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THE WAKE OF MAGELLAN

Savatage

Progressive Metal


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Savatage The Wake of Magellan album cover
3.80 | 108 ratings | 15 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Ocean (Instrumental) (1:33)
2. Welcome (2:11)
3. Turns To Me (6:01)
4. Morning Sun (5:49)
5. Another Way (4:35)
6. Blackjack Guillotine (4:33)
7. Paragons Of Innocence (5:33)
8. Complaint In The System (Veronica Guerin) (2:37)
9. Underture (Instrumental) (3:52)
10. The Wake Of Magellan (6:10)
11. Anymore (5:16)
12. The Storm (Instrumental) (3:45)
13. The Hourglass (8:05)

Total Time: 60:06

Bonus-tracks on the US-release:
14. Somewhere In Time/Alone You Breathe (4:37)
15. Sleep (4:16)
16. Stay (2:48)
Total Time: 71:41

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Zak Stevens / vocals
- Al Pitrelli / guitars, vocals
- Johnny Lee Middleton / bass, vocals
- Jeff Plate / drums
- Chris Caffery / guitars, vocals
- Jon Oliva / keyboards, vocals

Releases information

Atlantic 83100

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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Gutter BalletGutter Ballet
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Audio CD$4.99
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Wake of MagellanWake of Magellan
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SAVATAGE The Wake of Magellan ratings distribution


3.80
(108 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
35%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
36%
Good, but non-essential (19%)
19%
Collectors/fans only (5%)
5%
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)
6%

SAVATAGE The Wake of Magellan reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Indeed this is a splendid album, I discovered Savatage when I got this CD as a promo. I was asked to review the heavy stuff for a Dutch rock magazine ('Platenblad'). Their music on this CD succeeds to generate a lot of excitement, what a dynamic and captivating music! There is a great flow between the 13 tracks, the duo-guitar work is very good, the keyboards sound spectacular, the rhythm-section is rpopuslive and adventurous and the vocals are no less than stunning!

A MUST FOR THE HEAVY PROGRESSIVE PROGHEADS!

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#43845) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 22, 2005

Review by The Crow
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars After the heart-touching masterpiece "Dead Winter Dead", came another masterpiece sometimes even better than its predecessor: the impressive "The Wake of Magellan"...

This album is the other side of "Dead Winter Dead". DWD was a very dramatic album, and it supossed an introduction of an evident symphonic increasing in the band, thing wich supposed the born of the Savatage's side project Trans-Siberian Orchestra. "The Wake of Magellan" maintains these symphonic elements, but with an obvious change of mood. Here the music is more epic and less dramatic, agreed with the history of the album. Because of that, both albums are similar, but at the same time, completely different. ĄAnd this is one of the things I like most from Savatage, they never repeat the same formula in 2 albums, although they have a very charasteristic and own style! The only thing you can expect from a future Savatage's release is the awesome quality and the unmistakable signs of identity of the band, but never the same album with different name... Savatage doesn't work this way, and maybe for this reason they have never reached a great popularity, because they are pretty difficult to classify...

The Ocean: an introduction instrumental track, with a beautiful piano and strong bass lines, and providing a misterious and intrigating atmosfere...

Welcome: a catchy piano melody breaks in one of the most epic songs of the album, with a magnificent choir and great rythm guitars. The end is just anthologic... "Welcome to the show!"

Turns to Me: the first "real" song of the album, and a very good one. The song opens with atmosferic guitar armonics and beautiful verses singed by Zachary Stevens. Later, the song breaks in a sharpened guitar riff, and the song has really started! Agressive Zachary's singing, good chorus... But the best part of the song is the epic bridge, with an incredible feeling of adventure... You can imagine being in the sea hearing this song. The song ends with the same power how it started, with another impressive solo by the master Al Pitrelli.

Morning Sun: one of the highlights of the album. The verses are leaded by a funny folky acoustic guitars, with beautiful lyrics... But the chorus is just powerful, with killer electric guitars! The bridge is very powerful too, but the best of the song comes later, after the last chorus... Incredible guitar solo, maybe the best of the album! Al Pitrelli is one of the best guitarist out there, without a doubt!

