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Magellan - Hundred Year Flood CD (album) cover

HUNDRED YEAR FLOOD

Magellan

 

Heavy Prog

3.52 | 89 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Originally, this was Magellan's last recording for the Magna Carta label, but the most significant aspect of "Hundred Year Flood" is that it is a musical eulogy for Trent and Wayne Gardner's oldest brother, who in 1966 lost his life in the war fields of Vietnam: therefore, the personal component of this material becomes an essential element. Despite the sad subject, the music itself is not depressing or self-pitying: behind the emotional main theme, there are lots of energy and stamina working on the performances. In fact, Magellan decided, for this album, to explore the prog metal trend they had inaugurated for their previous album "Test of Wills" a bit further: I guess that the Explorer's Club albums served also as an additional vehicle for exploration. I get a very positive impression regarding "Hundred Year Album", since the structures used for the songs are generally quite cohesive, and the use of solos and sundry adornments never sounds forced or gratuitous: given the fact that two of the three tracks are very long, it is particularly laudable that the band hadn't fallen into the trappings of over-arranging the main motifs. The best example of this is the closing number, 'Brother's Keeper', an 11- minute piece that finds its gentler and heavier passages fully integrated with each other: the rhythm duo of newcomer Joe Franco on drums and the ever-effective Tony Levin on bass sustains solidly the track all along its variations and shifts. However, it is 'The Great Goodnight', a 13-part suite that fills the first 34 minutes of the album, the one that calls most of the listener's attention. Starting with a Yes' 'Leave It'-like massive vocal counterpoint and continuing with a symphonic ballad section, the song takes a more bombastic approach all the way, mixing the power of a fashionably polished prog metal and the colorfulness of ELP-meets-Kansas inspired symphonic prog. Part 8 finds the band taking a brief journey through the realms of techno-pop based AOR, but always keeping in touch with the explosive ambience that has been developing all along. Between these two monster tracks, the instrumental 'Family Jewels' explores the most overtly symphonic side of Trent Gardner's musical mind: legendary guest Ian Anderson delivers some nice flute lines during the serene first part of this track. I have already told a thing or two about the closing track, but I haven't mentioned the minute of silence and the final dedication - these elements enhance the album's personal subject, which is loss. The Gardner brothers managed to create a very inventive musical work out of such a sad source of inspiration: it took me a while to regard this "Hundred Year Flood" album as a more impressive musical work than its predecessor "Test of Wills", for years I defended the opposite notion. Anyway, both albums still sound quite excellent to me through the test of time, but now this album I'm reviewing stands to my ears as Magellan's definite opus.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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