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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 Magellan's debut album came out at around the time that progressive rock was starting to return from the demise it suffered throughout the 1980s (with a few small exceptions). This album came out around the time Magna Carta Records started issuing tribute albums to the likes of Pink Floyd, Genesis, and Yes. In fact, Magna Carta Records may have played a key role as one of the initial kickstarts prog rock needed to make its comeback in the United States. In other words, they reached out to those audiences that still loved the greats from the 1970s and at the same time introduced them to new bands. Hey, it worked for me, because I in turn did seek out albums from Magellan, Cairo, and others on this label. Then the Internet took off, and voila!

History lessons aside, Magellan's debut has a lot of promise and a lot to be learned. Where Magellan excels is in their longer pieces. Where they seem to suffer is in their shorter songs, which for the most part were filler to make a complete album. Another place where some may think they suffer is in the lack of a human drummer. That sets off red flags in more than one prog listener, but if they're done right, you'll find that many a listener will find the results acceptable; maybe not even notice it. And that seems to be the case, for the most part, with Magellan. If you want to do really good programmed drums, you need to listen to Magellan's first two albums; otherwise you find a human to do it (which is what they did on their third album).

Influences seem to be chiefly Kansas, maybe a little Genesis, and some AOR hints from Asia. Keyboard work is stellar. Trent Gardner is vastly underrated in this department and that may be because he seems to take a back seat on later Magellan albums and some of the side projects he has worked on. His keyboard prowess shines on this album, and even more on the next album. Hour of Restoration also incorporates a lot if historical subjects, something Magellan will be noted for throughout their career.

In conclusion, a mixed bag, but a small beacon of light shining through the travesty of late 1980s and early 1990s popular music. Magellan would improve greatly on their next album.

progaardvark | 3/5 |


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