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Impossible Figures

by Magellan

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about

With 2003's Impossible Figures, Magellan remain one of the most died-in-the-wool and compelling prog rock bands. Given their embrace of technology -- endless layers of keyboards and drum machines -- and their insistence of the "rock" side of prog with big churning guitars and fat, muddy basslines, they are an anomaly. While they are a truly original act, their roots lie somewhere between Volume IV-period Black Sabbath, King Crimson's Larks' Tongues in Aspic and Starless and Bible Black, and Genesis' Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.

There is so much bombast in their music -- including the tympani sound from 2001: A Space Odyssey -- that helps to introduce the album's opener, "Gorilla With Pitchfork." But never has a band put this kind of symphonic rock excess to such fine use. When "Killer of Hope" commences with its distorted vocals and blazing power chords caught in riff battle with a wall of keyboards, all bets are off. There isn't anything previous about Magellan's use of volume and overdrive. Lyrically, their themes are of the classic human condition and the irony of living in the 21st century.

There are spiritual battles, emotional conflicts, sexual ambiguities, levels of battle with darkness, and more, all of it dealt with expertly and passionately. And that is the other difference between Magellan and their contemporaries: there is no academic distance between their compositions and their performance of them. Irony is black and biting, romance is lush and sincere, and struggle is paramount -- it is not detached.

There is true high conceptualism on Impossible Figures, but that is for the listener to discover, because to write about it here would only be pretentious. This is an amazing record, and one that will challenge and delight anyone who encounters it with an open mind. -THOM JUREK

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released November 15, 2014

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Magellan San Francisco, California

Magellan is a rock band from the SF Bay area, formed in 1985. Trent Gardner, the main songwriter is known for composing "Leonardo The Absolute Man" a rock opera based upon the life of Leonardo da Vinci. Lyrically,Magellan's themes are of the classic human condition and irony of living in the 21st century. There are spiritual battles, emotional conflicts,levels of battle with darkness, and more. ... more

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Track Name: Gorilla With A Pitchfork
Instrumental.
Track Name: Killer Of Hope
Killer Of Hope

Swear I'm gonna break free
From the grip of sin
From that killer of hope...

'cause all I see is that killer of hope.

Well, did I ever think to think?
I didn't even try
I should have listened to the wise
Now its too late - I knew better

There's nothing good here
And it's time that I put this out-
All I am to you is another doubt

I don't believe in nothing
I don't believe that I care
Don't try to make me do it
All I need is just a little push, not a shove
And I'll get off the fence in a while...

She's the killer of hope
With a conscience that is clear
She understands I'm just a man
With a common fear
She's just what I need to forsake
But it's not that easy

[x1 How much more can I take?]

[x2... not supposed to be]

Now that I know her
I am never looking back
I've been beat up, I've been spit out,
I know shit, jack...
She may be my killer of hope
But if she calls my name now
I ain't going back

So now it's up to me
The future that I see
My spirit growing dark
And I fear (Oh God, I fear)
The moment that I try
My moment wants to die

Swear I'm gonna break free
From the grip of sin-
From that killer of hope.
Track Name: Bach 16
Instrumental.
Track Name: Late For Church
Late For Church

Tendencies that bring us
To our knees
See, there's no unity
Just a thousand different ways

Time for church
Oh really, let's see
Do the Jew and Gentile
Really need to agree?

What 'cha reading?
Did you think I'd be surprised?
You're the pastor's cash cow
But the good book still survives

But I'm late for church
I'm really late for church...

I don't want to dress up nice
I just want to stay home
I feel like watching big screen TV
With NFL on the VCR
And Pink Floyd on the DVD

I'm late for church - late for church
I'm late for church.
Now get in the car
Or there could be trouble
Why can't I just go back to sleep
It's long past 10 am...

From the Vatican
To the Rio Grande
Everything is dying
But I ain't weeping no more

In my school of thought
Religion reaping naught
It must be what I've bought
And they ain't selling any more

I don't want to dress up nice
I just want to stay home
I feel like watching big screen TV
With NFL on the VCR
And Pink Floyd on the DVD

I'm late for church - late for church
I'm late for church.
I'll get in the car
If you answer my question

Why so many churches here?
I thought there was only one God.
Track Name: Hymn For A Heathen
Hymn For A Heathen

Ritual of mourning
No praying in his faith
A heathen is rejoicing
No God, so there's no grace

How can he understand this
When war is at each hand?
Rejecting all mysteries
He just won't see...
That saved, he can be

Forgive the heathen -he's asleep now
All that he can do
Of him I'll ask-
Is your soul worth the price to pay?

Well, finally discovered
When he looked upon your face
The melodies that kept him
From dying in this place (more and more)
What it really comes to
Is the passion that we shared
In this fight I gave everything
And I never held anything back

But by the time he found this out
I had walked away
I had moved on to another place
And another day - it was too late.

