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Magenta - Another Time... Another Place CD (album) cover





3.75 | 37 ratings

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Andy Long
4 stars You could be forgiven for thinking that it's maybe a little early, career-wise, for this band to go down the tried and tested double-live album route. After all they've only given us two studio albums to date - 'Revolutions' (2001) and the superb 'Seven' (2004). However, I'd have to argue with you on the subject. For starters it's such wonderful material. Magenta throw a handful of obvious influences from the classic era of prog into the blender and come up with a stunning new recipe - and this is a band that is best heard live!

Seasoned progheads will be pleased to hear that the 'Revolutions' album, a double CD, brought together no less than FOUR twenty-minute epics, and on this live album we are treated to two and a half of them. 'Children Of The Sun' is a beautiful concept piece and 'The White Witch' is probably my favourite piece by the band so far, clocking in at 22 minutes it explores the medieval witch trials and the work of Matthew Hopkins the Witchfinder General.

The band's second album 'Seven' is a concept album based around the seven deadly sins. Included in the live set are 'Gluttony', 'Lust', Pride' and 'Anger'. 'Lust' is introduced as 'The White Witch Part 2' and it continues in the same lyrical vein as it's older sister.

Musically there are some very Genesis-like moments in parts of Rob Reeds keyboard work and Chris Fry manages to sound very like Dave Gilmour on more than one occasion. Christina's voice reminds me very much of Maire Brennan, although the Clannad comparison certainly has to end there! Rob Reed's compositions and arrangements show masterful musicianship. The early parts of 'Children Of The Sun' has some great interplay between vocal passages in 6/8 and instrumental stabs in 5/8 (at least I think it does if I counted right!). On the other hand Magenta are perfectly capable of pulling off a four-minute rocker, proved perfectly here with a punchy rendition of the single 'Broken'.

Of course this wouldn't be me writing if I didn't mention the bassist! Matthew Cohen's work on this album is staggering. He plays a pair of Warwick six-strings through a Warwick rig (hmmmm...wonder if he's got a sponsorship?). Together with drummer Allan Mason-Jones he builds a striking rhythm section, pulling off some complex moves. I wish his bass was a little higher in the mix to be honest, but then I'm from the Chris Squire school of bass volume!

Magenta are planning a new double studio album and a live DVD this year, I think they are about the most exciting band in the UK prog scene at the moment so I'm looking forward to adding them to my collection!

Andy Long | 4/5 |


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