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Savatage - The Wake Of Magellan CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.84 | 151 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This ambitious concept album by Savatage straddles the fine line between bouyant metal excess and chugging redundancy, in the end being an enjoyable but somewhat flawed prog- metal epic.

The story is somewhat convulated, but ultimately revolves around a descendant of the famous explorer Magellan and the character's life wasted longing for the sea and glory. The music is appropriately bombastic, with heavy riffing, big metal singalongs, the occasional bit of atmosphere to set the nautical mood, and dynamics that rise like an ocean swell. "Wake of Magellan" is largely successful, especially when at its most intense. The dramatic introduction, fast-paced and thoroughly rockin' "Turns to Me", instrumental fireworks halfway through "Blackjack Guillotine", and the entire, thoughtful third act of the album are terrific.

It's the in between sections, and even a few lags during these excellent songs, that hold "Wake of Magellan" back. Some of the riffing feels obligatory, and even a little uninspired. The production has a bland feel to it, and I felt like there could have been more depth to the sound of this album to broaden its pallette of sounds. Zak Steven's gruff vocals are effective, although not quite as enthusiastic as he's been in the past, while Jon Oliva's vocals are inexcusibly bad-- fortunetly only heard on two songs. Most of all, I feel a lack of genuine excitement, almost like the instrumentalists are holding back creatively.

Definintely not a masterpiece, but still a solid and enjoyable slice of prog-metal cheesecake, served with enough sweet fixins to ignore some of its shortcomings.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Prog Leviathan | 3/5 |


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