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Magellan - Symphony For A Misanthrope CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.12 | 100 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars After have a string of mostly excellent to above-average albums dating back to 1991, I had high hopes that Trent Gardner would turn things around with Symphony for a Misanthrope, their sixth studio album. Their previous album, Impossible Figure, had its moments, but it was far less appealing then the previous four albums. The cover art and the track listing were really cool looking before I even popped it into my CD player. But you can't always judge something by the look of its cover, and sadly, that's just the case with Symphony for a Misanthrope.

At its best, this album sounds like a poorly mixed Jadis or Pallas album. I'm serious. This sounds more like those two bands than it does prog metal or even prior Magellan efforts. I'm glad to see more keyboard work on a Magellan album, but the performance is sub-par for Gardner and the choice of sounds used is bland and not mixed very well into the overall sound of each song. Gardner had shown some improvement in his vocals over their first four albums, but on Symphony for a Misanthrope he must have regressed to mediocrity. Further, his voice is often overwhelmed by the instrumentation and it seems he can no longer soar his voice at the moments it should (or maybe he just forgot?). It's true that his voice is not the most glamorous, but I always thought he did a fairly nice job, admitting that it takes some getting used to. But on this album, it's more of a distraction. The repetitive verses are also an annoyance. These songs may have been better off as instrumentals.

Again, guests make appearances. These include Steve Walsh (Kansas), Dave Manion (keyboardist and engineer who has worked with Kansas and Seventh Key), Joe Franco (Good Rats, Twisted Sister, Widowmaker), Stephen Imbler, and Robert Berry (Hush, 3, Ambrosia). None of these guests contributed anything that would have brought this album out of mediocrity. Steve Walsh only contributed keyboard work on the short intro and doesn't even perform any kind of vocals. For me, the only interesting track is Pianissimo Intermission which was based Bach. Strangely enough, the entire track is performed by guest pianist Stephen Imbler. Is Trent getting lazy in his older years?

A very poor effort this time and quite a disappointment. At best I can only give this two stars, although a one-star rating had crossed my mind several times. For collectors/fans only.

progaeopteryx | 2/5 |


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