Magellan - Hundred Year Flood

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Magna Carta
Catalog Number: MA-9045-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:32:00

The new CD by Magellan, many years in the making, boasts several prominent guests, most notably Ian Anderson and Tony Levin. It is yet another in concept pieces put out by American Prog artists this year. Despite the fact that the music has less prog-metal influences than previous Magellan works and as such, is more versatile, it still fails to reach even mediocre standards.

Magellan is fronted and produced by Trent Gardner, who sings, plays keys and on this album also plays trombone. Wayne Gardner plays guitars and bass. Joe Franco is on drums and orchestral percussion. We also see Robert Berry and George Bellas helping out on guitars on the first (epic) track in multiple parts.

The music is more acoustic and also intends to be more melodic. But Gardner, as apparent on his many solo efforts, can't write melodic music to save his life. Compositional arrangements are interesting, though clumsy in places, but Gardner's weak and strained voice is constantly rammed into musical passages without fitting in. It's almost like trying to get a square peg into a round hole.

The songs are the 35 minute "Great Goodnight" in 13 parts, "Family Jewels" an instrumental on which Anderson is featured on flute, and the 11 minute closer, "Brother's Keeper," which has some interesting syncopated percussion and melodic bridges. The only track that has any possibilities is the 5 minute "Family Jewels," which by virtue of Anderson's playing, bears the CD's only sense of class. Clapping at the end suggests the track was done live. The main body, "Great Goodnight," repeats itself, over and over again, until one cringes at its annoying musical theme, hoping it will soon end. But it doesn't until 35 minutes later.

On the positive side, Gardner is a very good keyboardist, and he uses that deep-rooted Hammond sound that Rocket Scientist Erik Norlander made prominent in the late nineties.

Conceptually, the CD's theme deals with Vietnam and loss. This is a heartfelt issue with Gardner, who - it seems, lost a brother to the war. Intentions aside, the concept is simple and pretentious. Adding to the fact that musical themes are poorly fleshed out and clumsily orchestrated, this CD forever validates my opinion that Gardner and Magellan have no important place in the history of progressive or neo-progressive rock unless Gardner can learn to write songs.

The Great Goodnight (34:27) / Family Jewels (5:53) / Brother's Keeper (10:52)

Trent Gardner - vocals, keyboards, trombone
Wayne Gardner - guitars and bass
Joe Franco - drums and orchestral percussion


Ian Anderson - flute (2)
Tony Levin - bass (3)
Robert Berry - guitars and bass (1)
George Bellas - guitars (1)

Hour of Restoration (1991)
Impending Ascension (1994)
Test of Wills (1997)
Hundred Year Flood (2002)
Impossible Figures (2003)
Symphony For A Misanthrope (2005)
Innocent God (2007)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: November 3rd 2002
Reviewer: RIPZ

Hits: 639
Language: english


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