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5 stars The second album released by Magenta is well worth the wait: it's more mature than the first one, which yet was very good but not so perfect musically. As compared to the first album, in Seven Christina's voice shows to be the focal point of the band and the addition of the orchestra improves the melodies. The other singer, Rob Reed, is not as present as in the first album. The tracks are based on each of the seven deadly sins; the lyrics are interesting, as they should be in a typical art rock album. The melodies have a Genesis feel, sometimes catchy but never boring or too predictable: they are constantly changing. This album is more accessible than the first one, also thanks to its beautiful melodies and Christina's superb voice, so you don't have to be a prog purist to appreciate it. It's recommended to everyone.
Report this review (#28684)
Posted Tuesday, April 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars The second album release from Rob Reed´s new project. Seven can be considered as an excellent Symph Rock Opus with songs related to the seven capital sins. The music is highly accessible, very melodic, with a lot of rythim changes, but full of musical virtuosity. The addition of strings, in this case played by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra give more depth to this great album. Finally, Christina´s voice is superb, one of the best female voices I´ve heard in any Progressive record, crisp and crystal clear!!! Give this record a try, it will appeal to all Symph Prog, Neo Prog and I personnally think to any Progressive Rock Fan. The only low point from this album is the CHA CHA CHA at the beginning of the first song. Highly Recommended!!!!!!!
Report this review (#28686)
Posted Thursday, May 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars My friend, Andy Julias - the Chairman of Indonesian Progressive Society, lent me the CD of this album. For two weeks I listened to it. I really like it. I believe whether you are a prog fan or not, you may enjoy this album. It's a kind of relaxing prog I would say. The music is a little bit complex but the melody and harmony are blend together nicely. This album is written very well.

The intro part of "Gluttony" reminds me to "new" King Crimson style. But when the vocal part enters it reminds me to YES "Sound Chaser". It's not an intention, I believe. This track is really excellent. You may notice Steve Howe guitar style is here as well as Geoff Downes keyboard sound. This track is well composed: the structure is excellent as it has high, medium and low components placed nicely with good transitions. Transition is I think the most difficult challenge of any prog band in writing their music as it has to ensure consistent flow of their music. But Magenta does it really well in this track as the melody changes from one to another smoothly. My impression on track 1 is in its "howling" guitar sound, piano and female voice. An amazing opening track!

I think this group is heavily influenced by YES and GENESIS. Track 2 has a bit or nuance of GENESIS' "Entangled" of "A Trick of The Tail" album. This happens to the opening and at the body of the song (minutes "3:35"). Luckily it's not exactly the same melody as the solo organ has another set of really beautiful melody. I like this part very much. Fortunately it is not becoming the tag line melody of the song. You will observe when the voice enters. "Hold On . hold on .". It's another nice track!

Track 3 "Lust" really kills me man! The opening orchestral part creates an uplifting sound that sets the tone for the whole track. The guitar sound is a blend of Howe and Hackett. It's really a very nice opening. I even imagine if this track is located as first track, it would be wonderful. Piano player has done a good job here, as well as drummer. The interlude part at minute 4:50 with guitar "fill" as the lead backed by a piano sound is really an amazing piece. Some orchestral compositions in the middle of the track is also a nice piece. There are many guitar solo and keyboard solo in this track.

The closing track has a relaxing intro part with mellow keyboard sound and touchy piano. This intro reminds me sitting on the beach enjoying the sun sets. The vocal part enters nicely. At roughly the end of the track you may find a bit of "Floydian" or "Rothery-like" guitar touch. Yeah, this is another excellent track of the band.

It's a MUST HAVE in your collection. What do you think? - Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

Report this review (#28687)
Posted Sunday, June 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Seven": "Seven" is only the second album of MAGENTA, but it's a concept album about the seven deadly sins. Now that we've sorted out the numbers, we can talk about the music and if you know their previous album "Revolutions", you know you're in for a treat.

I know they say that every female vocalist in progressive rock reviews is compared with Annie Haslam, but with Christina, I don't have any other option. She just sounds so much like her. She has the same crystal clear, pure sound. She sings as if it's the easiest thing in the world. Her voice has an incredible reach and is never out of pitch. She's a real natural born singer.

The production of this album is one of the best I've ever heard. Every instrument is perfectly in balance with the rest. Every detail is audible. The use of a real symphonic orchestra also adds up to the perfection of the sound.

You can hear references to a lot of other bands in their music, but that's what they want. The liner notes in the booklet of their first album "Revolutions" said: "Any similarities or coincidences with any bands past or present is entirely intentional!" So you can't blame them if you say that pieces of Envy remind you of the ending of "Entangled" by GENESIS, that some of the vocal harmonies really sound like Yes on "90125", that you clearly hear references to other bands like IQ, SPOCK'S BEARD and others and that the opening of "Sloth" gives the same feeling as "The Division Bell " of PINK FLOYD.

There are some differences with "Revolutions". First of all, Rob Reed does only backing vocals. On the previous album he also did some of the lead vocals, but it must be difficult to compete with a singer as Christine, and he's not a top notch singer (although he was allright during the live show I attended). So Christina is the only lead singer now, but you can hardly call that a punishment. The tracks are shorter than on "Revolutions" (well, most of them still last longer than ten minutes), where the tracks lasted more than 20 minutes and were a collage of shorter pieces. On "Seven", the tracks are easier to get into, less complex.

So, with top quality vocals, skilled musicians and very strong tracks, I can only say, three out of three ain't bad, is it?

I prefer "Seven", but I think every progressive rock fan will want both of them. And if you don't have enough yet there's an extra EP "Broken".

"Broken": If you order "Seven" on-line on the site of F2 music, you get a special offer for "Seven" and an extra EP "Broken" of which the official release is only for June 1st.

For the first time, MAGENTA appears as a complete band on a disc. Rob Reed played most of the instruments on "Seven" but here you can hear the band that's announced on their website. The title track is a very accessible song, with a hook that stays in your mind. "Call me" is a great ballad, with, as in every MAGENTA track, an awesome instrumental piece. "Lemminkainen's Lament" was originally intended for a Finnish compilation, but they gave it a Celtic touch with a uillean pipe sound, again a great ballad. "Opus 3" is Rob Reed on church organ stepping in the footsteps of Rick WAKEMAN. "Sloth" is the same track as on "Seven" but the guitar part is played by the strings. This single is a fine bonus if you take the special offer from F2music, but I hope it will get to the shops when it's released later this year.

>>> Review by Danny (9/10) <<<

Report this review (#28688)
Posted Friday, June 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Seven great songs, with great melodies, one excellent singer and a good band. The songs aren't original, many parts remind of classic prog rock bands, but with a modern approach, and the overall result is highly enjoyable. So, if you are not looking for originality, you must buy this album at once!
Report this review (#28689)
Posted Monday, June 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars After the huge success of "Revolutions" in the year 2001, the Magenta fans had to wait almost three years no know if MAGENTA was only a mirage of past years or really a solid progressive band.

Most of the fans were satisfied with the release of "Seven" in 2004, a second conceptual albums but this time about the seven capital sins, the album is really good and the band is more mature. We can still listen the clear references from Yes, Genesis, Mike Oldfield, etc. but the band has developed a clearly more unique sound.

Less symphonic than it's predecessor and more oriented towards Neo Prog' has an evident much more modern sound, the production is impeccable the participation of The Vienna Symphony Orchestra is perfect (without falling in exaggerations as other bands) and the music is simply delightful. From symphonic excesses (that prog' fans love so much) to lyrical passages and powerful melodic tracks, it's obvious that the years have not passed in vain, maybe not as impressive as "Revolutions" because we knew what to expect from the band, but an absolutely solid album from start to end.

The album starts with "Gluttony", a track that begins with a vocal introduction that reminds me of "Relayer" because of the cha cha cha chorus similar to the one in "Sound Chaser", but those who expect a copy are wrong, the music is absolutely different, as in the previous album very symphonic but with a clear unique sound that blends with Neo Prog' in an exquisite way, excellent keyboards by Rob Reed, complex guitar chords by Chris Fry and of course the unique voice of Christina to add more brilliance. But what impressed me more of this song is the beautiful polyphonic vocals and the excellent job of the rhythm section by Rob Reed (who plays bass in this album) and Tim Robinson. A great opener.

When I first listened "Envy" I thought that they were playing "Entangled" because of the short intro, and the digitally produced Mellotron sound (I think Magenta doesn't use the old but wonderful mellotron, even without it we shouldn't worry, because the sound created by Rob Reed is faithful). This song is softer than the previous even when there are short explosions of power, some sections are really melancholic because remind me of the 4 men Genesis era. Christina's voice with Rob keyboards are extremely beautiful and the ending guitar section by Chris Fry is breathtaking, another great track but clearly more oriented towards Neo Prog' than any previous work by MAGENTA.

"Lust" is probably one of the highlights in this album and my favorite. The symphonic introduction is simply pompous and magnificent (the kind of music I love) and the way the music flows from one section to the next is impressive, the band manages to create a sense of continuity with not a single patch, the song has dramatic changes but so well managed that you don't feel any abrupt cut, excellent work and a wonderful track. A special mention for the drums work by Tim Robinson which is outstanding, 12:26 minute of pure prog.

