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Magenta - Revolutions CD (album) cover

REVOLUTIONS

Magenta

 

Neo-Prog

3.55 | 161 ratings

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Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars For those of you who love early MARILLION, ARENA, PALLAS, GENESIS, IQ or PENDRAGON, you may like this debut album from MAGENTA. If it does not blow you at first spin, try another spin. I hope it may grow. It happened to me. The first time I listened to this album, it did not struck me at all. I don't know why. I did spin the CD three times last year and then I put it back to my CD shelf. My best friend then loaned me the second album of the band "Seven" couple months ago. For some reason I could accept the music instantaneously. I started appreciating the band and I took the first album again. I played the CD and . wow!!! What a great music! To my surprise, I like this album more than the second one. It's funny, isn't it? I can only taste Magenta music after I listen to their second album and I like first album more than the second.

The album comprises 4 epic tracks, ie. "Children of the Sun", "The White Witch", "Man The Machine" and "Genetesis". Each epic comprises some chapters / tracks. It's something like The Flower Kings "Flower Power" album. Each epic shares similar musical rhythm and style with the other. Musically, each of them is well positioned in such a way that we, the listeners, would experience ultimate experience when enjoying the album in its entirety. For me, this album is well enjoyed in its entirety; even better if you do it in the evening with relatively loud volume in your power amps. I would not recommend you to enjoy this album partially, otherwise you won't enjoy the beauty of high and low tones or variety of tasty melodies. Bear with me on this ..

Disc One - CHILDREN OF THE SUN

It's the first epic that comprises track 1 - 5. Track 1 "Spirit Of The Land" opened with an acapela vocal line led by female singer Christina supported by male vocals. It's an energetic opening. When the music enters its body, it has a strong nuances of neo progressive rock music especially on the way keyboard, piano and guitar are played. It's a perfect combination of melodies among all instruments (with the basic piano sound at the back) and excellent vocal line. It continues seamlessly to second track "The Journey" with smooth transition. The music has not changed dramatically; even it has a similar structure and rhythm. The only thing different is the keyboard is more dominant. One interesting thing to observe is the bass guitar playing style is similar to YES' Chris Squire but it just a little bit softer (it's unlike the bass line of dazzling "Tempus Fugit" or "The Gates of Delirium" for example). The music then moves in a higher tone to track 3 "The Battle" with great organ sound and flute-like sound. It is then followed by soft lead guitar. The combination of piano, guitar and keyboard sounds are packaged into a nice melody. What a wonderful track!! It continues to next track "Thanksgiving" with a simple piano sound and high tone vocal accentuated by acoustic guitar. Christina voice is clear and powerful. This epic is concluded with an acoustic guitar fills "Opus". This represents the culmination of satisfaction level with respect to perfect harmony the band has created through this first epic. Excellent!

Disc One - THE WHITE WITCH

The second epic is the one that really blew me. I'm hooked to this album is mostly due to this second epic. It has a great touchy melody and powerful vocal line with a great musical composition. This happens especially at track 7 "The White Witch". It opens with a soft solo keys and organ. Honestly, this short opening melody really blow my mind and speeding up the flow of my adrenaline; it is "so touchy" (it reminds me to old PROCOL HARUM organ style, or even SINKADUS / ANGLAGARD organ style). My satisfaction does not stop here because as the vocal line of Christina enters the scene . uuugghh . I almost cry listening to the beauty of her POWERFUL voice and the touchy melody!!! " . give me your strength ." This opening vocal line really blow me! Oh my God . one of your creatures has created wonderful music like this!! The music flows smoothly with stunning guitar and in some transition the band uses soft piano. This track is really wonderfully crafted. It continues seamlessly with organ sound and guitar to next track "The Plague". The music is maintained at the same tempo. The vocal line is opened with male poet reading style (similar style with Marillion's Misplaced Childhood). I like the transition piece when a sort of xylophone sound is used before keyboard solo. Christina's voice enters the scene altogether with other male vocals at later part of this track. "Reflection" is opened with an acoustic guitar fills backed with keyboard sound. It reminds me to GENESIS's "Entangled" of "A Trick of the Tail" album. It's a mellow track with female voice starts with "Now is the time to make a new start ."; the music flows smoothly with acoustic guitar, keys and soft lead guitar. Nice combination of keys and lead guitar at the end of the track. The music suddenly moves to higher tempo with a solo organ at the opening of last track "The Spell". Great multi voices, stunning guitar and piano. "Take my hand, I need you .." Followed by stunning lead guitar work that concludes the epic.

