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Review: Magellan Ė Impossible Figures (Promotional CD)
Genre: Progressive Rock
Record company: Insideout Records  (Copyright 2003)
More information:
By:  Doug Millaway

This collection of nine compositions is a rather intriguing venture 
into the world of progressive rock.  The very first observation I made as 
I listened was how in the world did two guys think all this stuff up?

Magellan features the dynamic vocals of Trent Gardner.  He has a 
powerful voice that is enhanced by excellent harmony structure.  In addition 
to providing vocals, Trent also contributes keyboards, and trombone.  
(To be honest, I think he should have left his trombone at home because 
all of the other instrumentation just wipes it out.)

Magellanís other member is Wayne Gardner.  Wayne provides the high 
quality guitar and bass work as well as pitching in on vocals.  The range 
of tones that Wayne brings to the table really sends much of the 
material to another level.  You can tell that Wayne is both the bassist and 
the guitarist, because the two instruments compliment each other 
throughout the CD.

Personally, I thought the initial tracks of the CD were a bit slow in 
developing.  Track two is titled Killer of Hope, and it lasts for just 
over 10 minutes.  Iím not sure we needed that much time to get the 
point, but some folks will see it differently Iím sure.

It wasnít until track four that I started to get really interested.  
Late For Church is where this CD begins to take on a life of its own.  
This is a great piece with excellent musicianship and vocals to match.  
Listening closely to the lyrics will certainly allow you to begin to 
understand the conceptual framework of the project.

Confessorís Overture (track 5) could almost pass as a modern day YES 
track.  It is a very accomplished piece with fine playing throughout.  
Trentís keyboard work in this piece is quite interesting.

The following two tracks entitled Hymn for a Heathen and A World Groove 
combine to form an extremely dynamic 9:45 of music.  These two songs 
alone are worth the price of the CD in my opinion.  A World Groove in 
particular presents an accomplishment in production and mixing that is 
second to none.  Some of the guitar and bass licks will astound you.

Most bands donít like comparisons, but Counterpoints (track 8) sure 
shows the influence that Queen had on this bandís development.  Still, the 
Gardners spin their own magic and create a tune that stands on its own.

Overall, I think this CD is a winner.  If this band continues to 
improve in the future, we are in for a real treat.  My recommendation is just 
buy it.  You wonít be disappointed.

8 out of 10  for musicianship (instrumental, vocals, programming)
10 out of 10 for production (arranging, engineering)
8 out of 10 for presentation (song order, packaging, etc.)

Artist: Magellan Title: Impossible Figures Genre: Rock/Progressive, Metal Label: Inside Out/ Website: What a great name for a group, Magellan, and what stunning, colorful, thought provoking artwork for an album cover. So what is inside you say? There is more to this band than a name and imagesÖoh yes, so much more. I am very impressed with this group's musical endeavors. They personify the word progressive. The Gardner brothers Trent (keyboards, vocals) and Wayne (bass, guitar, vocals), are the clock that makes Magellan tick. They get a special hand this time around with their new album Impossible Figures from musical genius Robert Berry, Jeff Curtis with the brass arrangements, and guest musician Jason Gianna on drums, other than that, it's the world of the Gardner's brought to you through musical soundscapes that challenge and mesmerize you in each track. This kind of music I have to listen to over and over again to gather my thoughts, there is just so much going on its mind-boggling at times. I know I say that frequently about prog-rock but that is commonplace when it comes to taking in this type of music. When you think about two men putting together their talents to come up with this awesome knock out sound, it really blows your mind. "Killer of Hope" is a testament to their worthiness as world-class musicians and writers of complex compositions. The catch all in their music is the way it changes so quickly. Trent will play a beautifully classical passage on his keyboards, quickly it shifts to Wayne banging out sweeping and crushing blows from his six-string, then suddenly it all comes together creating a supernova of musical bliss. It is like watching a volcano flowing from far away, it looks like its moving slow, then you find yourself standing right at the edge of the opening at the top of the mountain were the explosion is forcing out the hot molten lava from the center of the earth incredibly fast. That is what Magellan's music is like. Now that is powerful. Does this sound exciting? Is it something you think that you would like? If you can envision music sounding like this then you will get off on this album time after time, I certainly did. Like progressive rock? This band is one of very best in the world so get this CD. ©"Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck November 12, 2003 1. Gorilla With a Pitchfork - 1:24 2. Killer of Hope - 10:03 3. Bach 16 - 2:46 4. Late for Church - 6:15 5. Confessor's Overture - 2:24 6. Hymn for a Heathen - 3:15 7. A World Groove - 6:30 8. Counterpoints - 5:59 9. Feel the Cross - 6:36 Rating- 5 / 5 Credits: Robert Berry - Drum Sound Supervision, Guest Appearance Trent Gardner - Trombone, Keyboards, Vocals, Producer Wayne Gardner - Bass, Guitar, Vocals (bckgr) Jeff Curtis - Brass Arrangement Guest Musician: Jason Gianni - Drums

Magellan: Hundred Year Flood
2002, Magna Carta, MA 9045 2

Brothers, Trent Gardner on vocals and keys and Wayne Gardner on guitars and bass team up with Joe Franco on drums, as well as a number of notable guest spots including Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson on flute and neoclassical guitar master George Bellas on lead guitar. Also, rounding out the line up, Tony Levin makes a guest appearance on bass as does Robert Berry on guitar. Hundred Year Flood is a concept album formulated in a progressive rock format that features progressive instrumental work fitted within a song format. The format itself is interesting because it combines some progressive, lead-intensive segments into the vocal-centric arrangements that are sometimes reminiscent of ELP's progressive format and sound. The album itself is a tribute to the older brother of Trent and Wayne Gardner who died in the Vietnam war. The lyrics on the album are centered primarily around this topic and related ideas that give the music its drive and purpose.

There are a number of spots on the album that shine brightly. The outstanding guitar work on the sixth and thirteenth tracks of "The Great Goodnight" is conspicuously the work of George Bellas. These segments pull the effort up to another level and though conspicuous, it is well integrated. There are also a number of other sections in "The Great Goodnight" that the keyboards and composition elevate this arrangement to a gratifying level. Ian Anderson's impressive flute soloing on the instrumental "Family Jewels" reminds us that he can still produce quality music. This instrumental track is a solid composition with an Ian Anderson flavor that should be of interest to fans of instrumental progressive rock. The final track, "Brother's Keeper", seemed to be anticlimatic relative to the shadow that was cast over it by the intensive leadwork of Bellas and Anderson that preceded it.

Overall, Hundred Year Flood is a worthwhile album for fans of prog rock. Though it is not characterized by the intensity of leading edge, strictly instrumental music, the degree of instrumentalism in this album is notable, especially the sections featuring Bellas and Anderson. For progressive rock of this concept format variety, the intensity of the instrumentation and composition is beyond what is commonly found. So, fans of prog rock that are looking for a little higher octane might want to check this one out!

Keyboards, Vocals, Trombone Trent Gardner
Guitars, Bass Wayne Gardner
Drums, Percussion Joe Franco
Bass Tony Levin
Flute Ian Anderson
Guitars, Bass Robert Berry
Guitar George Bellas
1 - 13) The Great Goodnight
14) Family Jewels
15) Brother's Keeper

~ Christopher Ruel ~ ~ ~ October 2003





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