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Magenta - Seven CD (album) cover

SEVEN

Magenta

 

Neo-Prog

4.08 | 247 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

lazland
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The follow up to the impressive debut Revolutions, this is another concept work by British neo prog outfit Magenta, this time dealing with the relatively simplistic (!) seven deadly sins. With the exception of Anger, all songs clock in in excess of ten minutes, so there is a fair amount of patience required in order to settle in and enjoy this album.

As has been mentioned in previous reviews, this is a band that very openly pays homage to their inspirations, so, for example, on the first bars of opener Gluttony, you have to check very carefully to see if you have put Yes on by mistake. There are also distinct signs of Hackett in Chris Fry's guitar work, with Genesis also being evident as a source of much that is played. Furthermore, the comparisons between Christina Booth's vocals and Annie Haslam are not misplaced, and I would say that this is absolutely not to the band's detriment. Christina is at the centre of proceedings, and the band sound exceptionally rich because of it. She has a lovely voice.

However, in spite of the obvious nods and inspirations from the past, this is not a mere copycat album, and stands together very strongly in its own right. It's an extremely melodic album, with strong folk passages amongst the more "traditional" symphonic ones. For no better example, check out Envy, where the vocals are exceptional and weave a lush, rural, pastiche prior to the symphonic instrumental taking over. This is a highlight of a very solid album, and special mention should go to Rob Reed's lush keyboard work on this, albeit strongly influenced by Close To The edge period Yes and guitar work that transports to Trick of The Tail era Genesis at the same time. His guitar solo at the close, though, is wholly original and a joy to listen to.

There is, also, marvellous input by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra on the excellent Lust for those of you who enjoy the more classical input into your symphonic rock. The track itself is very tightly played with a very upbeat and cheery tempo to back perfectly the innuendo laden vocals.

How to rate this? Well, it doesn't attain masterpiece status in my opinion, because too much of it is too knowing of its influences and cohesion is occasionally lost. It is, however, an excellent prog rock album from a band who are amongst the leading lights of the new wave of female fronted bands popping up, and a band who, hopefully, have many years of great music and development ahead of them.

Four stars. An excellent addition to any prog rock collection.

lazland | 4/5 |

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