Disc Two - MAN THE MACHINE

The opening part of "Man and Machine" reminds me to GENESIS's "A Trick of the Tail". "War" is relatively upbeat tempo track performed in a ballad style with some keyboard and guitar melodies. It has a nice interlude exploring keyboard sound effects. It's noticeable that the rhythm in interlude is similar to GENESIS "Supper's Ready" especially in the parts just before Gabriel sings "Six six six .."(you know what I mean). It flows to "Rememberance" with a fading keyboard sound and appearing piano and female vocal. It's a cool intro and, again, tasty melody. I also like the uplifting lyrics "Our future is in our own hands" .. what a motivating lyrics! The tempo is then moving higher to "The Watchers" with great piano play accompanying female vocal; and also excellent keyboard sound that reminds me to MARILLION's "Garden Party". The track is very uplifting and as most of other tracks, there is a piano shot during low point of vocal line and Hackettian guitar at the back. The music goes back to GENESIS "Foxtrot" style during the intro of "Lightspeed" for a while and continued with lead guitar and energetic voice. The interesting part of this track is the inclusion of vibraphone sound combined with lead guitar. The track ends up with a spacey sound and continued by solo keyboard welcoming "First Contact". It has relatively long lead guitar solo in the interlude; reminds me to Mike OLDFIELD's guitar work. This epic is concluded with "Opus 2" - an acoustic guitar work; classical music influence. Cool.

Disc Two: GENETESIS

"The New Age" - It opens with a simple piano followed by high voice vocal line in a mellow tempo, great melody. It has an excellent interlude with lead guitar. It goes back to vocal, concluded with very short but nice keyboard touch. It continues seamlessly to "Renewed Purpose" in a keyboard based music and acoustic guitar rhythm. I observe the organ work at the background is like 70's sound. "A New Life" has a very touchy and memorable acoustic guitar melody combined with melotron (background) and piano touch. Ghushzzz . this is a brilliant piece! When music enters slowly, the vocal line starts with "Manknind walking through the fire . " followed by dazzling keyboard solo accompanied later with lead guitar. It's really a top notch composition!! The music suddenly jumps to an upbeat tempo as it enters the intro of "The Search For Faith". It slows down when vocal line enters the scene; it goes back to upbeat demonstrating great lead guitar work. The interlude is excellent especially in drumming style and solo keyboard. It surprises me that the rhythm music accompanying this interlude is similar to YES' "Heart of Sunrise". It's a wonderful and energetic interlude - with dazzling keyboard, bass line and drumming. It ends up with excellent piano touch and flows seamlessly to a short track "The Creed" with rocking guitar sound appeared very thinly at the background - but it's nice and can be heard clearly. It's an excellent mixing because if the guitar work is louder; it might not create an excellent nuances. The concluding track "The Warning" starts with Hackettian guitar play followed by heavy voice of male vocal - and later combined with female voice. The tempo changes slowly with a solo piano work (reminds me to GENESIS' "Carpet Crawlers") followed by female vocal. Again, a guitar work is played excellently after the vocal line. For those of you who like lead guitar solo accompanied with medium tempo music, this track suits you. It's a stunning guitar. I really enjoy listening to the end part of this track. It ends nicely with an acoustic guitar play ...

Sorry for long review because this album deserves detailed review. Overall, I cannot compromise to give less than 5/5 rating for composition, musicianship, production, songwriting and overall performance. And I am not too naïve about this. Rob Reed, Christina and friends, thanks for producing this wonderfully crafted album! I just need to have your EP "Broken" someday; it's too expensive for me to have this EP. - GW, Indonesia.

Gatot | 5/5 |

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