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SEVEN

Magenta

 

Neo-Prog

4.10 | 226 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Fight Club
Prog Reviewer
4 stars "Take a look at the future" This is the future of symphonic prog

Magenta first came onto the prog scene about 6 years back with their acclaimed album Revolutions. The album got Magenta wide success in the prog world bringing listeners back to the glory days of Yes and Genesis. Though heavily influenced by these bands, they didn't copy the style. Instead they fused elements into their own style. They are often labeled as a "neo- prog" band, though I find myself categorizing them more into the "symphonic" style. Now Seven is an album I have been trying to get my hands on for quite a long time now. Only just recently I successfully found a 128 kbps rip of it. At first I thought "crap! only 128!?", but soon discovered it didn't matter. The excellent production and quality of the music kept me entertained regardless of the bitrate flaws. Generally, I am extremely satisfied with the album and glad I found it!

Anyways, as you might have guessed, Seven is a concept album about the seven deadly sins. Each of the tracks' lyrics speak of a different sin, even though sometimes it is more obvious than others. Now even though there's an overall concept here, the album isn't structured as one piece of work. Each track is it's own track and doesn't really flow from one to the next. I still feel this is best listened to in order though despite each track working as a single. They still feel as if they are part of a series which is just how I like it :)

Musically this album glows like the classics of the 70s. There are echos of all the symphonic rock favorites from Yes and Genesis (as stated earlier), ELP, Renaissance, and even a hint of Italian prog styles. Although all these influences are pretty obvious to any classic prog fan, Magenta holds to their own style more than on Revolutions.

All of the musicians perform top-notch on this album, most notably the guitar player and the singer. I fell in love with Christina's voice the first time I listened to the band. She is a very skilled vocalist and probably one of the best female prog singers of this generation. The guitar player also performs with a certain excellence that most neo-proggers seem to try to achieve and never quite reach. The solos are always perfectly placed and extremely elegant. This doesn't mean the other musicians shouldn't be noticed though. The sound created when all are working together is very lush and beautiful. If one instrument were to be removed from the mix, one wouldn't get quite the same effect. A beautiful demonstration of all this is the track "Envy". Beautiful catchy vocals and piano playing, lush keyboard, and a graceful guitar solo to top it all off. The songwriting talent combined with the prog aspects almost gives this album a feeling of the divine.

Although there are quite a few beautiful moments on this disc, there are a number of upbeat and fun moments too. At times things feel quite epic and grand, like a medieval adventure. Other times it feels like the finale in a circus spectacle. I think there's enough emotional variation to keep most people satisfied, but what about your average progger?

Any old school progger who wants to hear something new should greatly appreciate this album. It weilds all of the aspects one could possibly hope for in his favorite bands. Time and tempo changes, multiple chord progressions, and plenty more. Stunning guitar and keyboard solo and the greatest harmonizing you could expect to hear from the neo-prog style. Any musician should be impressed by the way this band things off. It's especially impressive to hear them doing it without so blatantly copying the 70s bands as most modern symphonic acts end up doing.

Production is also excellent. Everything is solid and can clearly be heard in the mix. Never is any one instrument too loud or too quiet. This can even be heard on the 128 kbps quality. Hardly do the cymbols sound splashing or the acoustic guitars, fuzzy. I'd love to hear how it'd sound in a 1400+ quality CD.

Overall, Seven is an extremely excellent effort from a modern symphonic band. It's got almost everything one could ask for in an album. A wide range of tempos, feelings, and instrumentation hold the album together. Only thing is, someone looking for a completely new and original sound might be disappointed. As I said before, the sound really does echo back to the old days. But hey, what can you expect from this era in music? If you're looking for convential symphonic prog as good as it gets these days, look no further. This album is a gem.

My rating: 9/10 Not quite a masterpiece, but still excellent.

Fight Club | 4/5 |

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