What are his chances now?

What can I do?
I'm confessing here
As I'm waiting for you -
Yes, I'm waiting for you...
With this hymn for a heathen.

Can you hear me now?
Won't you please hear me now?
All I'm praying for is a heathen.

Lord, he's not the same man now
He can't hear you anymore...
'cause his old ways -
His old ways are gone...
Track Name: A World Groove
A World Groove

From Madagascar to Mozambique
Washington to Oman
The drums of war still beat

Business was booming
Now your stocks in the can
Because New York City
Was the promised land

Conflict of culture
Open season on the free world
Now it's North Korea
But are bigger flags unfurled?

Let's stand tall in uncertain times
A world groove is spinning
No sense to the signs
It's a new world order in infancy here
We're losing generations to chaos
We're not evolving - we are history now.

Fashion is sexy
And the catwalk rules
No winter collections this year
'cause a slowdown brews

Wagner in Israel
But hey, Armstrong - now HE was really King
Well the Beatles to Ellington kick ass
Ya, they're musical genius still sings.

I stand in this holy land
Divided by only man
Jerusalem cries for a better day

Fly over oceans far away
Human rights in the light of day
Reflect a much different world

America - call it Disneyland
I can't even think about it
On and on it goes
Its best not to think at all...

Earthquake and flood
Tornados touching down
We've got super bowl action here
While aids is killing half the town

Health and disease in Africa
Don't you forget about the acid rain
Burning our countryside (down)
In money's name

Lincoln - Jefferson
Rolling over in their graves
See modern politicians shrink
From making costly waves

Can you feel the world groove?

Smart bombs and Presidents
United Nations -
Refugees, mercenaries, bankers,
Terrorist stations -
Cadillacs, Cartiers
Reservations for two -
Kids are starving with gluttony
In plain view

Well, I think I've made my point here
That's all for today
All I want is one more shot
For the epitaph to say:

"All they tried to do is make a difference here - that's it."
Track Name: Counterpoints
Counterpoints

Overplayed and understated
Maximized and underrated
Overdrawn and overstated
What about the truth -what about it?

Minimized, overemphasized
Exaggerated just to dramatize
There's a whole lot more than fame here
And a whole lot more to money

Ok, I've made my point now speak up
Let's hear what you have to say
Just give it to me hard - give it to me straight
Tell me I'm wrong about everything

Overblown and sinking fast
Underfoot and overcast
Make a future with the past
What am I to do -what about it?

Overgrown, contemplated
Overloaded, captivated
In a deadly serious game
With a healthy dose of overkill

Whoever said the best things are free
Wasn't around -That never made sense to me
- 'Cause after living...
In a way, I'd have to say nothing ever came cheap
So that just can't be...

I am not the only one that lost it
Some things just have to be said
Now I'd like to make it up to you
Pick up the pieces... if you'll let me

Ok, I've made my point now speak up
Let's hear what you have to say
Just give it to me hard - give it to me straight
Tell me I'm wrong about everything...

No time for introductions -no time at all
Listen...

Undermanned and overcharged
Understood and over farmed
Under where? Undertaker.
- Bet he knows the truth, he'll tell you
"Underground, underhanded
Only so much time is granted"
I never said that I had the answers
I never said I knew the truth

But I know if you're gonna die
You might as well - you might as well
Really try and live
Well, maybe that's all there is to it.

Whoever said the best things are free
Wasn't around -That never made sense to me
- 'Cause after living...
In a way, I'd have to say nothing ever came cheap
So that just can't be...

I am not the only one that lost it
Some things just have to be said
Now I'd like to make it up to you
Pick up the pieces... if you'll let me

Ok, I've made my point now speak up
Let's hear what you have to say
Just give it to me hard - give it to me straight
Tell me I'm wrong...

I am not the only one that lost it
Some things just have to be said
Now I'd like to make it up to you
Pick up the pieces... if you'll let me try.

How can we replace what we had at home?
Fame will not love you the way I do...
When it's gone.
Track Name: Feel The Cross
Feel The Cross

Evangelists - praise the divine
Cardinals - shift on the mainline
Cause and effect - rule at the same time
Absolution stopped - right at the bloodline

Heretics scream - "no prophets"
Zealots all walk a gauntlet
Spread the word - drink from the goblet
Native nations bleed in scarlet

Problematic - my tension
Ease the guilt with confession
So pray the angels are all Christian
Will the heathen find redemption?

Feel the cross
Is it burning deep in you?
Are you searching?
Love - mysterious expression
Spirit dwarfs in regression...

Know the cross
Know the passion
A final trial of oppression
Kingdom come in restoration
Martyrdom then salvation.

Feel the cross...
Hear it calling out?