Savatage - The Wake Of Magellan review
|Album:||The Wake Of Magellan|
|Release date:||September 1997|
01. The Ocean
03. Turns To Me
04. Morning Sun
05. Another Way
06. Blackjack Guillotine
07. Paragons Of Innocence
08. Complaint In The System (Veronica Guerin)
10. The Wake Of Magellan
12. The Storm
13. The Hourglass
14. Somewhere In Time/Alone You Breathe [USA bonus]
15. Sleep [Acoustic version] [USA bonus]
16. Stay [Acoustic version] [USA bonus]
17. This is Where You Should Be [2002 SPV CD reissue bonus]
18. Desiree [Acoustic version] [2002 SPV CD reissue bonus]
19. Desiree [Acoustic version] [2010 EarMusic CD reissue bonus]
20. Stay [Acoustic version] [2010 EarMusic CD reissue bonus]
'The Wake of Magellan' is perhaps one of the more underrated of melodic metal albums of it's time. Savatage made a reputation for grand and epic tale's through the years, caped of by this excellent album. I won't say it is faultless, nor am I going to say it is their best work; however, it is in its own right an outstanding album with glorious and epic introductions, beautiful lyrics, catchy songs with a good voice and one of the industries great songwriters Jon Oliver. Savatage were in the 1980's one of metals innovators, and now they have become one of the corner stones of metal everywhere.
The album has a fascinating introduction with 'The Ocean' and 'Welcome' combining to make a first calm, almost serene feel before launching into 'Welcome' which greats the listen with Epic sounds and a grand "Welcome too the show". The introduction is backed up by a series of Savatage classics 'Turns to Me', 'Morning Sun' and 'The Wake of Magellan' Just to name a few. The album is full of glorious songs and Epic vocals with bombastic and glorious music to give a feeling of going to see a Broadway theater show.
Comparing Savatage and the Wake of Magellan with other great melodic albums can be much more difficult than you might imagine. 'The Wake of Magellan' is an album that surpasses the previous Savatage album 'Dead Winter Dead' (which is outstanding in its own right), and would certainly hold its own again other great albums in metal. Jon Oliver's writing style is typically a mix of symphonic sounds, heavy metal riff's, centered by souring vocal arrangements. After Al Pitrelli joined Savatage in 1995, he brought with him a very technical and bombastic style, with guitar solo's that sound like bells skipping across a clear lake. He brought this sound into 'The Wake of Magellan' and helped to create that very bombastic and Epic feel that the album put's forward quite intentionally.
After all of the positives and giving the album a positive spin, I feel I must point out that the Bombastic sound does start to get to you if you listen to the album right through. Instead I find it preferable to put songs on the stereo individually rather than playing the album right through. Perhaps the constant epic and bombastic sound would suit some, but I would have preferred a slightly more varied approach. There is the odd ballad to break it up, but I feel the album seems to lose direction towards the last two or three songs. 'The Storm' and 'The Hourglass' aren't bad songs, but they unfortunately feature after 'The Wake of Magellan' which is one of those tracks that upon first listen you have to hear it again just to allow you ears to get over the shock of such a fantastic song. Unfortunately it dose overshadow the songs that follow except perhaps 'Anymore'.
Overall I would say this is one of the most outstanding melodic metal albums on the market. It is consistent, catchy and musically very, very good. It is one album which is quite difficult to find faults, because there are no blatantly obvious mistakes or problems. Instead this album is Savatage, it sums up everything they are, and does justice to their ability as musicians. Each band member plays his part on the album, it is obvious to see that the band put everything into the writing and recording of this very good album.
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