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Savatage - The Wake Of Magellan CD (album) cover

THE WAKE OF MAGELLAN

Savatage

 

Progressive Metal

3.84 | 151 ratings

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TCat
3 stars 'The Wake of Magellan' is the 10th full length album from Savatage. It was released in 1998 and was one of the band's last albums under that name, as they were seeing success as the 'Trans Siberian Orchestra' specializing in dramatic Christmas and other similar albums. Savatage, at this time, was doing a style of progressive metal, many of their albums following specific concepts. The style of their progressive metal was somewhat over the top and dramatic.

This is also the case with this album, following a story based on two true incidents. The main character is a ship's captain that wants to ride out into a storm and let the sea take his life. But while in the process of this, he sees a person stranded in the water. To make a long story short, he rescues the person and realized the value of every solitary life. Nice story. And the music is a nice mix of drama, heaviness and predictability.

So, this band has always been a tough one for me, because, there is no doubt that the musicians are very talented. The guitar solos in this album, like their others, are amazing, and the addition of keyboards gives the music some texture and separates them from other heavy metal bands. The vocalists are very good too, but they put out a lot of over-the-top drama that rubs me the wrong way, and gives a bit of cheesiness to the overall sound.

The music, including with this album, has a lot of what I like in music, but it can be a little on the commercial side, albeit, it is more innovative that most run-of-the-mill metal bands. There are a lot of dynamics in the music also. But the problem is, there is not a lot of stretching of the boundaries or experimentation in the sound, so you get a feeling of sameness as you listen to a full album. I always find myself wishing they would break away from the heavy guitar passages and the typical slow piano sections and just do something new.

Yes the music is enjoyable and yes you have some great guitar as in 'Turns to Me', some instrumentals to help break up the vocals a bit, as in 'Underture' and these are the stronger tracks on this album. There is a bit of symphonic feel to the album too, which also helps. Like I said, there is a lot to love here, but it tends to go over the top in cheesiness and the sound tends to wear on me after a while and I lose interest before it's all over. The later problem is due to not enough variety and too much predictability.

The sound is somewhat similar to 'Dream Theatre' but only at it's core as the innovativeness of DT is lacking in this album. It's a good album, it's not necessarily a great album and it's also not their best. They just take the best of their sound but they don't do anything groundbreaking at all. I can't really do a track by track analysis here because there isn't anything that changes much on that basis. The story is interesting, the talent is amazing, but everything is just too predictable. At least it's a good 3 star album.

TCat | 3/5 |

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