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HOUR OF RESTORATION

Magellan

Heavy Prog


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Magellan Hour of Restoration album cover
3.44 | 70 ratings | 14 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1991

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Magna Carta (14:45)
2. The Winner (2:07)
3. Friends of America (3:27)
4. Union Jack (9:08)
5. Another Burning (5:04)
6. Just one Bridge (2:15)
7. Breaking These Circles (5:17)
8. Turning Point (1:24)

Total Time: 43:36

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Trent Gardner / keyboards, lead vocal
- Wayne Gardner / guitar, back Vocals
- Hal Stringfellow Imbrie / bass and backing vocals
- Magellan / drums and percussion

Releases information

Magellan's first album, Hour Of Restoration, released in 1991. It was reissued in 1996 and is available through mail order on the Magna Carta website.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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Symphony for a MisanthropeSymphony for a Misanthrope
Import
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Hour of RestorationHour of Restoration
Magna Carta 1991
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MAGELLAN Hour of Restoration ratings distribution


3.44
(70 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
19%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
38%
Good, but non-essential (38%)
38%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

MAGELLAN Hour of Restoration reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
1 stars One of those US releases that everyone praised so much in the early 90's and that I loved to hate it and with good reasons as IMOHO this type of music sucks . Just kidding but I supposed it was the year it came out as it must've been the only kind of slightly-remotedly-faintly-progish-in-a-sort-of-way album. Again, I am kidding here, but really this was not my cup of tea. I understood that a new generation of kids actually loved this type of group, because it was actual and contemporary to what they were living , that these bands could actually get them to take a leap to more challenging musics afterwards so I was avoiding to say such comments as I do nowadays about such groups. Please do not get me wrong, the album is hardly botched up (quite the contrary), but it was aiming at a public from which I certainly felt a great distance from. But the level of musicianship and the general producing qualities of this album is reasons enough for its success back then.

I was always one to think that scarce offering of prog makes for over-rated so-called masterpieces of starving Progheads . This was the case in the early days of Magna Carta label releases .

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#4612) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Review by daveconn
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Schoolhouse prog rock, as MAGELLAN condenses the history of the human rights struggle into under an hour of dynamic music. Of course neo-prog bands like MAGELLAN are lovers of history or they wouldn't bother dusting off the old musical adventures of their forefathers. The operative reference point here is KANSAS (and thus GENESIS is already filtered into the equation), MAGELLAN retracing the Midwestern band's original course in songcraft better suited to the times. The result not surprisingly feels like KING'S X with KERRY LIVGREN aboard, ambitious but occasionally sprawling in its architecture. I don't listen to a lot of neo-prog (which this is), but it's obviously my loss. "Hour of Restoration" isn't a classic in the making, but the band clearly bears watching (while KANSAS, at this juncture, did not). The knock on MAGELLAN's maiden voyage is their presumption that important subjects equate to important statements. You can say as much about human rights by watching a children's game (e.g., "Jeux Sans Frontier") as dredging up historical milestones like the signing of the Magna Carta or the American Civil War. The band would also seem to be short a drummer, but the final product doesn't show it. Although the band doesn't appear to have released any singles, "Friends of America" is a good candidate for the honor, concise and powerful like early ASIA. The trouble with neo-prog in general is that the bands often branded themselves as belated beatniks by clinging to the musical idols of the past.

Did the world need a new KANSAS or ASIA in 1991 when the old ones were struggling to capture an audience beyond hardcore devotees? Depending on your allegiance to progressive rock as a genre, yes or no. I tend to hear things in terms of good and bad rather than prog and non-prog, so sticking close to the prog blueprint doesn't buy any points with me. "Hour of Restoration" is good because it's filled with ambitious and engaging music, not because it reminds me of the old days. Whether you need to expand your world to include MAGELLAN is up to you. I'd certainly suggest buying this effort and getting your money's worth before blowing it on some of KANSAS' later stuff.

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Send comments to daveconn (BETA) | Report this review (#4613) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 02, 2004

Review by Snow Dog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions Team
3 stars Why are people generally down on this album? Personally I love it! Sometimes maybe it needs to calm down a bit,as a with all Magellan albums, otherwise excellent stuff. If anyones never heard it , its in the style of ELP ,Yes , Genesis sort of....well lots of bombastic keyboards anyway, with harmonised vocals. Makes me feel good to hear it and thats what music is about.

