Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Magnitude 9

Progressive Metal

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Magnitude 9 Reality in Focus album cover
3.01 | 28 ratings | 9 reviews | 4% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. No Turning Back (6:32)
2. What My Eyes Have Seen (5:34)
3. Far Beyond Illusion (5:39)
4. Afterlife (9:11)
5. The End of Days (4:38)
6. Lost Along the Way (4:34)
7. Flight of Icarus (3:53)
8. Temples of Gold (6:24)
9. Quiet Desperation (5:16)
10. Mind over Fear (7:32)

Total Time 59:13

Line-up / Musicians

- Corey Brown / vocals
- Rob Johnson / guitar
- Kevin Chown / bass
- Kevin Homan / drums
- Joseph Anastacio Glean / keyboards

Releases information

Inside Out U.S. #B000056V9O

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy MAGNITUDE 9 Reality in Focus Music

MAGNITUDE 9 Reality in Focus ratings distribution

(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(4%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

MAGNITUDE 9 Reality in Focus reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by AtLossForWords
1 stars Simulocker and Simulation of Prog/ Copies of Copies of Copies

Magnitude 9's Reality In Focus is a prime example of a problem of simulocker in progressive metal. Magnitude 9 takes too many pieces from other bands resuling in an unimaginative meaningless listen. The musicianship overall is average, also failing to impress. In short, fi you have heard, Dream Theater, Symphony X, and Iron have already heard this album. The second track "What My Eyes Have Seen" might as well be a cover off of Symphony X's V album.

The guitarist Rob Johnson is the bright spot of the band. He excells at neo-classical lead work. His rythymns don't exactly lack skill, but they do however lack what the rest of the band does, creativity. His tone is taken out of a digital library of guitar tones, but don't be fooled he can put togethor some quality solos throughout the album.

Joseph Glean the keyboardist suffers from a similar problem. He can put togethor some interesting neo-classical lead work, but lacks creativity. Glean unlike Johnson is almost a ghost rythymnically. His synth tones are repeatative and lack prescence throughout the album. He doesn't have very much functionality, and fails to fill holes like many keyboardists of this genre do so well.

Vocalist Corey Brown has admirable abilities with poor tone. Brown shows the capability to sustain and sing in many ranges, but fails to harmonize properly. His multiple takes on vocals don't help his cause. Brown's preformance on the Iron Maiden cover "Flight of Icarus" is a perfect replication of Bruce Dickinson. Brown isn't a bad vocalist, but he just doens't fit this band or genre.

Kevin Chown is non-existent. The bass plays almost no role in the album making the performance seem of equal quality without it.

Chown's rythymn section counterpart Kevin Homan is similar, only a drum machine would be needed to hold the beat for those neo-classical solos. Homan uses the most generic drum beats concieveable for this genre. There is nothing that moves the songs to a higher level.

A good rythymn section can really make a band excell, a bad one can absolutely crash it.

The production is unimaginative. An Acid Pro Loop Program could do the job for this band. Every tone sounds like a sample from a digital library with no mixing necessary. The bass is vacant in the mix and the guitars are a bit to prominent. The vocals are coarse and poorly recorded.

One star, and that's pushing it.

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Super band from USA, something like Fates Warning but not a copy. Maybe this album doesn't bring something new in prog but is very Ok to me. Great voice by Corey Brown, ex Psycho Drama, now i guess he sing in Balance of Power. Strong writing, powerful giutar combined with fast keys= a 4 stars album for me, i really like every track, the cover of Iron Maiden is one on one on the voice. get it, worth every money.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars FATES WARNING came to mind the most while listening to this excellent album, although the IRON MAIDEN influence can be heard on the first track. Oh, and they also do a cover of "Flight Of Icarus", which isn't a bonus track or anything it's part of the original album.

"No Turning Back" opens with MAIDEN-like guitars followed by riffs then vocals. Ripping guitar before 4 minutes followed by a synth solo. That IRON MAIDEN vibe is back again. Check out the guitar 5 1/2 minutes in as it cries out. "What My Eyes Have Seen" opens with synths as drums and some heaviness takes over. Vocals before a minute. The guitar sounds fantastic in this one, especially the solo after 3 minutes. I love when it settles 5 minutes in with deep bass sounds. "Far Beyond Illusion" features vocals that remind me of Adler. This is very FATES WARNING like. Amazing song. Crunchy guitars and such a solid sound. This reminds me of home. "Afterlife" is the longest track at over 9 minutes. This sounds so good early, like metal is flying everywhere. Great sound after 3 minutes followed by riffs. Guitar solo after 5 1/2 minutes. A nice heavy sound ends it. "The End Of Days" has this impressive intro before it settles somewhat as vocals come in. Riffs and synths create a wondrous sound 3 1/2 minutes in.

"Lost Along The Way" is a fairly heavy track throughout especially the intro. "Flight Of Icarus" is the best IRON MAIDEN cover I have heard. The vocals, guitar and drums are all outstanding. Man this guy can sing ! "Temples Of Gold" features a barage of drums then the tempo picks up as the guitar lights it up. Vocals follow. The drumming is killer.The guitar is on fire after 3 1/2 minutes. Spoken words come in quoting scripture 5 minutes in. Very cool. "Quiet Desperation" opens with synths that are promptly blown away by a stampede. Vocals a minute in. He's beating the hell out of his drum kit 3 minutes in. Blistering guitar follows. "Mind Over Fear" opens with some atmosphere before the riffs kick in. It settles as reserved vocals arrive 1 1/2 minutes in. A powerful soundscape returns quickly. Just a killer sound on this one. The guitar is out of control after 4 minutes.

