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Magrathea - In Search Of The Crystal CD (album) cover



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Tarcisio Moura
3 stars After the promising releases of the CD Legends and the EP Legends Remain, I was curious about Magrathea´s next move. While their two earlier works were not very original, they showed a great potential with their classic 70´s Genesis influenced music. Unfortunatly they seem to be following the same path as other worshippers of the british legend, like Citizen Cain. That is: they assumed Genesis music would be more complex and less melodic than any of their previous albums.

According to that, the music on In Search Of The Crystal is far less appealing and charming than on Legends. You can also pick up some other influences here and there, like the ELP-like timbre of the Hammond organ on Passion Play and the strong resemblance of Yes in the chorus and keyboards arrangement of the opener Search For The Crystal. But while they are still trying to find their own sound, the Genesis shadow is still all over it. Not that is bad, but it seems that making their music more complex for its own sake is not really doing any good to the final cut. In fact, it was bad for Citizen Cain and it is bad for Magrathea as well.

The best moments are still when they sound like Genesis on tracks like Heaven Is Not Enough and the beautiful Interactive Dreamers (best song on the entire CD). Again this is not terrific original, but it is good anyway. I still think the music here has enough good moments to warrant a 3 star rating, but barely. 2,5 would be a more fitting, but I´m in a good mood. The potential is still there. I really hope those guys will achieve a good balance between melody and originality

Report this review (#201591)
Posted Wednesday, February 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Forth album to date of this discret symphonic prog band from UK named In search of the crystal from 2008. Knowing until few weeks ago only previous one Legends, I've decided to check aswell this album, so I'be bought it from their bandcamp page. The album was complitely re recorded few weeks ago in june 2012 with a diffrent cover art , quite better then first issue. Even the sound is not fantstic, not many bands have big buget for mastering, mixing and producing, but is not a big problem because the compositions are most of the time enjoyble and well performed forgetting about the sound. Again a typical Genesis influenced album with all the ingrediants for a symphonic prog album and quite similar with predecesor. Nice keyboards passages and guitars aswell, quite complex and well played, the best example is the opening track followed by the best piece of the album, at least for me Bug eyed monster. Overall even the originality lacks here big time, the arrangements are decent and fair, fans of US from Holland, North Star from USA, Genesis can appreciate this band, they have ok albums and shows potential with each release.3-3.5 stars
Report this review (#781708)
Posted Wednesday, July 4, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars This UK progrock band was founded in 1993 as a five-piece formation, in 2008 they released their debut CD entitled Underclouds. But on their second album entitled Entropy (2001) they were already reduced to a quartet. And on the next album Legends (2004) Magrathea was even turned to a duo only featuring founding members Gary Gordon (guitar and bass) and Glenn Alexander (vocals, keyboards and drums). This is also the line-up on their fourth (and final) record entitled In Search Of The Crystal (2006).

Listening to their swansong album I notice that Magrathea sound more elaborate and less derivative than on their previous albums. I am very pleased with the tasteful keyboard colouring, the wonderful flowing electric guitar work and the dynamic interplay between the two musicians. My highlights.

It's About That Time!: compelling eruptions with bombastic keyboards and Moog Taurus bass pedal sound.

Passion Play: fat synthesizer flights and exciting and powerful interplay between organ and runs.

Magician: strong accellaration with synthesizer solo and wonderful guitarwork with use of volume pedal.

Heaven Is Never Enough: Prog Heaven with bombastic keyboards like a choir-Mellotron sound, fiery electric guitar, bass pedals and slow synthesizer solo.

And the excellent 'magnum opus' Interactive Dreamers (13 minutes) that showcases Magrathea at their best: powerful electric guitar play, spectacular synthesizer flights, compelling bombastic outbursts (with choir-Mellotron sound) and lots of strong shifting moods and interesting breaks, how exciting!

This is very pleasant, melodic and accessible music that scouts the borders between symphonic rock (in the vein of 76- 77 Genesis) and neo-prog (early Marillion/IQ/Pendragon).

My rating: 3,5 star.

Report this review (#2036943)
Posted Thursday, September 20, 2018 | Review Permalink

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