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Send comments to Snow Dog (BETA) | Report this review (#4614) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Underrated!

Magellan's debut stands as one of my personal favorites from the early 90's prog-metal scene. This band, leaded by Keyboardist/Vocalist Trent Gardner, mixes classic prog-rock elements Óla Yes and Kansas together with metal in an unique and interesting way, especially the lyrics too are very interesting. In 43-minutes, Magellan takes you through eight songs about the history of England, like the signing of the magna carta and the union war. Musically, It's very adventurous, bombastic and epic, without going way overboard though it's a notably complex album, often dominated by keyboards, but also backed up with an effective use of guitar too. No real drums here, only a drum machine, but it isn't really a problem since it's used in an incredibly effective way that it doesn't really sound tiresome at all. The song arrangements are very complex at times, but they still carries an acessible style to them. I have to admit that the wonderful cover art by Shawn Lux was the main reason I wanted to check this one out, but by this point, I can definitely say it was worth it.

The highlight here have to be the fantastic opener "Magna Carta"; a very progressive and dynamic track which stands out as Magellan's best track, In my opinion. As Mr. Connolly said, "The Winner" and "Friends of America" would have been fine single releases, actually, considering their accessibility and shorth lenght. Both tracks are fine too. The rest of the album is very good as well; these tracks all shows a clear similarity to "Magna Carta" although in a bit stepped down way. Still, all of them are highly enjoyable with the glorious "Union Jack" being a standout of those.

In overall, a highly enjoyable album, too bad it's so overlooked and rather forgotten, cause this is an excellent release. Fans of Dream Theater and Shadow Gallery should especially like this. It's hard to find, but if you are interested, give this one a spin (if you can find it, of course!) This one's available at the Magna Carta online store or perhaps on eBay. This is also a good starting point with this band. Highly recommended! 4/5

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Send comments to Bj-1 (BETA) | Report this review (#61224) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Review by Fishy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I remember the release of this album gave me a sign of hope there was a possible future for the prog genre. At the time not many prog albums got a proper distribution deal so the search for new prog releases was long and unfruitful. Possibly this infected my opinion about this album in a positive way. Though "Hour of restoration is an enjoyable progmetal album, it's far from the masterpiece I initially thought it was. This album seems clearly influenced by Kansas and in lesser degree Yes for the vocals and Elp for the fascinating keyboard parts. Yet its own character is quite unique. When I read other reviews on this site, it seems this album is underrated. To my opinion, no one can deny the skilful playing of the instruments, the excellent vocal harmonies and the splendid symphonic sound throughout the whole album. The opening track 'Magna carta' needs a concentrated listen as the different rhythm patterns, melodies and atmospheres are changing rapidly. I remember the time signatures reminded me of the first Dream Theater release. Unlike Dream Theater, it sounds a bit patchy by times even though many excerpts are fascinating to listen to. The formula is working better on "Breaking the circles" or "Another burning". Here the succession of the different parts is more logical as some of the fragments simply are musical variations of the previous ones. The haunting atmosphere and the inspired melodies of "Breaking these circles" are appealing but the little atmospheric keyboard interludes I love the most.

Tracks like "friends of America" or "The winner" show the aor side of the band. The chorus of the latter could be from a typical Asia album while the bridge would suit a Rabin era Yes album well. The inclusion of such accessible songs is the perfect antidote for the complex tracks that make out the major part of "Hour of restoration". The reflecting atmospheres in "just one bridge" and "turning point" are other psychological resting points.

Even though this music definitely is prog metal, there is a noticeable influences of eighties pop. This gives the album a lighter feel which is good because the musical structures are rather complex. Especially the colourful sound of the keys and some vocals parts are referring to vintage neo-prog.

The electronic percussion is the disturbing factor of "Hour of restoration". It sounds too clean and cheap. Surely the album would benefit from use of real drums. Another weak point is the flat sounding vocals of Trent Gardener. I don't mind he tries to sing like Jon Anderson but there's not emotion involved in his technical way of singing.

My previous spin of this album dated from 10 years ago. Still I enjoy the bombastic sound of this album. Sure it sounds overblown but you can discover a thousand details in the majestic wall of sound. I think what makes this album different from other Magellan releases are the more compact tracks and accessible melodies.

