Label: Magna Carta
- The Great Goodnight (34:27)
- Family Jewels (5:53)
- Brother's Keeper (10:52)
- Trent Gardner - vocals, keyboards, trombone
- Wayne Gardner - guitars and bass
- Joe Franco - drums and orchestral percussion
- Ian Anderson - flute (2)
- Tony Levin - bass (3)
- Robert Berry - guitars and bass (1)
- George Bellas - guitars (1)
I have never liked neither "Hour of Restoration" nor "Impending Ascension",
the first two group's albums, whereas I still haven't listened to the third
one "Test of Willis". Very Yes, but too much instrumental intensity
going nowhere, to my taste. In spite of that, it's necessary to admit
that, some time ago, Magellan was one of the bands that started the 90's
This new album is better, especially because defers enough of those first
two, and it contributes with some new ideas even compared to Trent Gardner's
other project, Explorers Club.
The album is dedicated to Jack Elroy Gardner, Trent and Wayne's brother,
who passed away in Vietnam when they both were still babies. This fact
impregnates with a certain dramatic feeling the whole work.
"The Great Goodnight" is more than 34 minutes long. It has good moments, in
spite of the usual bulk of instrumental intensity. Just starting the suite,
they do a bit ridiculous shameless imitation of the vocal harmonies of the
Yes' track "Leave It", then they go to too many minutes of the typical
instrumental burden, Trent Gardner-style, with solos and exaggerated vocal
works, rhythmic accelerations, and Yes' unavoidable influences. But finally,
the thing turns quiet, and enough interesting symphonic passages happen.
Also stands out the characteristic Trent's trombone, who always has seemed
to me to be very interesting, taking into account the original touch that
The second track "Family Jewels" is the most bizarre one, with no relation
with anything made by Trent before. It starts with a very quiet flute
passage performed by, none other than Ian Anderson, to go on to a
kind of classic orchestral fragment with Emerson-esque keyboards, slightly
similar to After Crying.
Finally, the best of the album and of everything what Trent has done, to my
taste, is the track "Brother's Keeper", again very different from everything
done by Magellan before. A powerful dirty track, attractive and
with totally up-to-date sound, where stands out a powerful bass guitar,
performed by Mr. Tony Levin.
This time, yes. A good album, especially thanks to "Brother's Keeper".