.
The band is out on tour now – playing all these great songs on The Christmas Dream Tour – find a town near you and then be in the audience.
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 @ The Bilheimer Capitol Theatre
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
12/22 – Bristol, TN at Paramount PAC
12/27 – Portland, ME @ Aura