"Greed" is not one of my favorite tracks even when the vocal work and the guitar is outstanding, the band performs a good job and reminds me very much of the first MAGENTA album that I love so much, but I guess it's one of those things I can't explain, just a matter of taste, probably in a couple of weeks this song will grow on me, because I can't say it's not good, only not my favorite.

"Anger" is the shortest track in the album and works as a reliever and a moment to breath, with a extremely beautiful strings work that matches perfectly with Chistina's clear voice, not everything must be breathtaking in an album, a good relief is always necessary. Very beautiful song and melody,

"Pride" is another powerful track starts soft and calmed but almost instantly gains power with a explosion of strength and Christina's vocal part adds more power, absolutely symphonic way to begin a track that combines great chorus with a powerful bass and the whole band giving us one of their best works. As the song advances the emotion goes in crescendo, and we can perceive the clear Yes influence in the guitar, but again with a unique sound. Another of my favorites.

The album ends with "Sloth" a track that has a dramatic and mysterious intro that leads to a softer track with some beautiful vocals by Christina that remind me in some way of Clare Torry in Pink Floyd, a good and soft closer for a great album

Now comes the real problem, how to rate this album, I like Revolutions a bit more because I'm a proghead that loves the beautiful Symphonic excesses and gave that album 5 stars, but on the other hand there's no way to rate a perfectly balanced album with no fillers and excellent production with less than the maximum.

Well, I love the music, the band has grown since their debut and we need more albums like this one in the 21st Century, so I will give another 5 stars rating.

Report this review (#28690)
Posted Sunday, August 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Follow up to their excellent Revolutions album.Christina sings like an angel (begging an obvious ,but not misplaced, comparison to Annie Haslam) while the band is as tight an ensemble as you will ever hear.If you like melodious symphonic rock music with the occasional nod to Yes then look no further.The best prog CD for a long time.
Report this review (#28692)
Posted Thursday, September 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of the best progressive rock albums of all time!!! everything is perfect. At first, everything sounds familiar but after a few listens, this albums grows in you and don't want to get out of your CD player! This is what every prog lover wants to hear:10 minutes plus songs, great songs arrangements, very good musicians(especially the drummer!) This is a must!
Report this review (#28694)
Posted Wednesday, October 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars I was impressed with this disk even though I am not the biggest fan of female vocals.The symphonic prog is lush and creative even though the music is a touch romantic at times,typical with female vocalist.The music more than makes up for it.Its not that I dislike romance Its just that it is so commanplace in pop music that frankly Im sick of it and dont like to see it in prog,the most idealistic and my favorite form of rock music.
Report this review (#28695)
Posted Thursday, October 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Magenta are in my top-5 alltime favourite progrock bands...but the problem seems to be with this band, they are not underrated, but unknown!!. In prog circles in the UK they are pretty well known and online prog websites etc, so I would say they are pretty..underground. This is a bad thing, as Magenta's music is full of joy and happiness and if more people listened to this kind of thing the word just might be a better place. Since all that needs to have been said about all the songs, all I will add is: you must buy this album!!!! I have just ordered their new live album, and will be seeing them later in the year. Christina is amazing, and Rob Reed is amazing. What more is there to say besides you must buy it? :)
Report this review (#28696)
Posted Monday, February 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is filed in the néo-prog section. Hmmm. Is this the best place?

Honestly, I'd put it with the Symphonic bands. I didn't glanced toward Magenta all this time because I thought this was another band wanting to be Genesis. It is true, this band is trying real hard to show us it's roots. They really don't try to hide anything. I think this is was describes Magenta the best: a band copying it's heroes and not having an onze of shame about it. So, bands that's recongnizable here are the usual suspects: Yes and Genesis. And how! All along, steel lap and Gibson guitars (simply, it's Howe or it's Hackett), chimes, vocal harmonies a la Jon Anderson and a palette of keyboards pumping straight from Tony Banks' pond. Well, so are many bands, but Magenta really don't hide it too much. And to me, it could be their calling card!

To me, those who likes Glass Hammer (the latest years) will be pleased. Because, let's face it, even Christina's voice is sharing a ton with Flo Parrish from Glass Hammer. Basically, the roots of the two bands are exactly the same. Most of the songs could figure on Glass Hammer's Lex Rex and especially Shadowlands. It's almost the same band except for the fact that Magenta uses more of the orchestra and also, Magenta's songs are much more relaxed and 'gentle rainy day' oriented. And this is where they hit hard. They really have the knack to create cute, delicate breaks based on mellotron female 'oooh's and 'aaah's.

Anyway, not as impressive as the critics says and expect a relatively average amount of originality. But in the end, you could say that they've succeeded to create their own sound (like the cool 'cha cha cha' harmonies, the telephone voices and the rainy day moods). Listen to it a lot if you want to make your money's worth, the complexity of the songs is surprising.

Oh, and don't get fooled by the cover, this ain't no walk in the graveyard.

Report this review (#28697)
Posted Sunday, February 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars My review will be short and sweet.

Quite frankly this is a magnificent opus that every self-respecting prog fan (particularly those brought up on it in the 70s and early 80s) should have.

The music is supreme and Christina's vocals make the whole package what Renaissance could have sounded like if they had gone the whole prog mile.

I cannot recommend this album highly enough.I know that we are told to hand out 5 stars with caution but in this case 5 is not enough.

Report this review (#28698)
Posted Wednesday, March 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I like this record! Magenta is a very 'fresh' band with a female voice and excellent musicians and composers. This record is strongly influenced by Genesis, Yes, King Crimson and mainly by the '70 progressive rock scene. Every track is surrounded by mello, moog, piano and by the sweet voice (but maybe too childish) of Christina. The two guitar player are great as well and strongly influenced by Steve Howe and Dave Gilmour; also the drummer in great and sometimes it remindms me of Neil Peart but most of the time he can be simple as the Magenta music requires. The record has a very 'fresh' sound and i have to admit that 'Gluttony' is one of the most beautiful prog-song in the last 20 years. By the way, sometimes, the record gets too close to some Tori Amos records sound, and quite simple in the harmonic enveloping. I think that 'Seven' is one of the best album you can listen to get in touch with progressive rock music, and i really think this record could hit the charts as well (i don't know if it did at that time, but i'm sure it could). In the end i think that Magenta is one of the best neo-progressive band in the last years, and they deserve a great attention by the progressive world.
Report this review (#39892)
Posted Thursday, July 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well you should have to erase an half star, as for the lack of true creativeness, but their melodic sense and such a tasteful approach as well, make this album well worth checking out at least... above all when they are facing the Biblic "Seven Sins" (one for each song), they will be appreciated definitively as an excellent ensemble, because the ingenuousness of their debut album is not present anymore, especially by deserving those simple but effective harmonic solutions which begin to emerge,being absolutely satisfactory.Well They have never been pretentious within such a difficult "narration" and moreover their tunes remind me of some pretty symphonic compositions by Renaissance with Annie Haslam!! Their full maturity is almost reached here,as there is no virtuosity, but anyway the vocalism of Christina is always remarkable and essential too,for the purpose of keeping the concept under They don't need any intricate tune in order to show their good talent, and for me that's enough!!"Anger" is around 5 minutes and quite simple;instead all the other tracks are longer (average duration: about ten minutes) and anyway well structured and arranged,also by means of their remarkable musicality...check it out!!
Report this review (#43445)
Posted Friday, August 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a real gem of an album and a treat for fans of 70's prog brought up to date with lush production.

Based on the 7 deadly sins, obviously, but with intelligent contemporary lyrics, this is a class album of carefully crated melodic prog that draws upon influences from an earlier era without sounding like a rip off or an obvious pastiche. Christina's voice is achingly good here, backed up by some nice guitar work and keyboards with a tight and powerful rhythm section

Although most of the tracks are over 10 minutes, they never drag, but are given enough time to develop. If you are a fan of strong, melodic and well-produced prog, do not hesitate to get this one!

Report this review (#47073)
Posted Sunday, September 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Well, I find this to be a pretty dull album. While not nearly as derivative as the first one (which I liked better.....there was no attempt to hide the fact that it was a tribute to the 70's greats of prog, and I think Rob Reed did an excellent job recreating those styles), it seems to have little in the way of character or originality. The performances are very well done, however, and the songwriting is fairly solid neo / symphonic prog. So why do I find it so dull and lifeless? I'm really not sure. Perhaps it is the (far too) smooth production? Perhaps the fact that, while not an outright tribute, it still seem pretty unoriginal? Maybe I just need to listen to it more (though I've heard it at least 6 or 8 times now). I think the sound and style is just too homogenous for me. Not much variation, and the dynamics seemed to be dulled by the overly smooth production. Still, this seems like more personal taste than anthing, and they are all top notch musicians without a doubt. So, out of fairness and an appreciation of what they are trying to do, I will round my rating up a half star, to 3 stars. But if you are looking for something new and exciting, this may not be it (it isn't for me anyway).
Report this review (#67015)
Posted Friday, January 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I was told this is a Neo YES rip-off.I ain't YES fan (to be maximally polite,they're my least favourite band from the Oldies),and I didn't know why I'm getting this CD.

