"Hundred Year Flood" (Magna Carta; 2002)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Magellan is a progressive rock fan's dream come true. "Hundred Year Flood" is Magellan's fifth CD, and like the band's namesake Ferdinand Magellan, the band explores its craft with extremely ornate songs. "Hundred Year Flood" features three songs: the epic "The Great Goodnight," the instrumental "Family Jewels" and the semi-epic "Brother's Keeper."

"The Great Goodnight" tells the story of a young man devastated by the loss of his older brother in the Vietnam War. There is, as you might expect, a lot of emotional weight to this track as the young man reacts to this devastating loss.  Stretching over 34 minutes, the thirteen tracks of "The Great Goodnight" still offer distinct musical moments that occasionally revisit familiar themes like all epic tracks eventually do. Each song is truly an integral part of the whole despite the fact that from one section to the next you're listening to a different approach. The trombone on the track is an interesting enough 'shade' of musical expression that gives the music an additional layer of somberness and sadness.

"Family Jewels" is a relatively subdued number that primarily focuses on Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson stellar and considerable flute talents as he vamps his way over a steady backing of keyboards and bass. Quite frankly, I've never been a big fan of Jethro Tull nor will I ever likely be, but I've got to admit this is an interesting track to listen to.

"Brother's Keeper," from only the title, sounds like it is a continuation of the subject matter of "The Great Goodnight," but it isn't. "Brother's Keeper" explores manhood, brotherhood, and the simple act of 'being there' for your kin and friends. For what it's worth, "Brother's Keeper" sounds a little bit like early '80s Rush and is the best and most consistent rocker of the three songs contained on the disc with a harder edge than you'd expect Magellan to have.

Obviously, "Hundred Year Flood" is geared towards prog-rock fans. The music is expertly played at all times being both catchy and grounded in the prog-rock ethos at all times.

While "Hundred Year Flood" is a bit more mellow than I'm used to I could easily listen to it in a rotation of Yes, Explorer's Club (another Trent Gardner project), Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Dream Theater, and early Rush. 

"Hundred Year Flood" was produced by Trent Gardner.

Magellan is Trent Gardner on vocals, keyboards, and trombone; Wayne Gardner on guitars and bass; and Joe Franco on drums. Special guests include Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull on flute, Tony Levin of King Crimson on guitar, Robert Berry on guitar, and George Bellas on guitar. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 07 Aug 2023 20:46:39 -0400.