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4 stars Well you know that usually I don't like such metal prog genre very much:nevertheless this time I can make an exception for this strong work from the fact the long 30 minutes suite is not the proposal to emulate the old symphonic suites of the seventies and - moreover-Trent Gardner shows a good range of music ideas!! Except naturally on the second track (guest star: Ian Anderson on flute), which is not very inspiring (and this fact alone could make it deserve an inferior score), the following one -"Brother's Keeper- is a stunning surprising track. By means of this latter you can get an inkling of their definitive "sound evolution" and maturity of the band as well, concerning "Impossible Figures", their clever last work !!

Report this review (#4745)
Posted Monday, July 5, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Great album with a great sound. I don't believe Magellan sound anything like Kansas, Genesis, etc... this sound is so original, other groups may sound like them. Trent Gardner's voice has a different quality and a different style than any other group out there. And the bass techniques are out of this world. This is a must CD for any music lover out there. No matter what your genre.
Report this review (#4746)
Posted Tuesday, February 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Originally, this was Magellan's last recording for the Magna Carta label, but the most significant aspect of "Hundred Year Flood" is that it is a musical eulogy for Trent and Wayne Gardner's oldest brother, who in 1966 lost his life in the war fields of Vietnam: therefore, the personal component of this material becomes an essential element. Despite the sad subject, the music itself is not depressing or self-pitying: behind the emotional main theme, there are lots of energy and stamina working on the performances. In fact, Magellan decided, for this album, to explore the prog metal trend they had inaugurated for their previous album "Test of Wills" a bit further: I guess that the Explorer's Club albums served also as an additional vehicle for exploration. I get a very positive impression regarding "Hundred Year Album", since the structures used for the songs are generally quite cohesive, and the use of solos and sundry adornments never sounds forced or gratuitous: given the fact that two of the three tracks are very long, it is particularly laudable that the band hadn't fallen into the trappings of over-arranging the main motifs. The best example of this is the closing number, 'Brother's Keeper', an 11- minute piece that finds its gentler and heavier passages fully integrated with each other: the rhythm duo of newcomer Joe Franco on drums and the ever-effective Tony Levin on bass sustains solidly the track all along its variations and shifts. However, it is 'The Great Goodnight', a 13-part suite that fills the first 34 ˝ minutes of the album, the one that calls most of the listener's attention. Starting with a Yes' 'Leave It'-like massive vocal counterpoint and continuing with a symphonic ballad section, the song takes a more bombastic approach all the way, mixing the power of a fashionably polished prog metal and the colorfulness of ELP-meets-Kansas inspired symphonic prog. Part 8 finds the band taking a brief journey through the realms of techno-pop based AOR, but always keeping in touch with the explosive ambience that has been developing all along. Between these two monster tracks, the instrumental 'Family Jewels' explores the most overtly symphonic side of Trent Gardner's musical mind: legendary guest Ian Anderson delivers some nice flute lines during the serene first part of this track. I have already told a thing or two about the closing track, but I haven't mentioned the minute of silence and the final dedication - these elements enhance the album's personal subject, which is loss. The Gardner brothers managed to create a very inventive musical work out of such a sad source of inspiration: it took me a while to regard this "Hundred Year Flood" album as a more impressive musical work than its predecessor "Test of Wills", for years I defended the opposite notion. Anyway, both albums still sound quite excellent to me through the test of time, but now this album I'm reviewing stands to my ears as Magellan's definite opus.
Report this review (#4747)
Posted Saturday, May 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Look I`m a big Magellan head I have been for 5 years now, I own everything Trent Gardner has ever released, and I was recently blown away with Explorers clubs 2, so when waiting for this to turn up I expected a blow away Magellan CD, and for the first half it was just that . Firstly It is very good but I feel it is a bit to jumbled and has to many ideas whirling around, its also a bit short on melody, sure it has many hooks, but in whole its perhaps a bit over indulged. Sadly my bigest gripe is its a bit to personal, I mean I feal sorry for the Gardner family for there loss, but these things happen , thats life . In all I was impresed with this cd, it started well and kind of finished just ok .The Ian Anderson flute solo was good but i`ve heard him do better with Jethro Tull. I would recommend this CD to full on Magellan heads but for those starting out and want to discover the brilliant man Trent Gardner is, buy Leonardo (the absolute man)or Steve Walsh (glossolalia) Trent is the brains behind both these cd`s and they are great for first time Gardners. Test of Wills had some great songs like (walk fast , look worried) this new Magellan CD is lacking the warmth and metal balance of (Test of wills) but still provides us with a very good release, I missed Brad Kaiser though he was a great drummer. The Great Goodnight which runs for 34:27 minutes is musicaly fantastic and the the rest is ok .I think because of the very progressive nature of this CD avoid forming an opinion on it for the first 5 listens , let it work on you. Unfortunatly this and all magellan CD`s are plagued by a kind of negativity, I feel they need to lighten up.
Report this review (#47993)
Posted Friday, September 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Magellan's fourth studio album, Hundred Year Flood, ended up being their last studio album for Magna Carta. They would release their next album with Inside Out. This album also showed one personnel change, with drummer Brad Kaiser (leaving to do session work??) being replaced by Joe Franco (Good Rats, Twisted Sister, and a lot of session work too). Also appearing as guests are the famous Ian Anderson on flute, Tony Levin on bass, Robert Berry on guitars and bass, and George Bellas on guitar (whom Brad Kaiser has worked with). The other most notable change is the lengths of the songs. On previous Magellan albums, there were from seven to nine songs per album. Hundred Year Flood only has three, with the first song timing in at over 34 minutes long (albeit divided up into 13 tracks on the CD, although it is one continuous piece of music) and the last song timing in at almost 11 minutes long.