Another Way: the fist song sung by Jon Oliva. His sharp voice fits perfectly with the powerful riffs of the song... And after the verses comes one of the best chorus of the album. And the guitars after the chorus are so epic! Really, hearing this song is like being in a ship searching for adventures!

Blackjack Guillotine: one of the most powerful songs of the album. The beginning is awesome, like music from a pirates film! After this great section, comes another powerful riff, with another agressive interpretation from Zachary Stevens. Finally, the song explodes with one of the heaviest sections of the album, with an impressive solo from Chris Caffery... Awesome.

Paragons of Innocence: the second and last song sung by Jon Oliva, in a similar way of Another Way, totally epic song. But the chorus is different, with a more groovy feeling, and the piano gives a very apropiano jazzy feeling. The section of "Got to let it, got to let it, got to let it..." is great. And the ending is a little odd, because you can hear a totally beautiful piano melody, but suddenly dissapear... This only melody could had been another great song!

Complaint in the System: this song is not the best in the album, with a kind of strange robotic voices. But it's very important for the story, because this song developes part the history of Veronica Guerin, who is an important rol in the album's story...

Underture: the second instrumental, a kind of compilation of what we have heard yet and what will come later in the album. Like every Savatage's instrumental, this song is awesome, very rich in details and totally symphonic prog.

The Wake of Magellan: one of the best songs of the album. It opens slowly and rithmically, with good bass lines by Johnny Lee Middleton, but the chorus is totally epic and exciting! After a heavy section with impressive solos and the last chorus, comes one of the best sections of the albums, one of the Savatage's trademark: the impressive choirs with 4 superposed voices. If you have not heared this Savatage's choirs, I recommend you to do it, because is so impressive... You can hear it in this web, in the songs Chance and The Wake of Magellan. And the most impressive thing is that they can perfectly make it on stage! I saw it with my own eyes. Awesome.

Anymore: the ballad of the album, and a really beautiful one. In the classic Savatage's style, with protagonism of piano, catchy rythm changes and chorus... Another Savatage's perfect ballad, like When the Crowds are Gone, Beleve, All that I Bleed, Alone You Breathe, Not What You See...

The Storm: the third and last instrumental, an indication for the end of the album, wich supposes a perfect introduction for the last song. Outstanding Al Pitrelli's guitar solos here, in a similar style of the "Dead Winter Dead"'s ones...

The Hourglass: maybe the most epic song of the albums, and the most impressive instrumental developement too. Some melodies are related with Anymore and Underture, and here we can hear another example of the outstanding and unique Savatage's choirs. The ending is perfect... "And soon there's no more". Great ending for a great album.

After the music review, I will talk a little about the album's story... Like every Savatage's record since "Gutter Ballet", the lyrics and the story was written by the seventh Savatage's member: the impressive and reputated producer and composer Paul O'Neil (his production in "The Wake of Magellan" is, again, a first class one, everything sounds perfectly here), who is also the mastermind in Trans-Siberian Orchestra. This story is about an old spanish sailor, who is tired about his life and he misses a lot his year in the sea... But he suddenly has a great change in his life, and then the story gives a turn, appearing the story of Veronica Guerin, the brave journalist who fighted against the drug empire... I don't want to spoil the whole story, so I will not say more. Only I wish to emphatisize that this is one of this albums wich makes you thinking and provides you more feeligns that the music itself. Like every Savatage's conceptual album, "The Wake of Magellan" has a lot of social feeling and a good moral message. And of course, this story provides even more dramatism and depth to the marvellous songs...

Conclusion: an obligated album is you like the symphonic/prog metal, like every Savatage's release since Gutter Ballet. And along with "Dead Winter Dead" and "Streets" (and maybe "Poets and Madmen" too), this is the best Savatage's offering. And the last with Zachary Stevens, one of the most talented and original singer in metal.

But warning: don't expect music in a similar style of Symphony X, Shadow Gallery, Vanden Plas, Dream Theater... Because Savatage are very different. Indeed, they are unique, so maybe if you are searching for cliches or typical and ordinary prog metal, you will be dissapointed. The instruments are in service of the music and the story, so don't expect crazy keyboards solos, complex drumming, impossible rythm changes... Just music made with the heart and a with a lot of passion. Of course this is symphonic/prog metal, and here are some things that even Dream Theater can't do (like the great choirs), but Savatage are special. They are not worried about showing their instrumental abbilites, only about offering great SONGS. If you want to understand it, you only have to hear one of their albums... And "The Wake of Magellan" is definitively a good one to introduce yourself in the Savatage's world.

