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Magellan - Hundred Year Flood CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.52 | 96 ratings

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Special Collaborator
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!

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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