The 34+ minute opener is a touching tribute (or eulogy if you prefer) to Trent and Wayne's brother, Jack Elroy Gardner who died in battle during the Vietnam War in May 1966. Trent was four years old at the time, Wayne was 11 months old. The lyrics are very personal and touching, something often rare in progressive rock recordings. Many times a band has a hard time pulling off a 20-minute long song effectively, let alone something passing the half hour mark. Magellan, having never composed a song of this length, actually does quite an exceptional job. No skipping to the next track, no fast forwarding to a better section. Simply an enjoyable listen the whole way through. It includes nicely done harmonies (Yes comes to mind), hard crunching guitar, eloquent piano work, some lighter sections, and repeating musical themes.

They follow this track with a fairly nice instrumental featuring Ian Anderson on flute. It's not a real attention grabber, but I'm sure the Gardner brothers were pleased to have worked with Ian Anderson as their music often shows Jethro Tull influences. It has more of the feel of an interlude setting up the last track, Brother's Keeper. This final track is a nice mix of the quirky Magellan of old and the new prog metal leaning Magellan. Brilliantly performed, again with thoughtful lyrics.

Although Magellan did an almost 180 degree switch from symphonic prog to prog metal on their last album (Test of Wills), here on Hundred Year Flood, they seem to blend the metal with a more Jethro Tull/Kansas inspired kind of prog rock. I still miss the dominant keyboards displayed on Impending Ascension and their debut album, but it would seem that Magellan has finally matured. The quirkiness of earlier albums appears to have mostly disappeared, yet you can still sense that it's there (and I find that to be a charming aspect of Magellan's sound). Their musical transitions seem more fluid and less sudden. Gardner's vocals have improved greatly and musically their performance is top notch.

Overall, I would have to rate this as four stars. I enjoyed it thoroughly, although I think it would have been better if they had replaced that instrumental with something longer and more adventurous, taking full use of Ian Anderson's talents. A delightful listen and highly recommended.

Report this review (#157672)
Posted Friday, January 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars "Magelan" is fortunately moving away from the metal sounds of their prior album but unfortunately they are (I mean the Gardner brothers) heading towards some more neo stuff which is not of the best.

The band released some very good songs out of their first two albums, but this one is just maintaining the scale. Even the thirty four minutes epic is not a gorgeous moment. Some good parts here and there (this is the minimum required) but no superb development as far as I'm concerned.

I quite enjoyed their music with their debut, but this album is very far to reach the same level. There are lots of blunders during the epic which can be divided into lots of short slices of music. The global result is just below average IMHHO. Loose and uninteresting, this very long song (which is NOT always a guarantee of quality) is not transporting myself to the high prog spheres.

To summarize my thought, this is only an average neo-prog album. I have never felt that "Magellan" belonged to the heavy-prog style. Maybe that one of these days, they will be moved from this category? "Magellan" tried to make it complex and failed here. They should better return to their basics and deliver good songs instead of this pitiful "epic" which lasts for almost thirty-five minutes!!!

I was really expecting much more from this album, not only because of their prior releases but the presence of excellent guests could have lead to better music. But I can't blame Levin nor Anderson for the average song writing here. The very much inspired "Kansas" closing number won't change anything to my judgement. Too metal oriented to be good to tell the truth.

Two stars. That's all folks!

Report this review (#245947)
Posted Friday, October 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
Andy Webb
Retired Admin
4 stars Massive and majestic.

Trent Gardner seems to have this thing for long songs. Every album, there is at least one song (at the very least) that has a 10+ minute long song. On nearly all his side projects, he writes really long songs. On Hundred Year Flood, he writes a 35 minute long long song. Wow. Taking up well over half of the album, the epic piece of music shows the band's intense musical stamina and songwriting ability. The album is a concept album about the Gardner brothers' older brother who died in Vietnam. Overall, the album provides a fantastic ride with great dynamics, really cool sounds and a great Magellan-esque sound.

I'd heard many good things about Magellan, one being a big influence of theirs was Dream Theater. I tried to find their best album, which was difficult, so I picked one at random, the Hundred Year Flood. Seeing as I have an affinity for long playing tracks, I was in love with the 35 minute long The Great Goodnight, and not only because of its exceptionally long play. It opens with a great vocal performance, which adds a nice variety. The entire song is great, with repeating elements that tie the song together nicely. The one negative part of this song is that, seeing as it is a personal album (dedicated to his brother who dies in Vietnam), the vocals are personal and sometimes do not fit the music very well. The lyrics break away from the typical virtuosity of progressive rock, despite that the music is absolutely wonderful. Overall, The Great Goodnight is one of the better 30+ minute tracks I've heard, and I've heard more than you would expect. Fantastic instrumental sections, great part changes, and a great linear structure make this a staple in a long track collection.

