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Magellan - Hour Of Restoration CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.39 | 108 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Restoring the progressive spirit

Magellan was founded in 1985 and consists of brothers Trent and Wayne Gardner. This debut album was released in 1991 on the freshly initiated Magna Carta label. The album opens with a nearly 15 minute track called precisely that, Magna Carta, and is about the well-known charter of rights. (A side note: Rick Wakeman opened his album Softsword with an equally epic track devoted to the same topic, recorded around the same time!) Progressive Rock was at the start of a revival at this time and releases such as this one was part of that restoration of the genre.

Heavy Prog is probably the most suitable categorization of this band, but there are elements of Neo-Prog and Prog Metal as well. Influences are drawn from a variety of sources - including some of the usual suspects from the classic era of progressive Rock - but this is not retro or derivative. The sound of early Magellan is dominated by modern keyboards, heavy guitar riffs, and anthemic lead and harmony vocals, done by the Gardner brothers themselves who are obviously very talented and good at what they do. I like the energy and sense of urgency of this album.

Being basically a two man band (with some help from Hal Stringfellow Imbrie on bass), they did not have a drummer at this time and thus relied on programmed drums. This could have been a disaster, but actually works surprisingly well! No doubt, the lack of real drums is going to raise sceptical eyebrows, including my own at first. Obviously, a lot of effort has gone into making the drums sound "real" and most of the time it succeeds.

Whatever the album may lack in some technical departments it makes up for in strong melodies and lots of good musical ideas. Good material will always be more important than technical perfection, and once you get past any such issues a set of strong songs reveal themselves. This music is not going to be everyone's cup of tea for sure, but I enjoy this album more than most of Magellan's later albums. Give it a chance, you may be surprised!

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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