Magnitude Nine are supposed to be a prog (what?) band. Sorry if I'm quite rude with my appreciation, but sometimes I simply don't understand why a prestigious and presumably qualified record label like Inside Out shelters some wretched bands like the one we are talking about. Really, I've given a few chances to this “Decoding The Soul” but, finally, I've been defeated. There's absolutely NOTHING interesting or worth listening on this CD; not even a little spark of inspiration. It's all about cliches and used commonplaces which leave a disgusting taste of déja vu; to make things worse, the playing is simply and coldly average, and the recording and mixing are on the amateur level.
I guess Rob Johnson, band leader and guitar extraordinaire, thinks that, giving your songs big names (such as "New Dimension" or "Sands Of Time") and adding some state of the art keyboard licks (occasionally performed by Joseph Anastacio), you get the magical "progressive" brand. Forget it. This is, simply and sadly, boring and trite heavy metal. It's enough of imitations-inspirations-tributes-copies-sequels-derivates of Dream Theater; they even seem tired of themselves, being so overwhelmingly virtuoso and musically overloaded.
All “Decoding The Soul” tracks sound the same, made under identical patterns. Only a couple of ballads (put together on the tracklist, to allow any possible confusion), "Changes" and "Torn", break the truly discouraging monotony of the CD. For me, the most interesting thing on the album is "Thirty Days Of Night", not for its particular brilliance, but because of its apparent inspiration on the excellent "30 Days Of Night" comic book, a really recommendable vampire tale written by Steve Niles and illustrated by Ben Templesmith.