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Magellan - Hour Of Restoration CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.39 | 108 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Schoolhouse prog rock, as MAGELLAN condenses the history of the human rights struggle into under an hour of dynamic music. Of course neo-prog bands like MAGELLAN are lovers of history or they wouldn't bother dusting off the old musical adventures of their forefathers. The operative reference point here is KANSAS (and thus GENESIS is already filtered into the equation), MAGELLAN retracing the Midwestern band's original course in songcraft better suited to the times. The result not surprisingly feels like KING'S X with KERRY LIVGREN aboard, ambitious but occasionally sprawling in its architecture. I don't listen to a lot of neo-prog (which this is), but it's obviously my loss. "Hour of Restoration" isn't a classic in the making, but the band clearly bears watching (while KANSAS, at this juncture, did not). The knock on MAGELLAN's maiden voyage is their presumption that important subjects equate to important statements. You can say as much about human rights by watching a children's game (e.g., "Jeux Sans Frontier") as dredging up historical milestones like the signing of the Magna Carta or the American Civil War. The band would also seem to be short a drummer, but the final product doesn't show it. Although the band doesn't appear to have released any singles, "Friends of America" is a good candidate for the honor, concise and powerful like early ASIA. The trouble with neo-prog in general is that the bands often branded themselves as belated beatniks by clinging to the musical idols of the past.

Did the world need a new KANSAS or ASIA in 1991 when the old ones were struggling to capture an audience beyond hardcore devotees? Depending on your allegiance to progressive rock as a genre, yes or no. I tend to hear things in terms of good and bad rather than prog and non-prog, so sticking close to the prog blueprint doesn't buy any points with me. "Hour of Restoration" is good because it's filled with ambitious and engaging music, not because it reminds me of the old days. Whether you need to expand your world to include MAGELLAN is up to you. I'd certainly suggest buying this effort and getting your money's worth before blowing it on some of KANSAS' later stuff.

daveconn | 3/5 |


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