Next is an instrumental Family Jewels, which has an excellent flute solo introduction, with a keyboard section at the end. Overall, the song shows the band's more folky and earthy song, balancing the big track's massive grandeur.

As a great ending, Brother's Keeper tops the album off nicely. It was featured on their myspace at the time I discovered them. The song was one that helped me get into the band. It has great musical parts and better lyrics than The Great Goodnight; it's hard to tell if their actually personal, which is good. On my copy of the album, there is a one-minute space between a message from Trent telling his listeners who the album is dedicated.... I think the one minute is unnecessary, 20 seconds or so would have been more appropriate.

ALBUM OVERALL: Wow. This track features a massive 35 minute epic, tending to my huge affinity for lengthy tracks. The whole album is a beautiful display of music, featuring lush keyboard work, great guitar work, and some really great melodic and rhythmic work. Although the lyrics may seem a little off at times, they do have a really great message. Overall, this album is really great and I recommend it for new Magellan fans, as long as you are an experienced prog listener and can stomach a 35 minute long track! 4 stars.

Report this review (#285135)
Posted Saturday, June 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Magellan's Hundred year flood from 2002 ia another worthy album from this band. I've always had a soft spot for this band since I've discovered them more then 10 years ago. Certanly the Magellan's music is an aquaring taste for some listners and not many embrace their unique sound and manner of composing, Trent Grtner is , at least for me one of the most underrated figuers from prog music. With this album the band optaing for a heavier side of prog music, heavy prog is best I can describe this album, with less symphonic arrangements as on previous album and even less symphonic as next two albums aswell. This is the last album on Magna Carts from next release Impossible figuers the band sign with Inside Out label. Some well known guest appear here like Ina Anderson on flute on the instrumental piece Family Jewels, Tony Levin on bass on last track aswell Robert Berry with George Bellas done some guitar works on the rest. Well this is a fairly decent towards in places great, but I don't think is among their best, in fact Magellan doesn't have weak album, only some of them are more or less atractive to my ears. Still this album worth to be investigated if you are a fan of the band as I am. The instrumental piece is to the best from here, adark atmosphere ambrace the listner where the flute of the charistmatic and unmatched musicin Ian Anderson shine from every angle, very nice mid paced tune with nice passages. The rest of the two are ok, the first one clocking around 35 min divided in 13 small pieces, linket together very nicely. So, 3 stars rounded up to 3.5 because Iike this band and all the labums released across the years.
Report this review (#888667)
Posted Sunday, January 6, 2013 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Hundred Year Flood is Magellan's fourth album and in my opinion their best effort. They had reached maturity at this point in their career and achieved a perfect balance between the various elements of their sound that characterized their earlier albums, toning down the heaviness of the previous Test Of Wills somewhat while turning up the symphonic aspects of the first two albums. This is still very much Heavy Prog, but it is heavy symphonic Prog.

Between this album and the previous one, the two Magellan brothers Trent and Wayne Gardner had both worked on the two Explorer's Club albums, the excellent Age Of Impact, released in 1998, and Raising The Mammoth, released the same year as Hundred Year Flood. They also worked on a solo album by Kansas' Steve Walsh called Glossolalia in 2000. The Gardners obviously learned a lot from creating those albums and working with people from Dream Theater among others.

Admittedly, I was not very impressed when I first tried to listen to this album several years ago. The almost 35 minute epic The Great Goodnight which opens the album was a lot to take in at first. But it clearly left a mark on me, urging me to return someday. It is a complex piece that requires multiple listens to sink in, but it was well worth the effort. The song is a eulogy to Trent's and Wayne's older brother who was killed in the Vietnam war. The a cappella arrangement in the beginning of the piece reminds of Gentle Giant and Yes' Leave It.

Family Jewels is an instrumental interlude that starts out sounding like Jethro Tull - courtesy of none other than Ian Anderson himself who appears here on his signature flute! - and it evolves into sounding like Emerson Lake & Palmer. In addition to Ian Anderson, other guests appearing here include Tony Levin (King Crimson, Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe) and Robert Berry (collaborator of Steve Howe and Keith Emerson, among many others).

Finally, there is another heavy Prog numer in the anti-war song Brother's Keeper. This song is actually somewhat shorter than it appears as the track ends with a spoken dedication preceded by a minute of silence. The album as a whole clocks in to under 50 minutes, which is praiseworthy as so many bands tend to needlessly fill up entire CD's with music that often overstays its welcome.

Together with Age Of Impact by Explorer's Club, Hundred Year Flood is the Gardners' best work. Highly recommended!

Report this review (#1505694)
Posted Saturday, January 2, 2016 | Review Permalink

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