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Magellan - Impending Ascension CD (album) cover

IMPENDING ASCENSION

Magellan

 

Heavy Prog

3.89 | 118 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Circumnavigation

Magellan's second album appeared in 1994. Most commentators seem to describe it as a natural continuation of their debut, 1991's Hour Of Restoration, but while there are obvious similarities between the two albums, I personally also see important differences. Many also regard Impending Ascension as an improvement over the debut, but I instead prefer Hour Of Restoration. I find the debut to be a more coherent album, no doubt owing a lot to its conceptual nature, while Impending Ascension comes across more as a collection of unrelated songs.

The track that most resembles the music of the debut is Storms And Mutiny which is a song about Ferdinand Magellan's famous circumnavigation of the Earth (and obviously from where the Gardner brothers have taken their band name). Including No Time For Words, which is an instrumental introduction to the same, it runs to some 14 minutes and readily invites comparison with the equally epic Magna Carta from Hour Of Restoration. In my view, Magna Carta is the better of the two.

Another long track, and the best of this album, is album opener Estadium Nacional which blends the sound of 80's Yes (90125, Big Generator) with the complexities of 70's Yes, and adds some heavy riffs to that and a chorus that reminds me of Boston! Waterfront Weirdos is instead very much in the style of Marillion, with Fish-like vocals and all. Doane Perry of Jethro Tull fame helps out on drums on that one (but the other tracks still have programmed drums). Shorter songs like Songsmith, Virtual Reality, and Under The Wire are not bad at all.

I like this album, but unlike Hour Of Restoration, after hearing Impending Ascension, I feel saturated and have no real desire to start the album again. Recommended, but not as good as Hour Of Restoration.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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