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Magic Pie - The Suffering Joy CD (album) cover


Magic Pie


Symphonic Prog

3.91 | 426 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars This 2011 album was the third from Norwegian progressive rock band Magic Pie, but it had been four years since 'Circus Of Life', during which time they had one of their lead singers in Allan Olsen, and he had been replaced by Eirikur Hauksson. Losing a lead singer is never good for any band, no matter the genre, but when the band is heavily based around vocal harmonies then that is even a greater loss. However, here the guys found someone who slotted right in and the band kept going in the same manner they had previously. This is symphonic progressive rock heavily influenced by the classic Seventies sound of British bands such as Gentle Giant (in particular), the more recent American acts such as Spock's Beard (who share many of the same influences of course) and Enchant, plus a more hard rock approach than many.

The result is a sound which is layered and lush, with organ tightly tied to complex guitar runs, and Hauksson combining with Eirik Hanssen in a twin vocal approach which brings forth memories of classic Kansas with Steinhardt and Walsh. There are also little musical interludes which are classic City Boy, a band who will always be remembered in the UK for one hit single, but who released a series of amazing albums. Symphonic yet accessible, there is something about every Magic Pie release which is somehow both exciting yet welcoming, enthralling and engaging. Just for the hell of it they open the album with one song, broken into four parts, which is 25 minutes long! If that isn't confidence, I don't know what it is, and they nail it. The tight runs, particularly in 'Part 4', sound as if they are just one instrument yet sonically it is as least four, there really is no room for anyone to be even a split second out. Yet another supreme effort.

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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