When I heard the beginnig of the album,I've thought that my worsest dreams coming true.But when the LADY started singing...that's what I hadn't expected at all!!! An angel came from the sky to our sinful earth - CHRISTINA!!!Wow! My favourite female singer ,no contest!

The further I was getting the better tracks were becoming."Envy" and "Sloth" are must be my favouritest still; the "Confess" part in "Lust"(6.12 - 7.28) is the most played moment from the whole album I guess (frequently I use to listen only to this fragment to make my mood better!!!). Another provement - do never believe the reviews 'till you listen to the album by your own ears!!! I dislike YES (while appreciating their talent and masterity),but I like MAGENTA!!!

Note:this is NOT Neo - prog.This is New Symphonic like DISCIPLINE or SPOCK'S BEARD:complex,well-arranged, with touching melodies and astonishing musicianship.Why had they deserved a Neo definition?Wish you tell me!!!

Highly recommended not only for all YES/RENAISSANCE fans,but also for all lovers of good melodic skilful Sympho Prog

Report this review (#79521)
Posted Saturday, May 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
5 stars This is a fantastic CD! Maybe the best CD I bought in a long time. Great synphonic music played by superb musicians and sung by an outstanding female singer. Rob Reed is one fo the best songwriters around and the band is simply perfect. All songs are prog gems, with no exception. The more you hear the more you like it. Magenta's debut was very good but something was missing, or maybe it was not simply mature enough. This does not happen at all with Seven, where everything falls into place seamslessly.

Magenta does not hide its influences, on the contrary, they paid homage to them.In almost every track they give big clues: on Glutony the Yes opening guitar-like introduction and the backing vocals are so similar I had to look back on the CD credits to see if Jon anderson or Chris Squire did not made a special guest appearence! On Envy, the Renaissance influence comes forward (specially on the piano style and chorus) and they play a little piece of Genesis "Entangled" (nice!). On Greed they cite Simon & Garfunkel on the lyric. And so goes on. Strangely they still make original good music, they never sound derivative, which is a blessing. They do not fear to be compared because they know they are quite unique.

Unfortunatly the band did not persue this path when they released their last CD, Home. But that's another story. Seven is simply perfect and is one of my favourite CDs of anytime. I could not rate it less than what this already classic CD deserves. I could write endelessly about this music, but do yourself a favor and hear Seven. Let the music do the talk.

If you like excellent symphonic prog or just good music in general, I highly recommend Seven.

Report this review (#86518)
Posted Thursday, August 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Seven has to be one of the best -if not the best- progressive albums in the last years. I'm sure is the greatest album I've bought in a very long time, it's simply fantastic and absolutely enjoyable. You can hear excellent musicians playing an impressive symphonic prog sound, the guitar work by Chris Fry is stunning, so are keyboardist Rob Reed and the extraordinary drummer Tim Robinson, but Christina's strong and beautiful voice is superb, i think she is one of the best female singers all around in the world, for me she is simply the best. Christina i love you! You can hear influences of classic bands such as Yes, Genesis, Camel or Floyd and even Renaissance, but they still got a sound of their very own. Each one of seven's songs are excellent, you will enjoy all of them and be sure it can be one of your favourite albums. Is one of my all time 5, so i can't understand why a powerfull band like this is almost unknown, is a pity. Magenta is the color of progressive Rock and they deserves more than Wows and claps! Wow! Seven is absolutely recommendable. A must for any music lover, progressive or not. Please buy this one so you will make a great thing for yourself and to the world too. 5 stars at the highest rating! Happy progressions!

Rodrigo Cruz, México.

Report this review (#101046)
Posted Wednesday, November 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The more I listen, the bigger believer I become. I give Seven five stars and don't blink an eye. With six mini epics that all have infectious melodies, many of which will stick in your head for days, this album needs to be heard. Rob Reed has crafted an album that balances bombasm and softness with very little repetition. While categorized as Neo, you won't hear Arena, IQ, Pallas or their brethren in the sound of Seven. Instead you get a throbbing bass and wonderful drumming that drives the music, on top of which Reed throws the kitchen sink. You'll hear distinctive keyboards along with soaring guitars and moving solos. Strings are sometimes brought in and every new song and passage for that matter is something new to discover.

The concept of the seven deadly sins has been kind of turned on it's ear. Steve Reed, Rob's brother does the lyrics but is not part of the band proper. He decided to approach the sins from totally different angles, so you won't be hearing about fat guys, greedy guys or lazy guys. The stories woven are thought provoking.

And then of source you have Christina, a truly amazing vocal talent who will bring joy to female vocal enthusiasts and certainly convert some of those who are not fans of the fairer sex in prog. A perfect match for this beautiful music.

This isn't the most challenging music but what Magenta does, it does extremely well. It took me two or three listens to become hooked but many more to be able to truly appreciate the complexity of all that is going on with this album. If you are a fan of symphonic or Neo at all, this album is a must have.

Report this review (#110717)
Posted Sunday, February 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars If you've ever had the desperate need to hear a competent - if slightly unadventurous - Prog band be fronted by Dolly Parton's less talented sister, you're definitely in luck here. There are solid instrumental sections and backings galore on Seven, but they really don't matter much when paired with a vocalist with such mainstream leanings. The lowest common denominator melodies are bad enough, but their flat, lifeless delivery is what really makes the album unlistenable.

Sadly, Magenta seem think that the vocal sections can - and maybe even should - sound like Light Rock, while instrumental sections are free to be more melodically and harmonically adventurous. It's not an uncommon malaise in modern Prog, but it makes for a strange disconnect when the still fairly innovative (if somewhat derivative) sections sit right next to material that wouldn't be out of place in a hotel elevator.

Evidently, this style is very popular - in Prog terms at least. Maybe it's because it combines the familiar territory of the catchy, simple and repetitive with enough flash and technical prowess to let the listener feel superior to the unwashed masses. However, if you believe that Prog should transcend cliché in as many aspects as possible - not just arrangement, timbre and structure - Seven is unlikely to impress.

Report this review (#118778)
Posted Wednesday, April 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Forgive me because I had sin ...

Seven is a very ambitious album, built upon an original and unconventional vision of the seven sins by the Reed brothers. According to the credits, its recording took more than one year and a half and its total length exceeds 75 minutes for only seven songs, which at first made me anxious since I don't know many LP's of such length without repetitions or superfluous parts. After more than twenty listens, I can assert that Magenta avoids perfectly the stumbling block (at least on this album).

Seven has all the required ingredients to make a great album : beautiful melodies, brilliant and very diverse instrumental passages, perfect vocals but, above all, I find the music and lyrics very moving. That could seem paradoxical since it is pretty obvious that Rob Reed is a very meticulous and precise guy but, despite an alleged lack of spontaneity in the making, this album is all about emotions. I am not ashamed to confess that, depending on my mood, when Christina sings the simple words "every time you smile the sun shines down on me", it just bucks me up or moves me to tears.

Of course, inevitably, because every song but one reaches or goes past the ten minutes mark, this album will take many listens to perceive all its details and subtleties but I found it to be a very rewarding quest.

Magenta may be a hard band to classify : sometimes neo progressive, sometimes symphonic, sometimes art rock, sometimes solely prog-related. My advice is to forget about classification and just listen to Seven without prejudice : you should not be disappointed. I put myself on a diet about the five stars rating so I will go with 4,5 but we are close from a masterpiece, very close .

Report this review (#121469)
Posted Thursday, May 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
Fight Club
4 stars "Take a look at the future" This is the future of symphonic prog

Magenta first came onto the prog scene about 6 years back with their acclaimed album Revolutions. The album got Magenta wide success in the prog world bringing listeners back to the glory days of Yes and Genesis. Though heavily influenced by these bands, they didn't copy the style. Instead they fused elements into their own style. They are often labeled as a "neo- prog" band, though I find myself categorizing them more into the "symphonic" style. Now Seven is an album I have been trying to get my hands on for quite a long time now. Only just recently I successfully found a 128 kbps rip of it. At first I thought "crap! only 128!?", but soon discovered it didn't matter. The excellent production and quality of the music kept me entertained regardless of the bitrate flaws. Generally, I am extremely satisfied with the album and glad I found it!

Anyways, as you might have guessed, Seven is a concept album about the seven deadly sins. Each of the tracks' lyrics speak of a different sin, even though sometimes it is more obvious than others. Now even though there's an overall concept here, the album isn't structured as one piece of work. Each track is it's own track and doesn't really flow from one to the next. I still feel this is best listened to in order though despite each track working as a single. They still feel as if they are part of a series which is just how I like it :)

Musically this album glows like the classics of the 70s. There are echos of all the symphonic rock favorites from Yes and Genesis (as stated earlier), ELP, Renaissance, and even a hint of Italian prog styles. Although all these influences are pretty obvious to any classic prog fan, Magenta holds to their own style more than on Revolutions.

