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Magenta - The Gathering CD (album) cover

THE GATHERING

Magenta

Neo-Prog


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erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars In The Netherlands the melodic and accessible progrock from Magenta is selling very well so I was very surprised that this DVD has not yet been reviewed. A concert in The Pop factory in South Wales on the 14th of May in 2005 has been recorded with 6 cameras and in 5.1 Surround Sound in order to put in on DVD. This is good news for the in general rather demanding progheads! Magenta their sound is rooted in the Seventies (Genesis and Yes are their main sources) but Magenta offers a more melodic and accessible progrock sound, perfect to reach a wide audience.

This DVD showcases a very professional band that sounds pleasant and varied: hot rocking in King Of The Skies, polished in Demons and Broken and compelling in the 24-carat symphonic rock epics Children Of The Sun and The White Witch. The focus is on guitar player Chris Fry ("He is a God ... " as female singer Christina says during this DVD), in almost every song he treats the audience on great and varied soli, often with fiery and heavy overtones. In Call Me he uses a bottle-neck and in I'm Alive and The White Witch a wah- wah pedal, this man colours the sound of Magenta is my opinion. 'Second best' is Christina, what a wonderful voice, what a beautiful woman and what a warm presentation! We will welcome more of these women in our man-dominated progrock world...! The keyboards sound tasteful but often functional, only in some tracks Rob Reed delivers soli on his keyboards. The visuals are OK but not really stunning: a nice lightshow and some screen projections (a bit psychedelic in Children Of The Sun). And I miss a bit the interaction with the crowd, only in Genetesis (Christina begs for handclapping) and at the end of the concert (a warm and enthousiastic applause) we can witness some 'live' atmosphere.

Nonetheless, this DVD showcases a strong and inspired Magenta that plays most of their best material. RECOMMENDED!!

Report this review (#63022)
Posted Tuesday, January 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This DVD betrayed my expectation in a good way.

My first experience with MAGENTA was the album "Seven". At the first listening to the album, I recognized MAGENTA as still a young band, needing more experiences to be a great band but having great success-ability in the near future. This film changed my mind in approximately 180 degrees. MAGENTA is currently a very good band. Their live performance, especially Christina's voice work and Chris Fry's guitar play, is excellent. Each music instrument is well-harmonized as well. I can say that their musician-ship can be worth being respected.

I visited live concerts of YES and ELP several times in these 15 years. I also watched & listened to their recent live recordings. Sometimes their performances disappointed me due to their bad performance, maybe because of lack of practice or their ages (unfortunately). In case of MAGENTA, still young not better to compare with YES or ELP, performance of each musician is very good and giving me anticipation that will be grown better and better.

The only thing, which makes me so hard to listen to their song smoothly, is the theme of their song, e.g., some of their songs are too much religious-tended. I like NEAL MORSE's music very much but the theme is... I have to survive with such Cross-in-the- back as a prog-lover.

I hope they will visit Japan in coming few years and make us enjoy by their performance. Highly recommended!!

Report this review (#63119)
Posted Wednesday, January 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
philipbirtwis
5 stars Magenta close out "The Matthew Cohen Years" with this excellent DVD recorded in The Point in Porth, South Wales. A six camera shoot, recorded in the splendid setting of a TV studio, this very professional recording captures the band at the transfer bewteen touring the awesome SEVEN album, and introducing material form the "soon come" (Ha- ha) HOME CD, currently being worked on by Rob Reed and the other musicians making up this fine band.

I am biased about the quality of the DVD being on the front row of the shoot, accompanied by my wife and daughter, but I do feel the film accurately captures the atmosphere of the evening perfectly.

Highlights are almost too numerous to mention, but the ever superlative GLUTTONY, the catchy I'M ALIVE and the magnificent show closer PRIDE deserve special attention.

The main lowlight of the DVD is the cameraman completely failing to capture my one handed catch of "God" Chris Fry's bottleneck during I'm Alive, something I couldn't wait to see. Ah well, can't have everything.

If anybody is wondering why one (and only one) person is walking OUT during the "Arrival Of The Audience" bonus feature, my wife Celia claims that it was my fault as I sent her to the bar, hence her last minute arrival back into the hall bearing drinks......