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Send comments to The Crow (BETA) | Report this review (#73839) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, April 02, 2006

Review by WaywardSon
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I canīt think of many artists in the Progressive Metal genre that can stir the listeners imagination as much as Jon Oliva.

Right from the soft tinkering on the piano on the opening track, "The Ocean" (with the sounds of the ocean and gulls), the listener is drawn into another world as Jon Oliva and Savatage set the scene. Zakk Stevens enters on the second track, "Welcome" and his "harsh" vocals are perfectly suited for this band.

The next four tracks set the pace for the more progressive tracks that come after.

On "Complaint in the system" they begin to experiment more. The lyrics are very thought provoking and cleverly worked out. The musicianship on "Underture", "The wake of Magellen" and "The Storm" (Featuring an incredible guitar solo) are outstanding, weaving a tapestry of beauty and maddness as the story unfolds. The ship is lashed by gigantic waves and the lyrics tell of the men on board and their last thoughts before they perish.

The album closes with "The Hourglass", which is over eight minutes long , ending the nightmare, when the narrator (or survivor) finds footprints on the sand, a loner who is haunted by the memories of a ghost ship.

Progressive Metal at itīs best!

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Send comments to WaywardSon (BETA) | Report this review (#98432) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, November 12, 2006

Review by Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars Having enjoyed my first exposures to prog metal (Dream Theater, Symphony X, Riverside, etc), I thought I would extend a bit further and try the Wake of Magellan. Wow, was I ever in for a surprise! It is not lightly that I would give a 1 star rating. I'll wait for at least a year after purchasing the album, and I'll give it at least ten full listens. I have nothing against Savatage. I have nothing against prog metal. I just think this is a very mediocre album at best, and a blunder at worst.

There are slightly enjoyable parts. Some of the guitar work is fast and furious, and it actually sounds good. Unfortunately, this album really doesn't feature the guitar much. Instead, vocals lead the way, and they are absolutely awful in places. I like the cover art, and I like the theme. I just really can't get into the actual music.

To wit, exhibit A: Paragons of Innocence. The vocals are consistently flat throughout, but at the 3 minute mark, things become absolutely dreadful. The vocals sound EXACTLY like the Spice Girls ("So tell me what you want, what you really really want...") put to metal, and then the words "gotta let it" are repeated 30 times (don't worry, I counted). This is only a microcosm of the terror that awaits you in listening to this album. Every aspect of this composition has been done much better by other metal bands: technical playing (Dream Theater and tons of others), vocals (pick a band, it's likely better than this), and theme music (if you want historic theme albums/epics, I definitely recommend you start with Symphony X over this album).

My advice? Avoid this album. It adds nothing that hasn't been done better elsewhere. The vocals, melodies, and muddy production are simply not acceptable.

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Send comments to Flucktrot (BETA) | Report this review (#138191) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, September 14, 2007

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars One of the overlooked albus of Savatage, but for sure deserve attention. The last one with Zak Stevens on vocals. Again a splendid album, with a concept that pleases every prog metal fan.This is good, semi-prog power metal. Yet this does not sound like power metal at all, they kept the sound and manner of composing like on Edge of thorns or Handfull of rain, but in my opinion less convincing then on previous albums, but still great. Better then predecessor Dead winter dead with more prog elements and symphonis arrangements, on the The Wake of Magellan" music is more epic and less dramatic, agreed with the history of the album. All the tracks are amzing specialy the first 3 and the last 3, the middle section is good but not really awesome. So all in all a great album by a legendary band. Still very strong, 4 stars recommended for prog metal fans.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#148257) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This ambitious concept album by Savatage straddles the fine line between bouyant metal excess and chugging redundancy, in the end being an enjoyable but somewhat flawed prog- metal epic.

The story is somewhat convulated, but ultimately revolves around a descendant of the famous explorer Magellan and the character's life wasted longing for the sea and glory. The music is appropriately bombastic, with heavy riffing, big metal singalongs, the occasional bit of atmosphere to set the nautical mood, and dynamics that rise like an ocean swell. "Wake of Magellan" is largely successful, especially when at its most intense. The dramatic introduction, fast-paced and thoroughly rockin' "Turns to Me", instrumental fireworks halfway through "Blackjack Guillotine", and the entire, thoughtful third act of the album are terrific.