All of the musicians perform top-notch on this album, most notably the guitar player and the singer. I fell in love with Christina's voice the first time I listened to the band. She is a very skilled vocalist and probably one of the best female prog singers of this generation. The guitar player also performs with a certain excellence that most neo-proggers seem to try to achieve and never quite reach. The solos are always perfectly placed and extremely elegant. This doesn't mean the other musicians shouldn't be noticed though. The sound created when all are working together is very lush and beautiful. If one instrument were to be removed from the mix, one wouldn't get quite the same effect. A beautiful demonstration of all this is the track "Envy". Beautiful catchy vocals and piano playing, lush keyboard, and a graceful guitar solo to top it all off. The songwriting talent combined with the prog aspects almost gives this album a feeling of the divine.

Although there are quite a few beautiful moments on this disc, there are a number of upbeat and fun moments too. At times things feel quite epic and grand, like a medieval adventure. Other times it feels like the finale in a circus spectacle. I think there's enough emotional variation to keep most people satisfied, but what about your average progger?

Any old school progger who wants to hear something new should greatly appreciate this album. It weilds all of the aspects one could possibly hope for in his favorite bands. Time and tempo changes, multiple chord progressions, and plenty more. Stunning guitar and keyboard solo and the greatest harmonizing you could expect to hear from the neo-prog style. Any musician should be impressed by the way this band things off. It's especially impressive to hear them doing it without so blatantly copying the 70s bands as most modern symphonic acts end up doing.

Production is also excellent. Everything is solid and can clearly be heard in the mix. Never is any one instrument too loud or too quiet. This can even be heard on the 128 kbps quality. Hardly do the cymbols sound splashing or the acoustic guitars, fuzzy. I'd love to hear how it'd sound in a 1400+ quality CD.

Overall, Seven is an extremely excellent effort from a modern symphonic band. It's got almost everything one could ask for in an album. A wide range of tempos, feelings, and instrumentation hold the album together. Only thing is, someone looking for a completely new and original sound might be disappointed. As I said before, the sound really does echo back to the old days. But hey, what can you expect from this era in music? If you're looking for convential symphonic prog as good as it gets these days, look no further. This album is a gem.

My rating: 9/10 Not quite a masterpiece, but still excellent.

Report this review (#146150)
Posted Saturday, October 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Their first double album showed a deep influence fom Renaissance (piano and vocals), "Genesis" and "Yes". Quite enjoyable but too much "borrowed" to be honest. I had already appreciated one of the founding member (Rob Reed) in a previous band ("Cyan") and he just confirms his talent within "Magenta".

When you listen to the very first notes from "Gluttony" one of the seven sins represented here (I really like the idea of the sins, being myself a great sinner) you are on your way for a "YesTrip". Beautiful vocal harmonies, complex rhythm, Howe-ish style guitar work, subtle keys. YesWorld, man. With a crystal vocal voice. Rather charming, even if not 100% original.

"Envy" brings us back fully in the "Renaissance" territory. No wonder that the band will be joined by Annie Haslam for an EP later on in their career. But during the instrumental passages, the "Yes" influence is again to be noticed. Deeply. "Gates" is really close at times. But the combination with those smooth vocals from Christina Murphy adds a great flavour to it. The finale features a very good guitar solo. As if Bryan Josh from Mostly Autumn had joined.

All compositions are quite long (except "Anger"). The mood is a bit too much of the same during "Lust" and "Greed". Both are a mix of "Genesis" ("A Trick Of The Tail" era) and "Renaissance. Pleasant and soft music. A combination of sweet vocals, pleasant piano and symphonic moments. Because the band sounds much more symphonic than neo-prog actually. This lack of variety might well be a bit boring while listening to this album in its entirety. To keep the listener's interest for seventy-five minutes is not an easy job in these circumstances. But same applies for several "Renaissance" albums.

The acoustic and mellow "Anger" is the weakest of the songs of this album. It is fortunately the shortest one as well. Invading orchestrations are just too much for my ears. "Pride" will feature some Banks oriented synths which are of course nice to listen to but which shows the band's limitation in terms of creativity. Fully dependable on others' ideas (Yes, Floyd, Genesis and Renaissance). Great sources of inspiration of course.

This is the major critic for this work (same for their debut album). "Magenta" can't find their identity so far (or maybe this kaleidoscope IS their identity). The music played on "Seven" is enjoyable, well performed and relaxing. "Sloth" being the smoothest and featuring a great Floydian guitar break. It is a good album. But not a great one.

Three stars.

Report this review (#148569)
Posted Friday, November 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
Crossover Team
5 stars On Magenta's second album, Seven, Rob Reed and Christina Booth continued where they left off with their stunning debut, Revolutions. Reed continues to be a master of catchy melodies and hooks, yet retaining the traditional arrangements of accessible progressive rock. Christina delivers a masterful performance. I would argue that at present, she may be the best female vocalist in progressive rock today, at least on par with Annie Haslam and Mariela Gonzalez.

Reed continued to honor his predecessors in the genre by paying tribute with clear influences scattered throughout this album. Obvious ones to listen out for include Yes and Genesis prominently, plus Pink Floyd, Renaissance, Mike Oldfield, Camel, and probably others that I haven't picked up on. He again shows a strong Steve Howe style to his guitar work. Lyrically, Steve Reed (Rob's brother) tackles the seven deadly sins in each of these seven songs on this album called "Seven." Notice the concept? He does an exceptional job here, though I have to admit that I've had some difficulties comparing them with what I took the sins to mean. It wasn't until I read the details behind each song from the Magenta web site that I could really understand the different slants and interpretations they took on these. If you're interested, I highly suggest checking their site out.

Again, this is a bonafide, genuine masterpiece. The songs are generally shorter than on Revolutions, but I feel they're both equally amazing works as I've regularly enjoyed devoting equal time listening to both. Very highly recommended classic and masterpiece well deserving of five stars.

Report this review (#149455)
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I've been waiting for a long time with this review and the main reason was my mixed feelings about it which also made me reluctant to do the job. And even now I'm not really eager to express my opinion. Seven is supposed to be a near masterpiece but to me it has quite some flaws besides of course great music as well. The album handles the seven deadly sins which should give enough food for the lyrics I guess.

Gluttony is a very fine opener with a good mix between vocals and instrumental parts with the highlight coming up at about seven minutes when Robert Reed shows a substantial part of his talents. Really good song this, also compositionally 4*.

Envy is a very vocal track with Christina shining brightly here. I can't say that of all songs to be honest but her performance on this Envy as well as on Sloth are impeccable. The instrumental bits are also of very high standard, in the middle part suddenly a high Genesis resemblance but still really great resulting in a 4,25*. Probably the best song overall on the album.

Lust is the track with the largest contribution by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Not that the band itself doesn't participate, on the contrary. First few minutes are instrumental with many instruments used. First bit of vocals resemble Yes big time but after that it's Magenta for the rest of the song. Inventive track this showing the compositional talents of Robert Reed. 4,25*.

Greed is my least favorite track of the album and that's mainly because of the lyrics that don't seem to flow for some reason. Each time I hear this one it annoys me and I also fail to see the connection between a glamorous woman and greed but maybe that's due to my lack of imagination. Anyway, something is not right about it, lyrically and it degrades the song. But to be honest, neither the composition nor the instrumental parts impress me either. 3*.

Anger is the most ballad like track prominently shown by the presence of harp sounds amongst the quiet vocals by Christina. Not a highlight to me. 3,25*

With Pride the album gets back on track with more energy than the previous two and some interesting instrumental contributions by mr. Reed himself occasionally. 3,75*.

Sloth initially tends to become another disappointing effort until a great guitar solo by Martin Shellard finally saves the song from a low rating. 4*.

I'm sorry to say I'm not going overboard as much as my "soulmates" here on PA who gave the album 5 stars and call it a masterpiece but in the end it's a well deserved four star effort nevertheless (though somewhat rounded up). Personally I believe the latest Metamorphosis is better.

