Magnitude Nine - Decoding The Soul

Year of Release: 2003
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD 151/SPV 085-60542
Format: CD
Total Time: 46:13:00

Decoding The Soul is the third studio album by the Ohio based progressive metal band Magnitude Nine, which was formed in 1997. The band was formed by guitarist Rob Johnson (ex- Saddleback Shard, released 3 solo albums in Japan) and vocalist Corey Brown (ex- Psycho Drama). Their first two albums are Chaos To Control (1998) and Reality In Focus (2001). On their website they compare themselves with the likes of Queensrÿche, Symphony X and Yngwie Malmsteen.

Opening track "New Dimension" supports that statement partly, as the vocals remind me a bit of Russell Allen (Symphony X) and the music is heavy, but also quite catchy. The rhythm section, John Homan (drums) and Ian Ringler (bass) provides a steady foundation for Johnson and Joseph Anastacio Glean (keys), who at times excel with solos. The added background vocals give the lead vocals of Brown a bit more depth and the whole sound is very nice. However, although this is an excellent prog metal album, the sound brings nothing new. No surprises or epics, just melodic, catchy prog metal. So far I have not heard anything in the vein of Malmsteen or Symphony X.

This makes it hard for me, as a reviewer, to write about this album. It's quite good, but nothing special. No doubt you will enjoy it, as am I doing, but it is more of the same. The keys do add a bit of a dark atmosphere to the tracks, like "To Find A Reason," which also has some cool heavy guitar, stuff that I really like. However, although I find all tracks are basically along the same line, the line is above average! These are excellent musicians and there is no problem in making an album like this. It's like eating the same kind of food every week. It's nothing special, but tasty anyway.

So in the end I can recommend this album, just don't expect too much of it. The latest Dream Theater, Symphony X or Queensrÿche could be more interesting, but nevertheless, Decoding The Soul is a quality album, with good music, that any prog metal fan will enjoy.

Similar bands: Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Symphony X

Released in North America in 2004 by InsideOut Music America (IOMA 2072?)

[This review originally appeared February 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
New Dimension (4:31) / Lies Within The Truth (6:03) / Facing The Unknown (5:16) / To Find A Reason (5:28) / Walk Through The Fire (4:50) / Dead In Their Tracks (4:05) / Changes (5:22) / Torn (3:32) / Thirty Days Of Night (3:35) / Sands Of Time (3:31)

John Homan ? Drums
Ian Ringler - Bass
Corey Brown - Vocals
Rob Johnson - Guitars
Joseph Anastacio Glean - Keyboards

Chaos To Control (1998)
Reality In Focus (2001)
Decoding The Soul (2003)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: November 28th 2004
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 731
Language: english


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