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Send comments to Fishy (BETA) | Report this review (#102487) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 10, 2006

Review by progaeopteryx
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars After the dismal and bleak 1980s, progressive rock started making a small, but significant comeback. It would be slow throughout the 1990s, only picking up steam in the latter half of that decade. In the early 1990s, one of the first labels to focus completely on prog rock was Magna Carta. If it wasn't for the tribute albums Magna Carta had successfully marketed back then, I might not have rediscovered prog rock for quite a few more years. Through listening to their tribute albums, I soon started purchasing CDs directly from Magna Carta of the bands that appeared on their tribute albums. This included the likes of Cairo, Shadow Gallery, Enchant, World Trade, and Magellan. With Magellan, I started with Hour of Restoration, their debut album, and their sophomore release, Impending Ascension.

I was extremely excited to hear this music, and although I knew it wasn't exactly comparable to the greats from the 1970s, I was so very eager to overlook any negatives. It was prog rock and it was new (new being the key word). But now that I've had about 15 years to digest Magellan's debut, and have digested a horde of fabulous new progressive rock releases since then, Hour of Restoration seems more of a quaint album and quite a bit less significant, even though it was so pivotal in my returning to prog rock. Still, it blew away the prog rock that was available to me at the time (like Asia and a pre-Brave Marillion).

The core of Magellan consists of the Gardner brothers, Trent (keys and vocals) and Wayne (guitars). In addition, they were accompanied by Hal Stringfellow Imbrie on bass (he would depart after Impending Ascension). Drums and percussion were credited to "Magellan," but after listening to this you could tell almost right away that all of the drums were programmed. It wasn't like the awful programmed drums Phil Collins was incorporating into Genesis and his solo music at the time, nor was it like the crap that was being used in the dance music of that era. It was programmed exactly like what one would expect a progressive rock artist to create. Time signature changes, drum rolls, complicated rhythm patterns. True, it was awkward sounding, but it was in a way groundbreaking for a genre that had almost completely disappeared.

In addition to the weird programmed drums, we find that Trent Gardner is quite a skilled keyboardist. No, not on the level of an Emerson or a Wakeman, but maybe a level under these guys. His brother Wayne is quite diverse in his guitar playing styles, ranging from soft, to complicated, to downright metal. Trent's vocals take a little getting used to. He kind of has a whiny sounding voice, but at times sometimes seems similar in delivery to Ian Anderson. This vocal delivery would become more prevalent in future Magellan albums. The music itself seems like a mix of Kansas, a little bit of Rush, a little bit of Yes (mostly from the harmonized vocals), maybe some Asia (maybe because some of it has an AOR feel), and a good dose of weird. Time signature changes come suddenly. This becomes more pronounced on future albums. Transitions between sections are not real cohesive. It's like slamming on the brakes while your foot is still on the gas. That took some time for me to get used to, but now I enjoy this charming aspect of Magellan's music. Some have labeled early Magellan as neo-prog. I don't know about that. Eclectic seems more fitting to me. Magellan would incorporate more metal in future releases and eventually abandon whatever you want to call their style on this album and Impending Ascension.

Trent Gardner tends to write about historical subjects. On Hour of Restoration, he tackles the Magna Carta (the document from 1215 and not the same record label that released this--interesting coincidences aside), the Falkland Islands War (on Union Jack), and the civil rights movement of the 1960s (Another Burning). Clearly the best songs on this album are Magna Carta and Union Jack, the two longest pieces. The rest of the material feels incomplete, like an afterthought or just ideas that didn't quite get developed enough, but were put on the album to make it long enough to be released. That's about the only unfortunate thing about this album. If these songs had been properly developed into longer and more sophisticated structures, this debut would not have been just pivotal, but significant to the genre's development in the early 1990s.

Even though this is far from being a perfect release, I still have a place in my heart for it and fond memories of the joy it gave to me that yes, there was still hope for progressive rock. It's an interesting release for historical purposes and definitely worthy for Magellan fans for understanding the development of this band since this sounds nothing like later Magellan releases. I can only give it three stars because much better stuff was coming down the pipeline in the years following this release, including the next Magellan album, Impending Ascension.

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Send comments to progaeopteryx (BETA) | Report this review (#155981) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
4 stars This one is the debut album of MAGELLAN, a very interesting 2-man band from the US prog scene and I consider it their best effort so far among their 3 first releases...This is pure hard progressive rock with leanings towards bands like CAIRO (in their keyboard driven parts), KANSAS (especially the vocal lines and melodies) and RUSH (song structure and general atmosphere of the album)...There are also some nice heavy parts of music in this album- almost metal - which make me think (and I think you will agree) that this album is the closest one to the sound of the later excellent Trent Gardner's project THE EXPLORER'S CLUB!...Although my actual rating for MAGELLAN's debut is 7/10 I'll give them a 4-star rating since this one is one level front of their next efforts...Recommended for fans of hard prog like RUSH,ENCHANT and CAIRO...