Report this review (#160718)
Posted Monday, February 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars One of the great added-value attributes of the much "poo pooed" Neo prog genre is that it can very well serve as a bridge to bring over many "neophytes" to the Prog Wonderland. Not everyone is fortunate to be born suckling from a Gentle Giant, Yes or a King Crimson tittie and growing up to become a strong prog-muscled Atlas! Some of us need to slowly glide up the ladder from Old McDonald to the national anthem and then, the teenage musical flavor of the month in the media fueled system. Obviously, introducing my 14 year-old to Tool or Taal right off the bat is going to be an exercise in perpetual disdain, so what better tactic than slipping something more ear-friendly (though NEVER Radio- Friendly) and slowly swerving those innocent taste buds. She already likes Sylvan's "Chains" and "One Step Beyond", Jon & Vangelis' "Friends of Mister Cairo" and good old "Epitath" (more because she knows how much it means to me), so when I played Magenta's "Envy", the second tune off the second album, she immediately started to repeat the chorus and sing along. Repeated requests for a return visit elicited deep pride and only then could I truly judge the impact of the song, the album and the entire genre. While the debut "Revolutions" focused on elongated epic Yes-like behemoths, with little input from Christina Booth, the sophomore " Seven" unleashes a new more polished, less massive style with the fascinating spotlight delivered directly on a new female vocal persona , a Progstar is born. Closer analysis reveals that she has only the gender in common with Annie Haslam (poor girl, every female prog singer has to be measured against her and who will actually cooperate with Magenta later!), a more contemporary look (she is darn' pretty sexy!) and a voice that transcends styles and genres. Robert Reed realized the ace in the hole at the main mike and molded the arrangements accordingly. Smart move, mate! This is a very good recording that has garnered much PA praise and for all the right reasons: on target subject material (the 7 Deadly Sins), great evocative songs, astute professional playing from all musicians and a sizzling overall mood to the entire project that exudes comfort and glee. In fact, it may well be one of the finest NEO-prog monuments yet. The proceedings kick off inspiringly with the 12 minute" Gluttony" , a left-over Yes piece recorded by another band, full of vocal "cha, cha, chas", oblique how? guitar ornamentals, fat squired bass, very white drumming and an assortment of keyboards that will wake(you),man. Christina's lungs shine brightly, illuminating the pleasure of the message and the genuineness hits home, "all alone". An exceptionally airy Chris Fry guitar solo sets fire to the fuse, propelling the emotion to aerie heights, with Robert supplying some Gabrielesque male vocals in a duel with Christina's majestic plea. The final 2 minutes are ecstasy incarnate. "Envy" is the more direct tune here, a ravishing melody wrapped around some astounding lyrics and the fragile chorus that will send shivers down any spine: "One day, the fire will burn so bright , the love you lost will find the road to your heart again". A reflective mid- section includes some simmering acoustic playing, a resounding organ foray and some lush string symphonics engulfing some delicate piano musings. When the crescendo sustained chorus returns, there is a sense of wonder, of glee and of unrestrained pleasure. A simple yet positively incendiary fret solo torches this mournful yet happy song to explosive elevations. I could listen to this endlessly. A dozen minutes long, "Lust" is the dirty song on the menu, fired by a somewhat lewd and heavily Genesis flavored intro, as soon as Christina steps up to the 'phone, it turns 180 degrees into the area Close to the Edge of Fragile (if you see what I mean!) and convincingly! I would love to hear a Yes album with her singing instead of Jon! "Confess! Confess!" she howls, Ok, OK, I will: it's really stunning music! Now that the synth liberates itself all over the guitar, the drums scowling ungraciously at the proud purring bass, you know that this is Prog Heaven (a la Neuteboom), a masterful track that is just YES YES YES. "Greed" serves as the proverbial "cigarette" after the fall, getting a sensible grip after all that sexually lusty prog, the longest tune here, focusing more on the meaningful vocals and the very innuendo-laced sentiments expressed (the sardonic repetition of "for me"), with a multitude of melodic ornamental details that add frill and lace to the dripping sarcasm. Read the Reed lyrics and you will enjoy this tragic-comedy even more because a casual ear will miss the subtle point. "Anger" is a short and bittersweet display of contrasting solo and choir vocals, stripped down bare arrangement, a heart stopping exhibition of unrestrained passion with a sweltering bluesy guitar passage loaded with shivering grace. "Pride" is a return dive into the progressive volcano, at first effervescing in multiple swerves and dekes, after which a flourishing bass guitar parades the crew into comfortably positive territory, adorned by zipping guitar sorties that remind one of Howe's well deserved legacy and influence. The woop-woop-woop synth solo is smile inducingly outrageous, the lads are almost outyessing Yes and I guess the caped one would be rightly proud! "Every time the sun shines down on me, yeah". Excellent record and I fail to comprehend why a profane would not admire such well-crafted brilliance. "Sloth" is the finale that, as the title implies starts very, very slowly, a deliberate buildup with a bombastic chorus and luxuriant orchestrations curtaining the stage. With only her trembling voice and piano tinklings in the background, one realizes that we have somewhat of a winner here. A limpid Fry solo unzips the emotion and sets free the soaring plea "Let your light rain down". Gitche Manitou, take me to your land. Yeah, take me to Prog Land, baby. SEVEN, yeah seven stars, oh sorry.there are limits after all. five sinful stars.
Report this review (#164238)
Posted Tuesday, March 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After the ambitious ''Revolutions'' Magents show their fame growing day by day,the band was called to participate on the Baja Prog Festival of 2003 in Mexico,where they had a memorable performance.However founder of the band Rob Reed decided to jump off his guitar duties and gave the job to Martin Rosser.The new line-up entered the studios to record another ambitious effort around the theme of the seven deadly sins.The sophomore highly praised Magenta album ''Seven'' was finally released in 2004,originally on F2 Music.

I'm not thrilled about this album as many progsters are but I recognize that it is a very ambitious effort.Still this is an easy-flowing work full of symphonic moments with a vintage feeling and also plenty of Neo Prog explosions.Each sin has its own composition,six out of seven range from 10 to 14 minutes with nice orchestrations,elaborate arrangementsmelodic guitars,changing climates and delightful keyboard work (mainly synths).Not overly complex,the overall style is far from personal,but the addition of some strings by the Vienna Orchestra adds also a grandiose feeling at moments.Christina Murphy continues to sound a lot like Annie Haslam,yet their vocals are certainly crystalline and warm.However the album keeps a very pleasant,optimistic and happy sound till the end,very much in opposite with the whole concept,which in my opinion requires a more muddy,dark and depressive atmosphere,at least at parts of it.

''Seven'' is another winner by Rob Reed & co.,the album clocks at 75 minutes,but the musicianship is pretty accesible and well-crafted,helping the listener follow it till the big end.If you actually forget about the whole concept,as I did,which personally I think it requires a different mood on the whole,you might enjoy it even more.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#169583)
Posted Friday, May 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the first Magenta album I have ever heard and to me was quite a surprise , this band could really hit the charts by reducing their song's length probably because they are really catchy. Their music has references mainly from Renaissence on the vocal department and Yes on the music. Seven is a concept album about the capital sins that has 6 songs over the 10 minute barrier and a shorter one. All of them are typical symphonic songs , there is nothing sounding like neo prog neither on Seven nor on other Magenta records. All the tunes are highly enjoyable and the highlight on this album is the singer Christina Booth , she really has an angelic voice. However not anyone may like it since sometimes it seems to be too mellow.

Seven is far from being a masterpiece in my opinion since the band seems to give too much importance to their influences and they don't develop anything original like most of this kind of groups. However it's worth checking out simply for the reason that there aren't many prog bands with female singers and the album does not have weak moments at all.

3.5 stars out of five

Report this review (#200512)
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars I am not a huge fan of most 'Neo Prog', and this album is a great example of why. The production is sterile and flat, the drums are hollow, and the music itself is lacking of anything original, new, or different... it all seems to re-create decades-old ideas.

The female vocalist has a decent voice, but her vocals are devoid of passion and seem to have no conviction in relation to the lyrics... as if she's merely reciting the lyrics off a sheet of paper and not really 'feeling' what she's saying.

The seven deadly sins concept is a bit insipid and some of these lyrics are cringe-inducing to me: the band come across as bland Christian Rock at times.

This album is also insufferably long... why do modern bands feel the need to crowbar as much material as possible (regardless of quality) into the 76 possible-minutes of a compact disc? 'Seven' is beyond drawn-out... to the point that it's mind-numbing.

The sad part is that with some editing and compositional tweaking this could have been a very good album; there are parts here and there that catch your ear and are quite good (the first 3 minutes of 'Pride' are excellent, for instance, and have some precious playful wordless-vocal-melodies that i really enjoy).

'Gluttony' is a decent opener with probably the best music on the disc... but there's a vocal part that sounds way too close to 'Yes' (the 'cha-cha-cha cha-cha' part from Sound Chaser, mixed with something from 90125). Otherwise, the music is good and features some great synth playing, hard syncopation and counterpoint. I like this track, but it is about 5 minutes longer than it needs to be.

'Envy' is another quality track featuring the best and most memorable vocal melodies on the entire album... musically, this reminds me of 'IQ' a bit. There are some nice fat synth-bass sounds and lovely piano playing. Unfortunately, this song drags on about 8 minutes too long.

Most of the rest of this album is utterly forgettable; the songs all seems to blend together into one big annoying, never-ending mess of a song. I would not recommend this album to anyone.

Report this review (#203754)
Posted Thursday, February 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars A necessary must-have for every fan of neo-prog and one of the most interesting Prog albums of the last few years. Sometimes reminiscent of early Genesis, with a flavour of classic symphonically composed masterpieces of 70s and 80s. What you'll find here is lengthy compositions, gradually developing over time, flavoured with beautifully woven guitar and synthesizer soloes and delicate female vocals. Mind you, the album is not a re-invention of the genre, but a brilliantly set of songs that rework the classic motifs and arrangements with a modern kind of sound and the feel that nothing has been lost from the classic progressive rock experience. What makes me love this album so much is the sensation similar to the one I got while listening to my first prog-oriented discoveries I made in high school.
Report this review (#207952)
Posted Saturday, March 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars This album has slowly grown on me to the point where I can't offer up anything less than 4 stars. My initial reaction was that it was too sweet for it's own good, it was a pleasant listen but nothing more. Well this is another example of why an album should be listened to at least seven (haha) times before reviewing it. This is sort of a concept album about the seven deadly sins, although the songs aren't really linked to one another. The lyrics often don't seem to have anything to do with the title of the song they represent either. Rob Reed wrote the music while his brother Steve wrote the lyrics. THE VIENNA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA adds strings to this album.