It's the in between sections, and even a few lags during these excellent songs, that hold "Wake of Magellan" back. Some of the riffing feels obligatory, and even a little uninspired. The production has a bland feel to it, and I felt like there could have been more depth to the sound of this album to broaden its pallette of sounds. Zak Steven's gruff vocals are effective, although not quite as enthusiastic as he's been in the past, while Jon Oliva's vocals are inexcusibly bad-- fortunetly only heard on two songs. Most of all, I feel a lack of genuine excitement, almost like the instrumentalists are holding back creatively.

Definintely not a masterpiece, but still a solid and enjoyable slice of prog-metal cheesecake, served with enough sweet fixins to ignore some of its shortcomings.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

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Send comments to Prog Leviathan (BETA) | Report this review (#258957) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 02, 2010

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars SAVATAGE have always been a mixed bag for me. I'm not a big fan of Zak's vocals, he reminds me of Alice Cooper but not as good, especially when he really tries to sing with emotion. Anyway this is another concept album and the cover art is pretty amazing to look at. Instrumentally I am a fan of this band, especially when they let their hair down and let it fly. Chris Caffery's guitar work is so impressive.

"The Ocean" is a short intro track with the sounds of waves as the piano joins in followed by the rest of the band as it builds. "Welcome" opens with piano followed by vocals then a full sound. Waves end it. "Turns To Me" is mellow with reserved vocals. It kicks in hard before a minute.Thankyou ! Vocals join in. It settles back as the contrasts continue. Ripping guitar before 5 minutes. "Morning Sun" features strummed guitar as reserved vocals join in. It kicks in after a minute as contrasts continue. I really like the heavy section after 3 minutes as the guitar lights it up. "Another Way" is heavy with rough vocals. Love the guitar before 1 1/2 minutes. It settles before 3 minutes then kicks back in. "Blackjack Guillotine" sounds excellent a minute in as it gets heavier.The guitar is screaming at one point. "Paragons Of Innocence" opens with keys as the heaviness joins in then vocals.This is catchy. He's almost rapping 3 minutes in.

"Complaint In The System" is another catchy tune with piano then a full sound with vocals. "Underture" opens with waves and piano before it turns heavy.This is a very good instrumental. "The Lake Of Magellan" opens with a beat with bass as the vocals join in. It picks up then settles back as contrasts continue. "Anymore" opens with piano as reserved vocals join in. It's fuller around a minute. Some vocal melodies before 4 minutes. "The Storm" opens with rain and thunder as piano joins in. Soaring guitar follows after a minute until it ends like it began. My favourite track. "The Hour Glass" opens with piano as vocals and heaviness take over. More passion before 1 1/2 minutes then the tempo picks up 3 minutes in. Some vocal arrangements after 5 minutes. Reserved vocals and piano end the album.

A good but flawed album.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#375059) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, January 06, 2011

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars I did my retrospective of Savatage discography last year where I covered some of the band's material produced by Paul O'Neill (Hall Of The Mountain King and on) but clearly left out quite a few albums. The reason for that is not that I haven't heard the albums, I actually happen to known most of these albums quite well, except Poets & Madmen which I'm still saving for that special moment sometime in the near future. So why, you might ask? Simply because I didn't feel that I could find enough reasoning behind my mixed feelings related to these albums and therefore wouldn't do justice to these reviews.

I did make the decision of reviewing Dead Winter Dead, against my better judgment, since it happens to be one of the beloved classics in the Savatage catalog, but I did it mainly just to show that I have a different opinion on the issue. Unfortunately, my reasoning was not motivated enough and I will probably have to work on that review in due time. That whole issue aside, I've now clearly understood my personal stand when it comes to The Wake Of Magellan, which is why I'm putting these thoughts into writing.

To tell you the truth, I never considered this release to be among the band's best. Savatage had their golden age with the release of Gutter Ballet but it all ended with the tragic death of Criss Oliva. Even though both Paul O'Neill and Jon Oliva tried their best to recreate the magic of those three great albums, I really haven't been able to place any of the post-Edge Of Thorns in the same bracket as the golden age material.

