Exposé Online banner

Magenta — Masters of Illusion
(Tigermoth, 2020, CD / DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2021-01-21

Masters of Illusion Cover art

Magenta’s composer and multi-instrumentalist Rob Reed is not one to shy away from ambitious projects. 2013’s The Twenty-Seven Club focused on musicians who died at the age of 27 (Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, Kurt Cobain, Freaky Tah, Amy Winehouse , etc.) and 2014’s Sanctuary was his attempt at emulating Mike Oldfield. With Masters of Illusion, Rob pays homage to the horror film stars of his youth: Bela Lugosi on “Bela,” Christopher Lee on “A Gift from God,” Lon Chaney on “Reach for the Moon,” Ingrid Pitt on “Snow,” Peter Cushing on “The Rose,” and the final master Vincent Price on the title track. But I have to state that Magenta does not impress me. Their music leaves me flat and perhaps it requires multiple listenings to make a difference, at least that is the message I see from other reviewers. The music is well executed and Christina Booth does a great job on vocals, but the mood does not approach the sinister cinematic worlds of Dracula, Wolf Man, Frankenstein, or Edgar Allen Poe. There is a bit of post-Gabriel Genesis peaking through from time-to-time that provides a 70s - 80s prog sound. The bottom line is that if you like music that challenges you, then look elsewhere. Masters of Illusion does not live up to the album concept or the excellent album artwork.

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Magenta, Rob Reed

More info

Latest news

SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Nouvelles Lectures Cosmopolites - Friesengeist Part π - Ascendances – For the third installment of his Friesengeist series, Julien Ash has pared things down, utilizing only four musicians to augment his own keyboards and effects; previous releases featured eight or...  (2008) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues