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Magellan - Impossible Figures CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.44 | 93 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Impossible to predict.

Impossible Figures is Magellan's fifth studio release from 2003. I had never heard any of the band's previous works, and I was quite suprised by what I heard on this album. It was impossible for me to predect what this album would sound like.

The Gardner brothers are the driving force behind this album. Wayne Gardener's bass work is what impresses me the most. Not often do guitarist doubling on bass do such an excellent job in a Progressive Metal band. Wayne Gardener's talents seem to be top quality on both his instruments. The bass is interesting to listen to because of the odd time signatures flowing throughout the album. Magellan seems very much to like the sound of adding and subtracting beats from measurings giving them a distinct sound. Often times band will use odd scale transitions in conjunction with odd time signatures, but rarely do bands riff around in unison using the signature techniques found on this album. The bass is definately the central part of this complex groove. Not only rythymnically, but also melodically playing in a variety of positions to create voices.

Wayne Gardener also doubles on guitar. The guitar playing is much like the bass riff wise, but Wayne shows a great ability to sustain and extend his guitar solos. So much of this album is Wayne jamming it out on guitar an bass.

The brothers split the keyboard work. The synths are not particularly imaginative, but the classical influence in the keyboards between rock works seem highly inlfuenced by older progressive rock bands like ELP. The keys on this album are good, but not essential to the album's quality.

Trent Gardener takes care of the vocals. Again the band's skill to add and subtract beats effects the vocals. Trent Gardener does a great job of dropping in and out of unison with the band adding and subtracting beats to their time signatures. This makes the vocal performance a creative, but still somewhat unremarkable. Trent's voice is somewhat unique, but seems to take too much from classic vocalists like Greg Lake. The vocals are well produced, but still somewhat generic.

The drums are not as much of a highlight on the album. The only continuous element not played by the Gardener brothers. Though the drums are unremarkable, they don't really add or subtract anything from the albums quality. Jason Gianni though somewhat skilled, didn't seem to reach the level of creativity of the Gardener brothers, a good performance, but not exactly a note-worthy one.

The production is class. It's clear and unique, just like the band. The tones are original, but I find some of them (especially the keyboards) to be unfavorable to my tastes. Magellan's blend of progressive rock and metal as unique as it is fails to impress. I feel three stars is a worthy rating for an album that attempts, but doesn't deliver the highest quality of music.

AtLossForWords | 3/5 |


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