Label: Inside Out Music America
Length: 9 Tracks/45:14
"Swear Im gonna break free from the grip of sin-from the killer of hope" belts
Trent Gardner of Magellan in the first line of Killer of Hope, a ten minute progressive rock tour-de-force that kicks off
the spectacular new album Impossible Figures. Trent, along with brother Wayne
(and several special guests including stunning piano passages by Stephen Imbler) create a potent mix of modern neo-progressive
sounds on Impossible Figures, their first release on the Inside Out Music label (side note-if you are looking for some of
today's finest modern progressive rock/metal Inside Out Music is a great place to start).
And what a release it is-an unforgettable album chock full of wonderful keyboard/organ sounds, crunchy guitars, horns,
deep burp-gun bass, interesting time changes and thoughtful lyrics. Magellan's
influences are many-elements of Dream Theater, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Yes, some extremely Kansas-like passages (this is
a VERY good thing) and even Kings X at times are heard.
Cut 3 is a J.S. Bach composition that jumps headlong into a soothing horn break with
then takes a swift left turn into "Late for Church"-another high point of the album.
The horns provide a nice basis for the song to build and a crunchy guitar lick kicks in, accelerates and wraps around
the cut. The lyrics on the album are intriguing-asking spiritual questions without
forcing answers. "Late for Church" features the lines:
What'cha reading? Did
you think I'd be surprised?
You're the pastor's cash cow-but the Good Book still survives...and
Why so many churches here?
I thought there was only one God?
Trent in an e-mail interview stated- "I am a real believer in free agency as it comes with all the consequences we set in motion. On
"Impossible Figures", I was simply referring to my own spiritual shortcomings and introspections. Music is a strange
vehicle as I can HONESTLY tell you: I have yet to figure out where any of this really comes from...music or lyrics!
It's purely an internal experience that I am inept to articulate! I am quite certain that it originates with all musicians
as a spiritual experience whether they'll admit it or not!"
Others standout cuts- a very Kansas-like "Confessor's Overture" prefaces
the haunting vocal crescendo of "Hymn for a Heathen":
How can he understand this when war is at hand?
Rejecting all mysteries-he just won't see
That saved he can be
Yes I'm waiting for you
With this hymn for a heathen
Can you hear me now?
Won't you please hear me now?
All I'm praying for is a heathen
Lord, he's not the same man now
He can't hear you anymore
Cause his old ways are gone-
His old ways are gone
Groove" weaves a world beat into lyrics discussing the state of the world today. "Feel
the Cross" has an industrial feel and proclaims:
Feel the cross
Is it burning deep in you?
Are you searching?...and
Know the Cross
Know the passion
A final trial of oppression
Kingdom come in restoration
Martyrdom then salvation
The song the song and album then end with a change of pace-a classic guitar passage
ala' Yes classic Starship Trooper that will have you scrambling for your headphones to check it out in full hi-fidelity stereo
"Impossible Figures" has only one weaker moment-the song "Counterpoints" has a
drum machine feel that doesn't hold up to the quality of the rest of the CD. This
is a minor quibble though on an otherwise excellent neo-progressive project that will have you wanting to press the repeat
button. If you are on the lookout for challenging and melodic music with varied
instrumentation, classical elements and intriguing lyrics pick up "Impossible Figures".
I even love the CD cover creation by Thomas Ewerhard (an important element in prog releases and a trademark of Inside
Out Music releases)- a moody mix of a dramatic sky, fallen statues and a horse-drawn buggy.
Check out Magellan http://www.magellanweb.com
4 out of 5 Cups o' Java