My kind of music. Sure there is nothing new here, but that's not an issue with me, like I said earlier it makes me feel like I am home.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Reality in Focus is the second full-length studio album by American progressive metal act Magnitude 9. The album was released in 2000 through InsideOut Music. The debut album Chaos To Control (1997) by Magnitude 9 was an enjoyable album that fully showcased both the technical and the compositional skills of the band. Reality in Focus continues the solid progressive metal style that Magnitude 9 started on the debut.

The music is a mix of progressive metal, heavy metal and power metal. There are lots of heavy riffs, keyboards and skillful playing on the album but the music isnīt overtly complex in structure. Itīs generally vers/ chorus build with some pretty anthemic choruses that is best described as power metal/ heavy metal like in nature. While I do enjoy progressive metal with lots of power metal elements it is my least favoured subgenre within the progressive metal genre and after a couple of songs I find those choruses a bit too generic. But thatīs just my opinion. If you like the style thereīs absolutely nothing wrong with the quality of the music on this album. In addition to the nine original compositions by Magnitude 9, the band also tackle a cover version of Flight of Icarus by Iron Maiden. I donīt quite see the point though as this version is almost frightingly true to the original. If your cover version doesnīt add anything new to the original version Iīm not interested. All original compositions are progressive/ power metal songs of high quality though.

The musicianship is excellent. Guitarist Rob Johnson can certainly shred but his playing is melodic too. The rythm section is tight and heavy and keyboardist Joseph Anastacio Glean adds lots of atmosphere to the tracks. Lead vocalist Corey Brown is a powerful singer.

The production is very good. Detailed and powerful.

Reality in Focus might not really be to my personal taste but it is a high quality album. A 3.5 star rating is deserved.

Review by kev rowland
2 stars There is no doubt that Magnitude 9 want to be a slightly more progressive version of Iron Maiden (witness their cover of "Flight Of Icarus"), but I found that I was being distracted by the overall sound of the album. For most of the CD, to my ears admittedly, the drums are too high in the mix and the guitars too polished and subdued. This spoilt the whole album for me, which is a shame as there are some great guitar breaks and guitar/keyboard interplays. The songs and vocals are also good but for me the album is spoilt by the drums and for that reason if no other I can't recommend it.

Originally appeared in Feedback #62, May 01

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Melodic progressive metal from the USA. A rare case when highly skillful and technically brilliant musicians know how to write great songs and to dose the right amount of virtuosity not to overblown their performances. In fact, Magnitude 9 sounds more like their english counterparts than to their native colleagues. Sure enough there are hints of Dream Theater and Fates Warning here and there, but mostly their music is closer to the European style of more melodic bands like Threshold. Strong influences of 80īs power metal is also clear (their faithful cover of Iron Maidensīs Flight Of Icarus is not coincidence).

Reality In Focus is their second effort but it was the first to be released in Brazil, with a different cover and an altered songs running order. My CD has also two instrumental tracks added: Divided By Three and Mataphysical. Both show their more technical and less melodic side. Those tracks will please those who like to hear more technique and instrumental noodling than "song format" However, the "official" CD is just terrific. I really loved their guitar-led sound and their knack for writing fine hooks and melodies. All tracks are at least very good and there are no lows. Songs like No Turning Back and Lost Along The Way are fine examples of fine songwriting and powerful, energetic delivering of all band members. The star of the show is surely Rob Johnsonīs absolute fantastic guitar lines that dominates most of the tunes, but the rest group is not far behind (Joseph Anastacio Glean is one who knows hoe to put his keyboards in good use all the time). Vocalist Corey Brown has a fine pair of pipes and an emotional delivering that fits well with the high demanding compositions. Production is also top notch.

Although hardly a groundbreaking record, Reality In Focus is a great piece of work. If you like the more melodic, song oriented side of Prog Metal you canīt miss this one.

Rating: something between 4 and 4.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

3 stars While most prog-metal bands are immediately compared to Dream Theater to see if they are different or just a clone, Magnitude 9 manages not to sound like DT. OK, maybe they do sound a little like DT from the When Day and Dream Unite. In all honestly, Magnitude 9 actually sounds like anothe ... (read more)

Report this review (#63987) | Posted by dltonya | Tuesday, January 10, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars OK, Magnitude 9 is more traditional heavy metal than progressive metal. In this case, their album "Reality in Focus" doesn't give something new in their genre. They put a little progressive element in their music but... still it won't reach the perfect harmony of Dream Theater. For me, their m ... (read more)

Report this review (#25429) | Posted by | Monday, December 13, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars For fans of intense, ambitious, prog-edged metal a la Dream Theater, Queensryche, Fates Warning, and Iron Maiden, Magnitude 9 is a high-impact force. Building on the raw energy and solid songwriting of their debut, "Chaos To Control," "Reality In Focus" (appropriately enough) shows their sound b ... (read more)

Report this review (#25428) | Posted by | Tuesday, July 6, 2004 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of MAGNITUDE 9 "Reality in Focus"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.