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Test of Wills

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Album Review

After seemingly finding their niche with Impending Ascension, Magellan changed their style with the follow-up, Test of Wills. The lyrics changed from historical to self-reliance-based. And the songs are performed more around a guitar riff than a melody. There is plenty of experimentation and new ideas here, although the songwriting isn't quite as consistent as on Impending Ascension. "Gameface" begins the album with a Jethro Tull-sounding rocker. "A Social Marginal" is reminiscent of the songs from the previous albums. "Walk Fast, Look Worried," a song about growing up, is Magellan's first true ballad and works very well. The title track is the highlight of the album. Trent Gardner pulls out the trumpet for this song and has some excellent-sounding horns in the middle of this lengthy song. The next few, unfortunately, are not as high quality, but are still worth a listen. Test of Wills ends on a high note with "Critic's Carnival," which harkens back to Impending Ascension's "Storms and Mutiny." "Critic's Carnival" doesn't reach the heights of that earlier song, but it does end Test of Wills triumphantly.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Magellan is a truly unique progressive rock band, especially in its lyrics; on its first couple of albums, in particular, Magellan emphasizes historical lyrics. If you are looking for a song about the signing of the Magna Carta or the group's namesake, Magellan, circumnavigating the globe, then Magellan is the band for you. It was Ferdinand Magellan's spirit of adventure and willingness to take risks that caused bandleader Trent Gardner to name his band Magellan. Trent wrote all the songs and sand...
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Test of Wills, Magellan
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