This Winter Machine went through thick and thin so as to release “Kites”. Apart from the lockdown issues, when they finally started working on the album some big changes occurred to the band. Al Winter (vocalist, songwriter & founder), instead of leaving it all behind, took the big decision to change the whole line-up with new musicians. The other guys moved on and formed Ghost Of The Machine band. I would characterize the whole situation as quite frustrating, and I think that it did affect the music of this album in one way or another. Big changes like this one are never easy to be made, but they can always benefit both sides if they know how to move on and not hang on to yesterday. This thing concerns every part of the humans’ lives as well.
The album features several guests such as Peter Jones (Tiger Moth Tales and Camel) on vocals (“Sometimes”), Pat Ganger-Sanders (Drifting Sun) on keyboards (track 1-7), Mark Numan (ex-Winter Machine) on keyboards (“Broken”), Reuben Jones on keyboards (“Sometimes, Kites”), Mark Abrahams (Wishbone Ash) on guitar solo (“The Storm Part I”) and Eric Bouillette Perso (Nine Skies and The Room) on violin solo (“Sometimes”).
“Kites” is an atmospheric neo-prog album with great melodies. It gets even better with repeated listens, but it will get your attention from the very first moment due to its strong melodic lines. Only time will tell if “Kites” is better than the band’s amazing debut release, but all I can say is that it’s been a while since I enjoyed listening to a prog rock album so much! “Kites” is not only recommended to the prog rock fans but to all those who fancy rock music with wonderful melodies. Do not let this album go by unnoticed for any reason.