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Magellan - Symphony For A Misanthrope CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.12 | 100 ratings

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Prog Folk Researcher
2 stars Well this thing was kind of a disappointment! The brothers Gardner deliver another slightly awkward blend of artistic prog and lukewarm metal that ends up not satisfying either camp. The trappings are all there – great cover art, promising title, and an all- star cast featuring Widowmaker’s Joe Franco, Steve Walsh of Kansas, Ambrosia’s drummer, and Dave Mannion (okay, I have no idea who this guy is, but considering Trent Gardner’s ability to attract star talent to his many projects, the guy must be someone important).

I’ll admit I only bought this as a completion piece for my ridiculous collection of all things featuring anyone who ever was associated with Kansas - that’s how I ended up with Explorers Club and December People albums too :-o

But Walsh makes only a brief (though excellent) appearance, and that only on keyboards. That opening track is an auspicious beginning, but the rest of the album grows progressively bland and long before it ended the first time I played it I already knew I wouldn’t be leaving it in my disc changer for very long.

About a third of the album consists of the clumsily arranged “Cranium Reef Suite”, an epic length but unimpressive vocal and two-chord dirge that seems to go on forever (and I don’t mean that as a compliment). This is a track that could have benefited by both Walsh’s keyboard skills and his voice, as Trent Gardner has never been what I would consider a dominant vocal presence. There are several buildups with the guitar and keyboards throughout this song, and all of them are building to nothing and for no apparent reason. Instead of musical explosions, most of these climaxes culminate in more of Trent’s tepid vocals. I really can’t even figure out what this song is about, and have no desire to actually work my way through the lyrics sheet to find out.

The rest of the album is comprised of mercifully shorter works, including the eighties throwback “Doctor Concoctor” and the unbelievably bland “Every Bullet Needs Blood”. To be honest I could use a bullet right about now myself.

The only saving grace besides Walsh’s keyboards is the slow number “Wisdom” with its languid but appealing guitar and suspiciously Everlast-sounding tempo.

This is the quintessential “for collectors only” album as far as I’m concerned. Gardner fans might like it, but probably nobody else. Two stars and not recommended.


ClemofNazareth | 2/5 |


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