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Magic Pie - The Suffering Joy CD (album) cover


Magic Pie


Symphonic Prog

3.91 | 434 ratings

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3 stars More like 3.5 stars, really.

Never having heard of Magic Pie prior to a couple weeks ago, I was curious due to the number of high ratings 'The Suffering Joy' has been receiving here at PA since its release. I have to say, the accolades are well-deserved for the most part. 'The Suffering Joy' is a pleasant surprise. The "meat" of the album is obviously the 4-part 'Suffering Joy' saga, which is a complex & varied series of compositions. Of the remaining tracks, "Going Slightly Mad" stands out above the others.

Magic Pie is definitely a symphonic prog group, but there are just as many prog-metal influences here. So as a warning to symphonic prog fans who aren't favorable towards metal, you may want to steer clear of this particular album.

No need for a song-by-song breakdown as others have done that already, and likely better than I could have.

I will say I do have ONE reservation about this album -- and it is the ONLY thing that kept me from giving 'The Suffering Joy' a 4-star rating (or even higher). The band's guitarist, while possessing brilliant (and sometimes scary) chops, can be quite overbearing at times.....almost to a fault, really.

Please note this is a personal preference and NOT a knock against the guitarist's or the band's musicianship. I am simply not a fan of the "play fast for the sake of playing fast" approach to guitar. I honestly believe the album would have had a stronger impact on me if the guitarist had chosen his soloing a bit more tastefully. It's just as important to know when NOT to play as it is to have good technique and phrasing. There are many times on this album where it feels as if the songs are nothing more than a vehicle for the guitarist to play 2-minute long scalar runs on the fret board. Sadly at times these constant solos are so up front in the mix that it is difficult to focus on the music behind the solo.

Disconnect | 3/5 |


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