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#172425) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I only know this band for some five years and I don't have a bad feeling when I listen to their debut effort.

The "opus magnus" is without doubt the long opening song "Magna Carta" which holds very good musical skills, fine instrumentation and very decent vocal work. Influences are many (ELP, Yes, Genesis and subsequent Pendragon as well) and the whole is very well structured: mixing heavy with symphonic parts (even short metal lines can be noticed). This song is the highlight of the album and it is difficult for the other songs to shine after this one.

The one that can potentially hold the comparison is "Union Jack". Between neo and heavy prog, it holds less melodic moments but more upbeat parts. This song is heavily keyboards oriented and vocals are again rather good.

The almost metal "Breaking These Circles" is the third song from this album that shines: there are several theme swaps and the whole is really well balanced. It rocks you down, but in style; A good song indeed.

This album is pleasant to listen to, even if some songs are on the average side. But seventy- five per cent of the timing is on the good to very good edge. Three stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#243774) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, October 09, 2009

Review by Kazuhiro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Mike Varney who is the representative of Shrapnel Records has excellent respect in power that the musician he also sees through a promising musician in the future for a fact. Mike Varney excavated and various guitarists also excavated it.

Having established it for the purpose of the promotion of the band with the music character that the Mike Varney makes the keyboard a main axis was Magna Carta. It was thought that one band announced one album by the unit of two months in the speculation of Mike Varney.

It is not a translation that all bands mainly composed of the keyboard are connected with a progressive former band of course. However, a basic idea of Mike Varney might have put the theme on the diffusion of Hard Rock. Bands such as Shadow Gallery and Cairo are announcing the work from this label besides this Megellan.

An exactly unique band was offering high-quality one after another music to Neo Prog that had borne the part in the main current in the 80's. Mike Varney might have started finding the answer with the music character of the band that excavated the flow in own Magna Carta.

Bass player's Hal Stringfellow Imbrie was a musician who was acting in the item of classics and Jazz. The Gardner brother guesses that he had exactly absorbed the element of a lot of Prog Rock. Especially, Wayne Gardner was well versed in playing the wind instrument. It is said that playing the guitar was acquired in self-study.

The drum player doesn't exist for their initial works. However, the establishment of the music character and directionality might already have been given as for the offer of the technology concerning the height of the idea concerning the overwhelming tune and the composition power and the performances. The music character to absorb the element of Prog Rock in the 70's and the 80's almost and to construct them originally might be a part considerably calculated.

"Magna Carta" The keyboard and the guitar to get on five rhythms go for another development at once. Melody and rhythm that develops with complexity. Performance advanced attended with exhilaration one feels. Part of Hard Rock and a few symphonic. The tune offers development to which the forecast doesn't adhere one after another. Part of melody with song and tension to get on six rhythms. The development of Chord with the tension continues. And, the height of the composition in which the space is buried while producing another face. The development of the melody with the expression of feelings that appears on the way might be splendid. And, the part that shifts to majors Chord and the repeated theme shine. And, unexpected effective development of 13/16 rhythms and 11/12 rhythms will call impression.

The guitar that there are exhilaration one feels in a steady rhythm of eight rhythms twines round "The Winner". And, the chorus who completely has harmony twines round the rhythm of 7/8 and 9/8. Exhilaration one feels for the keyboard and the melody of the song might have originality. The progress of Chord is calculated well.

The guitar and the keyboard with expression of feelings are taken an active part to "Friends Of America". Perhaps, the sound of the drum is processed by all programs. Part of rhythm and melody that develops one after another. The tune freely manipulates intermittently the rhythm and the tempo while repeating eight rhythms and six rhythms.

"Union Jack" starts from the song processed by the effect. Part of song in close relation to piano and keyboard that plays grand melody. The melody in close relation to 16 steady notes might be splendid. The element of Yes and ELP might be included as atmosphere. The flow of the rhythm that develops one after another puts out good atmosphere. Development advanced as the rhythm of the odd number is multiused also has the tension. The part of the song that appears at the end of the tune and the composition of Chord are moving.

