Savatage - 1997 The Wake Of Magellan

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ARTIST: Savatage
ALBUM: The Wake Of Magellan
LABEL: Edel
SERIAL: 0089902CTR
YEAR: 1997
CD REISSUE: 1998, Lava (USA), 83100-2 * 2002, SPV, SPV 076-74532 CD * 2010, Ear Music, 0204102ERE

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Jon Oliva - keyboards, vocals * Zack Stevens - vocals * Chris Caffery - guitars, vocals * Al Pitrelli - guitars, vocals * Johnny Lee Middleton - bass * Jeff Plate - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Ocean * 02 Welcome * 03 Turns To Me * 04 Morning Sun * 05 Another Way * 06 Blackjack Guillotine * 07 Paragons Of Innocence * 08 Complaint In The System (Veronica Guerin) * 09 Underture * 10 The Wake Of Magellan * 11 Anymore * 12 The Storm * 13 The Hourglass * 14 Somewhere In Time/Alone You Breathe * 15 Sleep * 16 Stay

WEBLINKS: Site Link

Background

They've been around for a few years these guys, and still they thrash out good albums.

At first hearing you think maybe they haven't developed much over the years, but putting on an old Savatage album soon lets you hear the difference.

That said, this is still very much a real heavy metal album, there are no falsetto leads vocals here and no guitar prima-donna's either. Almost a concept album about the life and times of Magellan the famous explorer (for want of a better subject).

Plus there is a bizarre track about Veronica Guerin, an Irish reporter apparently murdered by drug lords. The track appears to have little or no relevance to the rest of the album.

The Songs

But overall, this makes for a fairly well put together offering. Savatage's trade-mark piano and acoustic intros that explode into frenzied melodic riffs are complimented by a number of guitar and piano orientated instrumentals as well as vocal interplays and harmonisations.

With a six-piece band where there are two guitars, five providing vocal input, and a good number of years providing the direction, then it's not surprising that the tunes get into your head and start humming those heavy but very melodic tracks.

In Summary

Zak Stevens has toned down his raspy voice but still punches out great vocals. When supported by the rest of the band they produce some quality Queen style vocal work vaguely familiar and along the lines of 'A Night At The Opera'.

The down side of this is that it is still a very much a metal album, and if you are not a die hard metal fan you may still find the subtlety and melodies rather raw edged.

However if you are game, then 'The Wake Of Magellan' is well worth a look, even if the rather large inner sleeve will never go back into the jewel case again!


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