"Gluttony" opens with some YES-like vocal harmonies before the song kicks into gear. Some nice guitar here. Christine comes in before 1 1/2 minutes. It settles 4 1/2 minutes in with piano and synths then reserved vocals. It kicks back in around 7 minutes with some good drumming. Screaming guitar follows. Spoken male vocals a minute later. Is that Bob Dylan ? (haha). More good guitar before it ends with piano. "Envy" opens with what sounds like harpsichord before a full sound with guitar takes over. Vocals a minute in. There's a beautiful section before 2 minutes as Christine leads the way on the chorus. Strings after 4 1/2 minutes continue until the guitar returns then vocals. Themes are repeated. Nice guitar later. The chorus for me is extremely meaningful and hopeful. "Lust" opens with strings as a full sound follows. The tempo continues to shift and contrasts continue. Vocals before 3 minutes and I like when it settles around 5 minutes. This is my least favourite song.

"Greed" opens with vocal melodies in harmony before the guitar cries out. Pulsating organ follows and i'm thinking SPOCK'S BEARD.Vocals after 1 1/2 minutes. Nice bass before 5 1/2 minutes. Guitar 7 minutes. Drums before 10 minutes followed by guitar. Strings after 12 minutes as it settles. "Anger" is pastoral with reserved vocals and strings. "Pride" kicks in before a minute with a full sound. Vocal melodies before 2 minutes and some great guitar a minute later. Synths after 8 minutes. It's uplifting after 10 minutes. "Sloth" is my favourite by far. I had heard this already on their "Broken" EP and it's quite different from all the other songs on this album. It's more melancholic and darker and much more emotional. The lyrics are so meaningful, they're about the Native Americans. Strings to open followed by some solo piano before the vocals come in. Guitar before 2 minutes. Pure emotion ! Christine cries out after 4 minutes and the guitar does the same. A Gilmour-like solo 7 minutes in for almost 2 minutes is so moving. Vocal melodies follow to end the song.

There's just too much here to like.

Report this review (#220206)
Posted Sunday, June 7, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars It is first album which I've heard from Magenta. And after a while of listening I knew one thing: this is better music in something. Prog or not, I'm not worry about it. All songs are 'long - timed' (except Anger every song had over ten minutes), but it never bored me. Singer shocked me her almost perfect voice. All instruments have enough place to express oneself in heartfelt solos. Melodic, nice, various music. In some albums I usually have one or two tracks which I liked much than other. It's weird, but here isn't this little differents. Why ? 'Cause all tracks hits me. So I will give 5* and I'm not worry about comparision with albums like -Close to the Edge- or any other in top 20. I hope that prog world will have more albums like this. Go, Magenta, go!
Report this review (#228418)
Posted Sunday, July 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
5 stars Best. That's the word describing this album. And beware, I dare not to use this adjective so often. In fact, I don't use it at all. There are reasons, there are feelings, so let's jump into this.

///introduction/// I hated religion. Then I struggled with it and its themes. Then I resigned on this futile fight (about year ago), because it's all over us, even not in my country (but I have to admit that we celebrate X-Mas, because of present and being together of course). But I found myself attracted to these things, at least musically. But "Seven", about seven deadly sins (I suppose) is unique. I also have to admit that I didn't recognize if it's one of these two options, ironical mocking of g/God, or some kind of worshiping. I just don't know and that makes this even more funnier and mysterious. Because there is magic. I'm an atheist, so for me, slang terms are different. For believing one this may be some kind of worshiping season or something like that.

///story continues/// Because the way how every sin is depicted (Vice City?) is astonishing. Well, I don't intend to throw words of joy and compliment all over this review, but this really is stunning, literally meant. You just have to listen few minutes from random track and simply enjoy it. Its beauty, which have to be taken as a fact. Or dogma perhaps, more appropriate word here. Recently, I wondered about if I gave certain albums "enough spins", but because I know this one for almost one year and listened to it maybe fifty times. And it still ain't worn in my mind, it still has its energy and power, even it's very, very familiar to me. I would dare to tell that it's one of the best albums in current decade (which will be over soon, hooray, it was ten years of great joy and sadness, but cut it now, don't let me be melodramatic and clique using man).

Of course, not everything is perfect, yes, I'm talking about last two tracks, which can't get 5 rating, but rather 4, as if they run out of ideas (which as setting introduced tracks 1-5 here. And when first five tracks were driven by melody, they can't just stop the stream on last two ones, it's not so consistent then.

5(+) and I have to say that I'm in love with Christine's vocal work, melody here (I'm not melody maker, but melody listener).

Report this review (#239054)
Posted Sunday, September 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Smooth and elegant

Magenta is a british neo prog from this decade who were at the peak when this album was released almost 5 years ago. Seven is their second album and better, at least to me then the predecesor. Expectations were high, and they did no wrong here and Magenta proves that they are among the best in this genre for sure, they did a great job here. Combining very well the neo with symphonic elements in a great variety and superb song writting. The album is as anybody who reviewed this album saw and here about the seven deadly sins. The music is something from Yes (drama period) just listen to opening track called Gluttony, on instrumental passages I swear I'm listning to Yes that era but with a modern sound and some Renaissance passages are to be found here specialy on Lust. Ok they are influenced by this bands but Magent doesn't copy for sure, they have their own style and a damn good and precise after all. The voice of Christina is the cherry on the cake here, very smooth with a nice and warm range, she fits like a glove in this kind of music, excellent performance and for sure better then on any album she was involved. The music is very pleasent from warm passages to a more up tempo and with excellent musicianship. The atmosphere and the sound overall is realy something that must be apreciated by me and by anyone who was intrested in this release, because, this album is one of the most pleasent experiences I've met in this subgenre. 4 stars easely, not quite 5, because some parts are a little too mellow and too long, but 4 solid stars and an excellent addition to any collection. Their best album without hesitation and why not one of the best of this decade in neo prog field. Recommended.

Report this review (#245309)
Posted Tuesday, October 20, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Recently broke the barriers of prejudice and sought to know the neo-prog. Magenta me really intrigued by the fact that a woman on vocals, this is a gap between bands of the same style and in this case is quality. The guitars follow the style and YES and GENESIS both in style and in so trimbres can see the keyboards, the latter named. Another difference is that they do not care much breaks the compass as IQ and PALLAS, as in "Envy" following a lyric line and characteristic bands of metal bands with female vocals (but not enough to sound as heavy) where the piano serves as a "bed" for Christina's voice. "Gluttony" led by guitars and modern synthesizer. "Lust" follows and orchestra from the keyboard past the vocal accompanied by the boys. The beautiful "Anger," a symphonic ballad / acoustic, dissonant, his may resemble well the introduction of Roudabout (but I was wrong) where the coral is very timely. "Pride" shows the quality of Christina as a performer with his Solvej that becomes important in this music. In general "Seven" shows a new approach to neo-prog aiming for the melodies that the metrics, which usually makes the style very derivative and criticized, it seems to the smallest details, and be dedicated to the great big symphonic medallions.Uma requested the band is your dvd shows that Christina is still better on vocals-live
Report this review (#250452)
Posted Saturday, November 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars I first heard the track "Gluttony" on a prog radio station, and I was... positively stunned ! Since I play keyboard, I immediately said to myself that if I was in a prog-band, I would like exactly that ! I bought the CD/DVD version, but I will focus only on the standard CD, "Seven", which as you might know contains 7 beautiful tracks.

Being aware of the 5-stars requirements, I will try to go around what I hear, in order to explain why this "Seven"-CD deserves the maximum. First, the theme is directed to what we like most in progressive music : a story on a definite subject. Here, it is on the 7 capital sins. So, one track per sin (CD : Seven !). Since those sins are very diverse, the music is also felt to be diverse as well. But, the lyrics are very nicely brought, being composed with a great deal of touch and not directly rude or lesson- wise. Nice job there ! If you like super intricate work between keyboards and guitar, without being metal but very rythmic on certain passages, you will enjoy ! The play of rob Reed is fabulous, very omnipresent with any type of sound you can imagine, always well chosen in the context of where it is in the track. What a keyboardist ! The guitar solos and presence are also a joy to listen to, because Chris Fry has a lot of imagination and skills. Also famous on each track. In my view, in order to get 5/5, a CD must either have a certain number of extraordinary tracks (with a few 'standard quality' ones), or the entire CD must be really good. The album Seven belongs to the second category. The overall effect, on each and individual track, along with very diverse passages while going 'around' the main theme of a track, the virtuosity of the musicians, the very nice 'ambiance', all this contributes to the highest rating possibly given.

All these positives are surrounded by the nice voice of Christina. She is very special. Probably that not everybody would like such a tone of voice, but she sings clear and precise, being almost alone upfront on certain passages. Her 'tremolo' is OK for me, and she makes her participation a very unique and original prog contribution. The sound quality is extraordinary, where it is easy to recognize a great concern about good detail work, permitting the production to reach high standards. Each track comprises a lot of variations, changes of rhythms, they are very melodic, with the omnipresence of keyboard sounds, along with a brilliant guitar play, either rythmic or solo. I did not enter in analysing each track, because you can find interesting detailed analysis on this Seven's site, but just a small thrill : at around the 5-minut mark of the last track, there are beautiful mixes from the voices of Christina, when she refers to "Gitche Manitou" ! Just brilliant and touchy, when the repeat adds violins and acoustic guitar !