My main concern with this so called second renaissance of Savatage (Handful Of Rain and on) has to do with the amounts of laking material that was featured on these releases. Dead Winter Dead had only two truly magic moments in the form of the two gorgeous ballads This Is The Time and Not What You See. The rest of the album was good but there was nothing the could compare itself to those two compositions. The Wake Of Magellan has a similar issue although with a slightly different twist to it. I'm talking about the fact that most of the top notch material is hidden towards the end of the album!

I would have easily enjoyed this release more if it dropped the first eight tracks and made a 27 minute long EP out of the remaining five tracks (Underture and onward). These five concluding tracks are truly phenomenal and definitely reminiscent of the golden age material, featuring a linear storyline and an epic symphonic conclusion to the piece which unfortunately have almost no connection to the first half of the album. This might just be the reason why the band decided to add an intro section in the form of The Ocean (Instrumental), in order to make the to halves feel like one whole, but it just doesn't work for me.

The final product of The Wake Of Magellan is a semi-coherent masterpiece, which in my book makes it good enough release but not by any means an excellent one. The Hourglass is easily one of the strongest concluding compositions that I've heard to a concept album and it does manage to wipe away some of the lesser memories that one might have of the overall product. Fortunately I'm a realist who prefers to see things for what they are and I clearly see that this is a flawed release.

***** star songs: Anymore (5:16) The Hourglass (8:07)

**** star songs: Turns To Me (6:01) Another Way (4:35) Paragons Of Innocence (5:33) Underture (Instrumental) (3:52) The Wake Of Magellan (6:10) The Storm (Instrumental) (3:45)

*** star songs: The Ocean (Instrumental) (1:33) Welcome (2:11) Morning Sun (5:49) Blackjack Guillotine (4:33) Complaint In The System (2:37)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#458338) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Latest members reviews

5 stars Welcome to the show.... The Wake of Magellan is Another one of Savatage's Rock Operas. This album, much like all of Savatage and their later day material, is quite mood affecting. where Dead Winter Dead was very dark and dramatic, this album builds upon that and evens out the rock and opera a b ... (read more)

Report this review (#199603) | Posted by Alitare | Saturday, January 17, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Brilliant album by a brilliant band. It's albums like this that make me wish Savatage were still around (at the time of this review, they've been inactive for a long time). Overall 'The Wake of Magellan' is a perfect piece of music. From first to last, this album is full of energy and very impressiv ... (read more)

Report this review (#179361) | Posted by Valarius | Monday, August 11, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Perhaps the most overlooked prog-concept masterpiece. A diverse, musical tour-de-force that incorporates multi-tracked operatic vocals, virtuosic twin-guitar attacks, and orchestral keyboards and arrangements, all wrapped in a compelling, inviting tale. TWOM combines all of the best elements of ... (read more)

Report this review (#95430) | Posted by MrMan2000 | Sunday, October 22, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I originally got this album through an English teacher who was a big rock fan and was in a band himself and toured for years. At my first listen I thought I was pretty good, but didn't give it much attention and didn't listen to the story. Upon second listen however, I had a new view. Th ... (read more)

Report this review (#77359) | Posted by MajesterX | Saturday, May 06, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars After reading the reviews on this website and being a fan of bands like Dream Theater, Queensryche and Symphony X, I was excited to hear this band and their "masterpiece" album. I purchased a copy and settled in for a great listen. I was extremely dissappointed. The music was technically fi ... (read more)

Report this review (#43848) | Posted by AtlantaCatFan | Monday, August 22, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Having just listened to this release for the third time in one day the only thing I can say is wow!! I have to admit, I was one who always placed Savatage in the same vein as Mettalica, Maiden etc. I read much about their evolution toward prog metal and thought yeah right. Now I have to eat my wo ... (read more)

Report this review (#43840) | Posted by | Monday, August 22, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After years of listening to this CD it still is every bit as viable as it was then. Musically it is not as intricate as some, but it does not lack for technical prowess and downright good songwriting. It starts off with kind of a mellow vibe and then unexpectedly kicks in when you would leas ... (read more)

Report this review (#41805) | Posted by | Saturday, August 06, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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