All in all a supremely good package, showing a band ready to break through into the big league as soon as Rob gets HOME out onto the market.....

Good luck to Matt Cohen in his new band The Reasoning as well, another Welsh prog band in the making.

Philip Birtwistle

Report this review (#67217)
Posted Saturday, January 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars It took me sometime to get this DVD, since it was not available in the US (at least it was not available in the internet stores I visited in the USA), so I had to place an order through their website in England. I had never done that and thank God I did. I was not expecting much about this DVD. Magenta is a relatively new band on the field and I had no idea how they would be as a live act.

So I was quite surprised when I finally watched the DVD. Magenta put up a great show. It looks like every band member gave his best. Complex songs flow flawlessly while the musicians smile and play like it was as simple as drinking water. Amazing! And then there is Christina: beautiful, charismatic and a wonderful voice! She sings with all the passion and technique required to make her one of the world's top vocalists. Magenta's performance is a delight for both ears and eyes. I personally don't like DVDs too much, but this one I keep going back again and again.

I must also mention that this DVD was technically very well done, with lights, edition, sound and visuals made everything fit primerely on the music. No special effects overdone here (in fact they are very simple and effective). Nothing to distract you too much from what Magenta is all about: great, complex (yet acessible) music. And a unforgetable show! If you like Magenta up to the Seven CD you can't miss this one. The Gathering DVD was born a prog classic. Highly recommended!

Report this review (#85254)
Posted Monday, July 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Gather your hands and clap.

Since I returned to prog rock after more than a decade pause, Magenta is one of the few bands that have really impressed me.

I already liked their LP's a lot but this DVD is really stunning. I will not discuss its technical aspects since I have very basic hi-fi equipment and knowledge but, at my level of appraisal, all the buttons are on green !

The setlist is a dream, alternating long epics and shorter rock pieces and ending with the incredible "Pride", probably my favorite Magenta song. The small but appropriate venue helps to the noteworthy harmony between the crowd and the band. On and off the stage, everybody seems to have a really good time. The musical performance is top notch to my eyes and hears and, as the ice on the cake, the three front woman and men (Christina, Rob and Chris) are absolutely charming.

The interest of the bonus are questionable but, first, I suppose that Magenta is not what you would call a band with great financial means, second, I assume that most people buy a live DVD more for the music than for the bonus interviews.

All in all, The Gathering is a very good place to start for anyone new to Magenta and the best musical DVD in my (limited, I admit) collection. Five stars on my personal scale.

Report this review (#149400)
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars A gathering of perfection!

After only two full length releases and two EP's, Magenta recorded their first live concert DVD. The DVD features a full concert performance, filmed and recorded in a small venue with high quality audio and visuals. Suitably entitled The Gathering, the set list featured on this DVD gathers together the very best tracks from these early releases. This makes the set list much more consistent and powerful than any of the two studio albums on which the songs were originally featured, both of which I think were a bit too long for their own good and included some less than great moments. But that is far from the end of it. What really makes this DVD stand out for me is that these live versions are injected with exactly what the studio counterparts so badly needed. These live versions feature more of an edge, more energy, and simply more punch. The drums and guitars are given a somewhat heavier sound and the atmospheres are therefore rockier. I often found the studio versions of these songs somewhat too timid and lacking in power. These live versions remedies that, and therefore far outshines the studio albums in my opinion. The song that is improved the most is also my favourite one: the great epic Children Of The Sun.

In addition to Children Of The Sun, the Revolutions album is further represented by two more great epic tracks in Genetesis and The White Witch. The somewhat overrated Seven is represented by two tracks in Gluttony and Pride. All of these songs are simply the very best ones from these two albums. The band's third studio album was not yet released at the time of this performance, but that didn't stop them from including a couple of representative snippets of Home as well. The rest of the tracks are from Magenta's two first EP's, Broken and I'm Alive (though Call Me was originally featured on Rob Reed's previous band Cyan's debut album For King And Country from the early 90's). Every single song chosen for the set list is at least a very good one and they are all improved. I could simply not have chosen a better set list myself.

Magenta failed to impress me notably with their first two studio albums, but this video is a live masterpiece. Very highly recommended!

Report this review (#690531)
Posted Monday, March 26, 2012 | Review Permalink

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