Test Of Wills
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Released May 6, 1997
Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521), the Portuguese explorer, was a navigator who sailed upon seas both rough and gentle. A visionary whose courage, determination and appetite for adventure made him a figure of extraordinary importance in world history. One whose work is still recalled with awe and wonder. In fact, his pioneering voyages provided the first positive proof the Earth is round, a much contested concept in his time.
It is in the explorer's bold spirit that Magellan, the band, travels over similarly changeable musical waters, navigating through the world of progressive rock with the kind of fearlessness their namesake possessed, leading them to map out topographies of sound which challenge our existing musical concepts with a drive and determination that would surely make the old sailor quite proud.
After many months, Magellan has emerged from Studio Sasquatch with a brand new album entitled Test Of Wills. From the opening spoken word, we can tell that we are in for quite a ride. Indeed, as the intrepid ship's commander helped to prove that our planet is a sphere during a period in history when most people believed it was a flat plane, the aim of Magellan "the band" is to prove another oft-contested point: that intelligent rock is alive and well, vibrant and thriving.
1991 saw the release of Hour Of Restoration, which placed Magellan at the forefront of a progressive rock renaissance. Along with bands such as Dream Theater and Fates Warning, Magellan began to let the rest of the world know hard rock could once again have intelligence and content without sacrificing the head-banging factor. Little by little fans throughout the world began to praise this ambitious work and a devoted following was born.
In 1993, Impending Ascension was released to more critical acclaim. Discussions of Magellan's musical prowess can be found regularly on internet chat rooms where the musical "literati" hang out to discuss all that's new and worthwhile.
Both of Magellan's albums made great impressions on foreign shores, with Japan being a market which recognized the band's potential early on. The band's main composer, Trent Gardner, became known for his ability to take unusual subjects (historical topics, new technology, social issues) and turn them into compelling musical set pieces. Trent is a major talent whose name has come to mean high caliber musicianship and high tech production.
In the time since the release of their second album, Magellan has appeared on several highly praised tribute albums. The Moon Revisited (Pink Floyd); Tales From Yesterday (Yes); Supper's Ready (Genesis); To Cry You A Song (Jethro Tull); Working Man (Rush). All of Magellan's contributions have been memorable because of their willingness to take chances with well known material and by the pure musicality of their efforts.
With Test Of Wills, Magellan has taken the next step in their artistic progression. The songs are stronger, the grooves are harder and the lyrics more expressive. The addition of drummer, Brad Kaiser, has meant a more contemporary approach rhythmically as well as a better sounding recording. Wayne Gardner has dug down deep for gritty guitar tones and snarling lead lines. Altogether, a gem of an album, Test Of Wills has shown that Magellan is a world class band whose unconventional approach is becoming embraced by an ever growing fan base.
Click here to order Test of Wills, and other releases from Magellan.
Test Of Wills
Catalog # : MA-9008-2