As for "Another Burning", the melody of the song with expression of feelings is impressive. The chorus and the keyboard with a transparent feeling are features. The melody of a glossy guitar shifts to the part of more complex development. The composition that changes tempo freely while emphasizing a beautiful melody is progressive.

The arpeggio and the song of a beautiful guitar twine round "Just One Bridge" well. Good as it is atmosphere continues. The melody to get on six rhythms is refreshing.

"Breaking These Circles" gets on the rhythm to which a melody Kon futuristic is steady. And, the element of Hard Rock twines round the rhythm of the shuffle well. The part of symphonic and the part of Hard Rock twine well and it develops. The keyboard with a transparent feeling that appears after it shifts to eight rhythms without the sense of incompatibility opens feelings and advances.

"Turning Point" will have the role of Outro as a part where the end of the album is reported. The melody of a gentle song to Chord that the keyboard with the anacatesthesia produces gets on.

Their music characters provide the revolution and advancement further. However, the composition of the tune and the construction of the idea might be consolidated in this debut album to some degree. The element of very various music is changed into good shape and an original outlook on the world is offered.

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Send comments to Kazuhiro (BETA) | Report this review (#266293) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, February 14, 2010

Review by progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Magellan's debut album came out at around the time that progressive rock was starting to return from the demise it suffered throughout the 1980s (with a few small exceptions). This album came out around the time Magna Carta Records started issuing tribute albums to the likes of Pink Floyd, Genesis, and Yes. In fact, Magna Carta Records may have played a key role as one of the initial kickstarts prog rock needed to make its comeback in the United States. In other words, they reached out to those audiences that still loved the greats from the 1970s and at the same time introduced them to new bands. Hey, it worked for me, because I in turn did seek out albums from Magellan, Cairo, and others on this label. Then the Internet took off, and voila!

History lessons aside, Magellan's debut has a lot of promise and a lot to be learned. Where Magellan excels is in their longer pieces. Where they seem to suffer is in their shorter songs, which for the most part were filler to make a complete album. Another place where some may think they suffer is in the lack of a human drummer. That sets off red flags in more than one prog listener, but if they're done right, you'll find that many a listener will find the results acceptable; maybe not even notice it. And that seems to be the case, for the most part, with Magellan. If you want to do really good programmed drums, you need to listen to Magellan's first two albums; otherwise you find a human to do it (which is what they did on their third album).

Influences seem to be chiefly Kansas, maybe a little Genesis, and some AOR hints from Asia. Keyboard work is stellar. Trent Gardner is vastly underrated in this department and that may be because he seems to take a back seat on later Magellan albums and some of the side projects he has worked on. His keyboard prowess shines on this album, and even more on the next album. Hour of Restoration also incorporates a lot if historical subjects, something Magellan will be noted for throughout their career.

In conclusion, a mixed bag, but a small beacon of light shining through the travesty of late 1980s and early 1990s popular music. Magellan would improve greatly on their next album.

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Send comments to progaardvark (BETA) | Report this review (#933579) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 21, 2013

Latest members reviews

5 stars This album was my re-introduction to prog rock after I lost touch with during the 80's. The guy in the record shop promised me my money back if I dodn't like it. So I bought it and for a while this was my absolute favourite CD and even now 19 years later, it is still in my top 10. Well it's h ... (read more)

Report this review (#259953) | Posted by gingernut | Friday, January 08, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Very few bands divides the scene like this American band........ or maybe I am wrong. I happens to be one of them who respect this band. But to this album.... Hour Of Restoration was their debut album and it is very influenced by bands like Kansas, ELP and Genesis. That is in my book a good thi ... (read more)

Report this review (#188050) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Wednesday, November 05, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I have a special affection for this CD , to me it represents t flag ship of hope for progressive music in the dim dark days of the very early nineties when bands like Sound Garden and Pearl Jam and Nirvana were on everyone's lips and frankly they bored me ! So I took a gamble on a band that a guy ... (read more)

Report this review (#180062) | Posted by Yorkie X | Tuesday, August 19, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Masterpiece !!! I really can't understand why is this album so low rated. It's absolutely fantastic, so many greate ideas gatered in one album! For me it's essential of 80's. The melodies and crossing each other changes of rithm makes this album complete. The only thing that I regret is album ... (read more)

Report this review (#180011) | Posted by judaspriestfan | Tuesday, August 19, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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