It’s hard to believe that it’s been five long years since San Francisco (California, U.S.) based progressive metal/rock act Magellan released their last full-length effort ‘Innocent God’ (Which was released Muse-Wrapped Records). But given how much the music industry has changed in the last decade, it’s not surprising that the veteran act has been keeping a somewhat low profile in recent years. Taking time out to rethink their game plan and business model, Magellan (Who comprise of lead vocalist/keyboardist Trent Gardner and guitarist/bassist/backing vocalist Wayne Gardner) made a welcome return to the scene earlier in the year with a cover of The Beatles’ 1967 hit ‘Hello, Goodbye’ in digital form. Needless to say, the release of the single was quite a success, which prompted the release of the follow-up single ‘Dust In The Wind’ – a cover of Kansas’ classic rock single from 1977.
Buoyed by the overwhelming success of their first ventures into the digital realm, Magellan (With the assistance of long time drummer Roger Patterson) has decided to take things to the next level and start recording a new album. But unlike many who have adopted the idea of releasing their new music in digital form, Magellan has decided to boldly release their new recordings as soon as they’re completed. That brings us to the here and now, and ‘Keep It’, which is the band’s first new original composition in five years, and the first taste of what to expect from their upcoming full-length effort ‘Inert Momentum’.
Opening with the brothers’ trademark harmonies running through the song’s chorus, the band quickly move into familiar progressive rock territory, with the brief instrumental passage at the start of the song filled with heavy riffs and prominent bass underpinning throughout, lashes of keyboards and effects, and some powerhouse drumming from Patterson. Once the song truly gets underway, ‘Keep It’ reveals itself to be the perfect combination of classic rock and progressive rock – something that Magellan have been slowly perfecting throughout the years. The strong and catchy choruses within ‘Keep It’ may be the big stand out feature on initial listens, but it’s the deceptively complex passages of tight instrumentation, tempo changes and subtle key changes that pop up at various moments in and around the choruses that really glues the composition together in a way that showcases the skills the Gardner brothers have as both musicians and song writers.
It’s been a long time between releases for Magellan, but on the strength of ‘Keep It’, the wait has been well worth it.
If ‘Keep It’ is a sign of what Magellan promise with ‘Inert Momentum’, I eagerly anticipate the next digital instalment.
For more information on Magellan, check out - http://www.magellansongs.com/
© Justin Donnelly