Winter (Northern Irish band)

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Winter photo1.jpg
Winter, (1990).
Background information
OriginNewtownards, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
GenresHard rock, heavy metal, progressive rock, progressive metal
Years active1988 (1988)–present
LabelsCircle's Edge, SI
MembersJohnny Lennie
Andy Ryan
Richard Loyer
Tim Wilson
Phil Murray

Winter were a Northern Irish progressive rock/heavy metal band, who received critical acclaim for their live performances in the 1980s and 1990s. They released a debut EP titled Across the Circle's Edge which was in both vinyl format (by Circle's Edge records in 1990) and in CD format (by SI Records in 1992).


  • Johnny Lennie: vocals / lyrics
  • Rab Beggs: electric / acoustic guitars
  • Phil Murray: keyboards / additional vocals
  • Rick Loyer: bass guitar
  • John Murphy: drums / percussion


Vinyl cover
CD cover
Digital E.P. cover

Across the Circle's Edge[edit]

Released on Circle's Edge Records in August 1990 in vinyl format, Across the Circle's Edge was a six-track EP. The artwork was created by Phil Murray and was deliberately left to appear like a rough, first draft image, since the EP was effectively a first vinyl demo designed to attract record company attention. The idea was that once a recording contract was in place, the artwork then to evolve into a fully illustrated final piece for the inaugural Winter album. The artwork was completed but never used because when the songs were re-released by SI Records, the Netherlands in 1992 in CD format, the band line up had changed and they decided to use a different image for the cover art. The original master tape from the vinyl recorded was re-mastered for the CD version.

By the time of the CD release, Winter had a different line, up so other players are credited on the album, but all songs were written and performed by Beggs, Lennie, Loyer, Murphy, Murray. The recordings were produced by Lawrence Thomson and recorded at Level One Studios, Newtownards and Dove Studios, Belfast. There were elements of the tracks, particularly some keyboard parts, that had been omitted on the vinyl and CD recordings but these have now been added back into the MP3 versions that appear on the band's web site [1].

Track listing[edit]

Side 1:

  • "Technocracy" [4:27]
  • "The Betrayal of Reason" [4:38]
  • "Close Your Eyes" [4:56]

Side 2:

  • "Evengate" [2:33]
  • "Toybox" [8:46]
  • "Winter…" [4:23]

In 1993, SI Music released a compilation CD of various progressive rock bands, titled Progressive and Melodic Rock, which included the track CLOSE YOUR EYES by WINTER.

In January 2012, an updated digital version of Across the Circle's Edge was released, on the Circle's Edge Records label, which included the additional keyboards by Philip Murray which had been omitted from the original recording. It was titled Across The Circle's Edge (beyond 2012).