Exposé Online banner

Magellan — Impending Ascension
(Magna Carta MA-1080-2, 1993, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 1995-07-01

Impending Ascension Cover art

The title of this album neatly fits this group in a certain genre that often verges on a pretentious, overly technical "prog rock" – music somewhere between Rush, Pendragon, Dream Theater, and maybe Mastermind or Echolyn; attempts to merge the complexity of symphonic rock with an accessible flair. Magellan, on their second album, have taken a big step up within these confines with a greater maturity than found on their debut. OK, there's still drum machines, so cast your vote. Me? Nay. Now that that's out of the way, what can be said about the music? The vocals, that are often in a three or more part harmony remind me heavily of Queen. I'm glad that musically they are quite different as for the most part this is some very complex symphonic rock with some brilliant instrumental parts and a heaviness that doesn't quite reach prog- metal like Dream Theater. Besides the fact that this group would take a big step up with a real drummer, my only bitch is that the overall packaging and advertising makes this come off pompous and a bit overbearing, qualities popular music critics love to label progressive music with. Still, Magellan show certain qualities in their music that many neos forget all about such as restraint, and rarely is the music offensive or annoying. Cool down the overblown concepts and concentrate on the music a bit more, Magellan has the talent to make a superb follow up if they replace the robot.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 7, 1993 releases

Related artist(s): Magellan

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Blackmore's Night - Shadow of the Moon – Well, if this album doesn't make you want to run barefoot through the heather I don't know what will. Former axeman for Rainbow and Deep Purple has joined with his Lady to create an utterly enchanting...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues