After hearing them on an old cassette tape copy of their album that’s already on it’s last legs. Magellan can still make me wonder why they never gained superstar status.
By: Vanessa Uy
Back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, the “progressive metal label” has been thrown around almost shamelessly. It was used to describe artistic and unconventional heavy metal bands of the time like Queensryche, or to any other metal band heavily influenced by 1970’s “prog rockers” like Yes, Jethro Tull, and Rush.
Magellan’s “Hour of Restoration” album to me is a very fine example of what describes a good progressive metal band. It’s very refreshing to know that good songwriting wasn’t forgotten on this album. Then and now, heavy metal bands (this also includes 1990’s Seattle grunge and punk rock musicians) as a whole are not known for paying much attention to good songwriting. Don’t forget that this is a guitar driven album (aren’t all metal albums) with chops-busting music. It’s quite refreshing to hear a band whose guitar playing skills are better than mine as opposed to this current-crop of young under-25 Billboard chart topping bands whose guitar playing is much like that of a gifted two-year-old.
As metal bands go, creating a mood through the use of “poetic” words is just as valid a lyric-writing technique as telling the story in a literal manner. It seems like this is in fashion back then, in the early 1990’s as epitomized by Tori Amos.
Sadly, the cassette tape copy of this musical masterpiece is in a presently sad state. After being attacked by termites, only a small portion of the liner notes survived. Fortunately, the cassette’s mechanism still survives making it somewhat playable, but I wont call it hi-fi.
I really love the cathedral like reverb of this recording since the primary venue where I listen to live bands is a disused chapel. To anyone who can sell me a CD of Magellan’s “Hour of Restoration” album, please drop me a line.