Magellan - Impossible Figures - 2003


We finally have in our hands the new work of the brothers Gardner. “Impossible Figures” is the name of this brand new album. This is their fifth studio album as a band and again they surprise us with their strange melodies and arrangements. Characterized to carry out a hard mixture between hard rock and progressive elements (dominant in all their music), Magellan has gotten a completely own sound using contemporary music elements besides wind instruments that they play perfectly.

The sound of the album is easily recognizable and applicable to all the projects carried out by Trent Gardner. Similar to Explorer’s Club or Leonardo, but this time focused in a more personal composition.

Its necessary to highlight from the beginning the great work in the cover artwork of the album. A quite progressive cover like the biggest bands of this style.


The first song is called "Gorilla With a Pitchfork”. It’s presented like a subtle and strange intro that is announcing us what we are come to hear. This track opens the way to "Killer of Hope", the first & long track of the CD. During this song of 10 minutes long we can perceive a harder sound than their previous albums. A pure Hard Rock base but very progressive at the same time. Maybe for the people who don´t know Magellan it can be a bit indigestible due to the complexity of their music "Bach 16" is a piano piece and a later trombone duet. It remains, as it’s name indicates, to the pieces of the German composer except for a small defect: Bach hated the piano. "Late for Church" is the next tracks and in my opinion the best of the album. We can appreciate the good election of parts in those they insert heavy riffs perfectly with pleasant melodies. "Confessors Overture" & "Hymn for Heathen" are the confirmation of that we are listening one of the best albums of this year. Extreme complexity in the melodies and harmonies but without being oppressive in any moment. "World Groove" like it’s name indicates us introduces us in first instance in an ethnic atmosphere full of exotic rhythms. Dunk music is the predominant in this track. They offer us one of the most versatile songs of this disk, which reminds us to songs as "As a man thinks" composed by Trent Gartner for the project of the singer James La Brie called Mullmuzzler. "Counterpoints" gives another turn to the album. Reminiscences of musicians like Peter Gabriel and an excellent organ solo they make of this song one of the best of this album. "Fell the Cross" is the last song of the album. Rhythms that remember in certain way to bands like The Cure. They surprise us again and show us that we are listening one of the most versatile & original bands in the American progressive rock. It is necessary to highlight in this song the prevalence of the bass caring out a fantastic line during the whole song. The end of the song has a section of winds giving it the most personal touch to this fantastic album.


Very good job of the American Magellan. They have been able to continue being original and interesting during this whole new album. Good songs and difficultly worked melodies. Deluxe cover artwork and good musicians on this band that already are big inside the competitive world of progressive music. We hope they continue this way during many years.

author - date - rating - label

Germán Villén - November 2003 -   - Inside Out