MAGNITUDE NINE Decoding The Soul (Inside Out Music SPV 085-60542)(2004)
Discovering a new band is one of the most fulfilling things in the world, in
Magnitude Nine's case though the term "new" is not quite appropriate. The
band is the brain-child of a very talented guitar player, Rob Johnson. Rob's
name first appeared in the underground music scene in the mid 90's when he
created three solo/instrumental albums. Not being satisfied with the
evolution of his musical career, he set about putting a band together and in
the spring of 1997 "Magnitude Nine" was born.
Rob met vocalist Corey Brown (ex-Psycho Drama) through Dave Chastain (don't tell me that you don't know
who Dave Chastain is!) and the core of the band was created. The two of them
auditioned many musicians and finally added to their team Joseph Glean
(keyboards), John Homan (Drums) and Kevin Crown (ex-Artension) on the bass.
With this line up they released their debut album "Chaos To Control" in
'Chaos To Control' was a progressive Metal album filled with
beautiful guitar melodies, both in perfect balance. This was the album that
introduced "Magnitude Nine" to the world and set the foundations of a quite
The second studio effort "Reality In Focus" came three
years later. This time the band showed more of their melodic side to the
world, without sacrificing their technical abilities in the process. Kevin
Crown quite recently decided to leave the band and was shortly replaced by
Ian Ringler. With this line up the band entered the studio and released
their latest studio effort "Decoding The Soul".
The first thing that you'll get from this album, after you push the play
button in your CD player and listen to the first notes of the opening track
"New Dimension", is a feeling of raw energy, a testimony of the band's
artistic mood at the time of the recordings.
Corey Brown is a very talented singer who's voice reminded me of J. L. Turner. The chemistry between the
members of the band is present throughout this ten track CD. Rob is deeply
influenced by Yngwie J.Malmsteen but, luckily, he managed to adapt only the
good elements from the Swedish guitar hero (thank god for that). As a
result, the album is full of great heavy riffs, beautiful melodic lines and
solos with self-respect and musical essence.
"Lies Within The Truth" is another great Hard Rock song, with a great riff
and smart band vocals - very catchy. I've always enjoyed songs with riffs
that are strong and melodic at the same time, so "Facing The Unknown" became
instantly one of my favourite songs of the album.
Joseph Glean's keyboards will introduce you to the fourth song of the album "To Find A Reason". Even
though I have listened to almost half the album by now, the quality of the
recordings remain on a high level, something that many of the bands
nowadays fail to accomplish.
"Walk Through The Fire" came as I was ready to say that I couldn't expect
anything better from this album - definitely the best song of the album!
Brilliant guitar work, great keyboard melodies and the ultimate support from
the rhythm section - as for the vocals...phenomenal! Excellent work guys.
Yngwie Malmsteen's fans will love "Dead In Their Tracks", a song that could
have easily belonged in the Swede's "Rising Force" album. Things will slow
down a bit with "Changes" and "Torn", both good mid-tempo songs. One of the
heaviest riffs of the album reveals itself in "Thirty Days Of Night" and
paves the way for "Sands Of Time", the last song of the album, and the only
one close enough to be considered a Ballad.
I've listened to this album quite a few times and I can honestly say that I
can't find anything wrong with it. This album is a "soul deposit", a product
of five individuals who love playing music and most importantly, know how to
do it well.