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Magellan - Hour Of Restoration CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.39 | 126 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I remember the release of this album gave me a sign of hope there was a possible future for the prog genre. At the time not many prog albums got a proper distribution deal so the search for new prog releases was long and unfruitful. Possibly this infected my opinion about this album in a positive way. Though "Hour of restoration is an enjoyable progmetal album, it's far from the masterpiece I initially thought it was. This album seems clearly influenced by Kansas and in lesser degree Yes for the vocals and Elp for the fascinating keyboard parts. Yet its own character is quite unique. When I read other reviews on this site, it seems this album is underrated. To my opinion, no one can deny the skilful playing of the instruments, the excellent vocal harmonies and the splendid symphonic sound throughout the whole album. The opening track 'Magna carta' needs a concentrated listen as the different rhythm patterns, melodies and atmospheres are changing rapidly. I remember the time signatures reminded me of the first Dream Theater release. Unlike Dream Theater, it sounds a bit patchy by times even though many excerpts are fascinating to listen to. The formula is working better on "Breaking the circles" or "Another burning". Here the succession of the different parts is more logical as some of the fragments simply are musical variations of the previous ones. The haunting atmosphere and the inspired melodies of "Breaking these circles" are appealing but the little atmospheric keyboard interludes I love the most.

Tracks like "friends of America" or "The winner" show the aor side of the band. The chorus of the latter could be from a typical Asia album while the bridge would suit a Rabin era Yes album well. The inclusion of such accessible songs is the perfect antidote for the complex tracks that make out the major part of "Hour of restoration". The reflecting atmospheres in "just one bridge" and "turning point" are other psychological resting points.

Even though this music definitely is prog metal, there is a noticeable influences of eighties pop. This gives the album a lighter feel which is good because the musical structures are rather complex. Especially the colourful sound of the keys and some vocals parts are referring to vintage neo-prog.

The electronic percussion is the disturbing factor of "Hour of restoration". It sounds too clean and cheap. Surely the album would benefit from use of real drums. Another weak point is the flat sounding vocals of Trent Gardener. I don't mind he tries to sing like Jon Anderson but there's not emotion involved in his technical way of singing.

My previous spin of this album dated from 10 years ago. Still I enjoy the bombastic sound of this album. Sure it sounds overblown but you can discover a thousand details in the majestic wall of sound. I think what makes this album different from other Magellan releases are the more compact tracks and accessible melodies.

Fishy | 4/5 |


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