And the main quality : you like this thing more and more, as you repeat listening to it. I would say that it was in my Top-20 best CD's in the beginning, but having discovered many new elements surrounding melodies and variations under each theme track, this CD is now in my Top-5 ! It has everything we are looking for in a good prog album : always discovering something superb out of it, with great passages, very complex and well constructed music, great sounds and ideas !

Of course, 5/5 ! An absolute discovery, high quality ! A main neo-prog opus, with some symphonic aspects !

Report this review (#277938)
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#347881)
Posted Thursday, December 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
2 stars Progressive sinners

Someone who knew that I was already a big fan of Yes recommended this album to me many years ago (possibly shortly after its release). My reaction when I heard the opening track, Gluttony (Seven is a conceptual album based on the seven cardinal sins), for the first time was that Magenta is a total Yes-clone. I did not listen further at the time as I had lots of other music to discover, primarily classic progressive Rock from the 70's. Now, after quite some time, my first impression still stands regarding Gluttony, it is indeed a heavily Yes- influenced track. They have even managed to reproduce the very special guitar-tone of Steve Howe on this track and also included some Chris Squire-like bass and typical Yes-like backing vocals! There is, however, also a very Gabriel-era Genesis-like passage with male vocals later in the same song. Like with Magenta's first album, this one too is thus more Retro-Prog than Neo-Prog. Following in the footsteps of the masters is not necessarily a sin in itself, however. That is, if you do it in the right way, with the right intentions and the rights determination, etc. Gluttony is actually a great track! In general though, Seven somehow fails to connect with me. I think that Magenta was more successful overall with their first work, Revolutions, and also the following Home is more appealing to me than the present album. The music on Seven has some of the same aspects that I found hard to accept on Revolutions, but fewer of the charms of that predecessor.

One cardinal sin committed here is connected to the sheer length of the album. The CD is filled to the brim, which means almost 80 minutes of music. Had this album been released back in the vinyl days, it would thus have been a double album. As such it is very ambitious and I think they bit off slightly more than they could chew this time!? Listening to the whole thing in one session is actually a rather tedious exercise for this reviewer, even if I clearly recognize the considerable talents and charms of the band. There is of course nothing wrong in itself with long albums if they are consistently enjoyable, but here almost all the seven tracks feel as if they have been extended beyond what was necessary to convey their messages. Seven tends to get a bit more-of-the-same somewhere in the middle and towards the end I just keep waiting for the album to end (even if the last two tracks are a bit better).

Envy is a more Renaissance-like song and features a typical big chorus. To my mind it all becomes a bit too grandiloquent and elegant (a problem I often have with Renaissance too). Still a good song, though. In Lust one can strongly notice the presence of The Vienna Symphony Orchestra which I think is really unnecessary and makes the sound more bombastic than necessary. The guitar melody is very strong in this song, but unfortunately the track as a whole overstays its welcome which is also true of Greed. In the latter, there is a line that goes "don't look now, I think it's a camera" that seems to be taken straight from Simon & Garfunkel's America (incidentally also covered by Yes). Anger is the shortest track of the album and indeed the only one that runs for less than ten minutes. Despite some refreshing acoustic guitar play, it is a rather forgettable ballad that does not sound angry in the slightest. I miss the wonderful acoustic link-pieces like Opus I and II from Revolutions.

Pride finally tends to pick things up again after a few slightly rambling tracks, but momentum is lost. Overall, while I have a great respect for Rob Reed and Magenta, Seven is not wholly satisfying for me. There are a couple of strong moments for sure, but on the whole I find it a bit too bombastic and orchestral, too long-winded and too derivative. Also, I think that the music is somehow a bit "shallow" and not dark enough for its subject matter which is, after all, the seven deadly sins! It was a good idea to make a concept album based on these sins, but the result does not make me lust for more. Don't get me wrong, Seven is certainly an essential disc for fans of Magenta and a decent addition to many a Prog collection. But it is not, in my opinion, the best place to start discovering the band and certainly not the place to start discover (modern) Prog in general. Rob Reed did more interesting and more rewarding music elsewhere, both with Magenta and Cyan.

I can only recommend this for fans and collectors

Report this review (#417891)
Posted Friday, March 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Wow! This album moves me to the core with each and every listen. It's taken me four years to finally find a copy of it and I am so happy I did! I don't care if it's considered "Neo-prog" or that Magenta is considered a "Yes clone": IMO, there is no better 'neo' or 'clone' album out there. Okay, "Gluttony" sounds like it came from Drama or The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, and, yes, "Lust" sounds like it came from 90120, but Magenta still manages to make new, fresh music from the stylings and sounds of the much revered gods of the 70s.

The band as a whole stands very well, with all performers adding significantly to a collaboratively beautiful album, but their stellar achievement here rests on the talents of two extraordinary lead soloists: singer Christina Booth and lead guitarist Chris Fry.

Many people like to compare Christina to the incomparable ANNIE HASLEM, but I see more similarities to KATE BUSH. The crystal clarity of Annie with the emotion and diversity of Kate (though, IMHO, not quite as good as either.)

Then there is the astoundingly talented, enigmatic and creative 'chameleon' guitarist, Chris Fry. He is Steve Howe, he is Steve Hackett, he is Steve Hillage, he is Steve Rothery, he is he is John Mitchell, Paul Buchanan, he is Chet Atkins, he is Jamie West--Oram (THE FIXX), he is Stuart Adamson and Bruce Watson (BIG COUNTRY), he is B.B. KING, he is CORRADO RUSTICI, he is Jeff Beck--he is so many guitarists all wrapped into one. No two solos throughout this album sound anything like any of the others. Superlatives, people, only superlatives!

1. "Gluttony" (12:07) begins with a very familiar YES Relayer sound to it but, in fact, this is the song where the band break out from under the grips of neo-clonehood and offer something uniquely their own, something fresh (despite the occasional Steve Howe-like leads, Rick Wakeman-like organ and Chris Squire-like bass stylings.) The vocal harmonies and lead vocals are gorgeous and the use of 'harp' and The Vienna Symphony Strings is absolutely brilliant, integral, beautiful. And the diverse guitar and keyboard sounds and soli make it much more than just another Yes clone. (21/25)

2. "Envy" (10:10) is a fairly straightforward and easily accessible GENESIS-like song (And Then There Were Three era)--guitars, keys, bass pedals, Collins-like tom rolls--except for one small detail: THE INCREDIBLE VOICE OF CHRISTINA BOOTH! At 3:20 the song shifts to sound exactly like the background set up for Tony Banks' mellotron solo (the greatest mellotron solo in the history of music) from the second half of "Entangled" when--surprise, surprise!? Rick Wakeman's organ solo from the lull part of "Awaken" enters. Brilliant!! As hauntingly effective as the two source-originals! (20/20)

3. "Lust" (12:29) begins with the movie theme-song-like Vienna Strings intro before the band joins in for a couple of minutes of jamming in a YES/STYX sound and feel. At the 2:30 mark vocals are introduced in harmonic chords before the song settles into a straightforward rock backbeat with Christina singing and STYX-STARCASTLE-like keyboards playing around. The guitar solo sections accompanying the vocal "Ahh" harmonies are wonderful. At 4:45 everything switches to an astoundingly beautiful blues setting with Chris Fry playing one of the best ROY BUCHANAN solos I've ever heard. Wish it would go on forever! By 5:50 we're into a new "confess" section with repeating bouncy piano chords and regular breaks for Chris Fry soli. The use of orchestra in the next, instrumental, section beginning at 7:30 is wonderful. Guitar solo hear conjures up pure CARLOS SANTANA before giving way to a Moogy Klingman-like keyboard solo. Very exciting section! 9:40 begins a "take my soul/give me new life" section with recorders, tubular bells and piano, before giving way to orchestral support for a blistering guitar solo. Great emotion from Christina Booth's vocals leading into the outro! Wow! What a ride! (22.5/25)

4. " Greed" (13:55) starts off so beautifully, with harmonized vocal "Ahhs" striking an arpeggiated variety notes/chords, and, despite the joining of some Yes-like instruments (keys and guitars), the song really takes on a sound and feel quite unlike the prog Masters, though perhaps at times with some ANNIE HASLEM -like (post Renaissance) vocal similarities. In the mid-sections there are actually some similarities to THE CARPENTERS (in a good way), followed by some Yes Drama-era sounds and riffs, switching around the eight minute mark to total RENAISSANCE (piano & vocal). Genius Chris Fry then takes over for a flash or two over the continued Scheherezade-like music. With two minutes to go there is a switch: it sounds as if they're about to break into "Squonk" when instead a light BURT BACHARACH-like section ensues to end. Beautiful. (28.5/30)

5. "Anger" (5:13) is an amazing little semi-pop song. A heart-wrenching vocal song over 'harp' (?) and The Vienna Symphony Orchestra strings. Does anyone hear know "A Perfect Day" by the infinitely talented Miriam Stockley (ADIEMUS)? It was used as the theme song for the 1992 BBC animated series of the Beatrix Potter "Peter Rabbit" stories. "Anger" has some of the pastoral and emotional majesty Ms. Stockely's beautiful little song. (10/10)

6. "Pride" (12:31) sees a return to a very Yes-sounding song--sounding more from the Close to the Edge to Going for the One era. This is, IMO, the song on which the band is most clearly imitative of pure YES, and, except for the incredible instrumental section from 7:56 to 9:40 (Chris Fry is an absolute genius!!), the weakest song on the album. "There Must Be Some Misunderstanding"!! (Do you hear it??!!) (18/25)

7. "Sloth" (10:08) has a very theatric, RENAISSANCE sound and style. Even the topic ("Gitchee Manitou" or pre-European conquest America) is similar to the xenophilic fascinations of RENAISSANCE (or was it lyricist Betty Thatcher's?). Absotlutely amazing vocals throughout but the CLAIRE TOREY ("Great Gig in the Sky" from Dark Side of the Moon) finale is almost as powerful as Miss Torey's original! (18.75/20)

IMHO, this is indisputably a masterpiece of absolutely beautiful music with stunning performances and brilliant compositions. Neo-clones: Top this one!

Report this review (#457963)
Posted Tuesday, June 7, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Rob Reed finally produces the five-star classic we all knew he was capable of with Magenta's Seven. A colossal step up from the band's debut album, Seven sees Magenta expertly blending Yes, Genesis, and a little Pink Floyd into a distinctive neo-prog sound which is fresher than typical for the genre thanks to the brilliant songwriting and performances. Christina's vocals are better than ever, at points almost getting an Annie Haslam quality to them, Rob Reed's multi- instrumentalist capabilities are showcased like never before, and there's some fine guitar performances from Chris Fry and, on the last track, Martin Shellard. Sheer prog perfection.
Report this review (#663896)
Posted Sunday, March 18, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars The Death of Neo-Progressive Rock

I love neo-prog. For a long time, I've called neo-prog my favourite microgenre, the tiny group of artists that fit into this very specific sound I all love evenly and completely. Only recently, I've been having a bit of neo withdrawal. I honestly don't know if I truly enjoy this genre any more, or that the bands I do enjoy are just coincidence. The fact that Marillion and IQ and Arena are amongst my favourite bands is just pure coincidence to the fact that they all sound the same, because I'm really not enjoying some of these 'other' neo bands, even though I know they sound the same.

It's one of my little annoyances with the neo-prog bands, that they all must sound the same. They all have that IQ-style analogue synth, the one that I describe as "stretchy". They all have Steve Rothery on guitar, or someone who does those wailing and epic high end guitar lines whilst most of the rhythm that guitar normally is used for is taken by the bass and some ambient synth pads. They all seem to find a vocalist that sounds exactly like Peter Nicholls or Fish (who, in turn obviously sounds like Peters Gabriel and Hammill). The simple fact that there are such specific sounds required for a neo-prog album and yet there are so many neo-prog bands mean that once you get past the top, there's an awful lot of derivative and cloned music.

Magenta's Seven is seen as somewhat of a modern classic in the genre. Magenta weren't formed in the wave of bands that came in 1983 like most neo-prog bands, but they most certainly sound like it. The one sole difference is something that's become a cliché of new neo-prog, the addition of a female vocalist in replacement of the necessary Peter Nicholls. Sure, that's not unique now? *cough Landmarq Harvest Touchstone*. But this album is one of the more highly regarded albums in the neo-prog style from a band that has been formed since. I can think of other albums like Abraxas or Shooting Albatross that also fit this category, and strangely, I can't get into those albums either.

Let's start off from the beginning; "Gluttony" is pretty embarrassing. I mean, it's not horrendous, but [&*!#], if you have the balls to open up an album with "cha cha chaa... cha cha chaaa" in the obligatory 7/8 time, you're really pushing your luck at getting fans. Cringeworthy opening aside, the song continues in the same meandering fashion as the rest of the album, but after a few minutes, the female vocalist (or maybe it's a different vocalist altogether) dons this weird and quite uncomfortable voice for a few verses that really just kills any sort of pleasant vibe this song may be aiming for. I honestly quite enjoy the normally sung verses at the end, but the other voice just makes me ask ? did they seriously record that and not think it was an absolutely terrible idea? Occasionally during this track some nice piano comes in, or there is a moment of goodness in the synth or guitar, but the entire track never really recovers from the cheese overload in the intro, especially since the lyrics are equally cringeworthy.

Actually, we should go even further back from the beginning, and take a look at this album as a whole. When you look at this album in your library, before you even hear it, you see two things:

1. All of the tracks but one are 10 minutes or longer 2. The titles are the seven deadly sins

Which can only mean one thing: terrible concept album. And honestly, after looking through the lyrics on this, I can't pick up much of a concept, but that doesn't stop the lyrics being rather bad (like on a concept album). I have absolutely no idea what the lyrics about paparazzi and fame during "Greed" have to do with greed at all, they really just seem to be a weak portrayal of Magenta imagining what it might be like to be famous.

But to stop being so negative, I have to say that I really do enjoy "Envy" although (like basically every song here), there is no reason for it to be 10 minutes. It has a really sweet melody that continues through most of its runtime, sung rather nicely by Christina Booth, whose voice fits this style of music far more than the wank-driven prog of many of the other tracks. Here, she reminds me of Heather Findlay of Mostly Autumn, whose music fits female vocalists far more. The intro has a pretty weak synth part and there are plenty of bits throughout the song that I question my enjoyment of it, like the inclusion of the warblephone or the unnecessarily long instrumental breaks, but there's a lot that a great melody can do for a track.

As for the rest of the album, I honestly can't remember an awful lot. I know that "Lust" has a nice melody on the chorus and that "Greed" could be alright if it weren't for the really embarrassing lyrics and the need to repeat every line with backing vocals (repeat every line with backing vocals). I also know that this album has a very thin production, most of the tracks feel like there are maybe three layers of instruments, regularly killing any vibe I have from parts of the music here. But basically every one of these tracks lose me at some point of their duration, and I'm fairly certain none of them justify even half the length of which they are presented to us, they just meander and wank and occasionally do something nice.

I guess Seven just evades me completely in the end. This is to neo-prog what Transatlantic are to symphonic, by-the-numbers, old-fashioned, and too focused on instrumental showmanship, and every time a nice moment comes along, they trample all over it. I could pick maybe 20 minutes of material on this album that I quite like, but it would all be dotted everywhere, maybe a bar or so here or a riff there, no real excellent tracks or even segments. "Envy" is certainly an exception to that, and is the sole reason this album isn't going straight to the trash, but I really just haven't been able to get into this style of neo-prog at all.


Originally written for my Facebook page/blog:

Report this review (#791183)
Posted Friday, July 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
2 stars On the surface, this seems a decent album. The playing is of a good quality, the songs progress nicely, and the writing is strong. But too often, one is reminded so strongly of bands such as Yes and Genesis that it seems this is only a cheap imitation. The guitar lines frequently sound almost exactly like vintage Steve Howe, and the keyboard parts are overly reminiscent of Tony Banks. They are well-written, certainly, but lack any originality. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but this is not a tribute album - it is supposed to be completely original work. The production also lets the album down, as the music often sounds flat (in tone, not pitch) and has no real spark to it. All in all, a well-written but unoriginal album. It is not unpleasant to listen to, but one does not gain anything from hearing it.
Report this review (#990689)
Posted Monday, July 1, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars What can I say! I had the pleasure of seeing this band play live at the North East Art Rock Festival in 2007. Seven had been recently released, so the set list included a lot of songs from this album. Magenta was one of my favorite performances of that year.

I was recently listening to this record, and realized that I never reviewed it on ProgArchives, so felt compelled to do it tonight. While the lyrics of the songs do not really fit the theme of the seven sins, there are some interconnects, and each song definitely has its own charm. Of course Gluttony is the big-long epic and very enjoyable, but Sloth is probably the best song (my favorite) from the album.

I am not going to go through the process of reviewing every song in detail with this late review, but instead will tell you that if you are a progressive rock fan, this is a must-listen record and an essential addition to your collection.

I would be happy to see this album have a resurgence and would really like to see this band play in the US again at some point.

Report this review (#1496844)
Posted Saturday, December 5, 2015 | Review Permalink
4 stars (Watch this space for a better review)

This is a really nice record, and testament to the fact that one should listen to new music at least twice before deciding for oneself (let alone writing a review potentially hundreds of others may read) on a final verdict. Already twice I've revised my opinion on it - I really wanted to dislike it at first because neo-prog, honestly, and when choosing your musical heroes to emulate you should choose wisely, cross-genre, and not copy too closely. That said, I had to like this sophomore effort by Magenta simply because it is so good...

Christina's vocals are brilliant. The melodies are amazing, some to the point of ringing in your head for hours or days afterward. And, the songs are expertly performed. If some of the instrumentals are a little bit too repetitive (for the sake of earning their prog credentials? idk) or steal a little too openly from the styles of Yes, Genesis, or King Crimson, the group really do make up for that in their overall virtuosity. What more can you actually ask for.

Report this review (#1581600)
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2016 | Review Permalink

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