Magnitude 9

Picture of Magnitude 9

Chaos To Control

Magnitude 9 - Chaos To Control ©1998 DCA Recordings
1. Another World
2. Don't Say
3. After Tomorrow
4. Y2K
5. Voices
6. Into The Sun
7. Keeper Of Your Soul
8. Secrets Within
9. Writings
10. End Of Time
11. Man On The Silver Mountain

Here is another of those debut discs that really makes you sit up and take notice. Magnitude 9 has a huge pool of talent to from which to draw, making this disc a real treat for progressive metal fans. Magnitude 9 include Corey Brown from Psycho Drama on vocals, Kevin Chown from Artension on bass, and Rob Johnson whose guitar playing is technically proficient and a real treat for the ears. Rob has a few solo albums under his belt and plays for at least one other band.

The guitar and keyboards really form the core of the music on this disc. Trading off and playing off one another, Johnson's guitar playing and Joseph Anastacio Glean on keys builds an incredible sound. Somehow the drummer keeps up with the frenetic pace of play and Kevin Chown lays down a great bass line without dropping a note. There is a lot of chop and crunch in the guitar work along with some breathtaking neo-classical shredding in the foreground. Corey Brown's vocals carry the emotion and intensity of the songs very well. He has a great mid-range voice with power enough to reach for the stars without sounding forced. He sings with confidence and warmth in a manner similar to Roy Khan of Conception / Kamelot or Ian Parry of Elegy. The song writing is top notch coming from the team effort of Brown and Johnson. The lyrics are meaty and longer than the run of the mill power metal song. The cover of Rainbow's classic "Man On The Silver Mountain" is among the better cover songs I've heard with Corey's voice matching that of Ronnie James Dio seamlessly. The music is full of time changes and should please any fan of progressive metal. It is very unusual to find a debut disc on a par with recent work from bands like Fates Warning or Symphony X, but Chaos To Control really delivers the goods. This is a must have disc for fans of progressive metal. In short, this is an absolutely fantastic disc. Their new CD is due out shortly and I am looking forward to it greatly.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 07/2000

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Reality In Focus

Magnitude 9 - Reality In Focus ©2001 InsideOut Music
1. No Turning Back
2. What My Eyes Have Seen
3. Far Beyond Illusion
4. Afterlife
5. The End Of Days
6. Lost Along The Way
7. Flight Of Icarus
8. Temples Of Gold
9. Quiet Desperation
10. Mind Over Fear

Magnitude 9's second disc follows the first one quite nicely. The disc gives a solid offering of progressive power metal headed by guitar monster Rob Johnson. I think this disc is going to find its way onto many "best of" lists for this year. It has a lot to offer for the fan of progressive metal.

One of the things I most admire about Magnitude 9 is that although they have more than their share of highly talented performers, no one figure stands out as being the focal point of the band. Corey Brown's vocals mesh well with Rob Johnson's playing. There are dizzying moments from Johnson and others in the band, but they do not follow the "wild guitar solo, wild keyboard solo, repeat" formula that many power prog bands seem to get into and from which they never recover. Yes, there are a couple songs that follow the tried and true guitar / keyboard interchange, but they are more the exception than the rule. These are not cookie cutter songs. Each offers new nuances and takes a slightly different approach. The music serves as far more than just a frame for yet another breath taking solo by Johnson. There is some real depth and complexity here. The band indicates that they are proud of this release, and it is not without reason. The variety, complexity and power in these songs is outstanding.

The music is very chunky and layered. There is a lot of meat to these songs. The cover of Iron Maiden's "Flight of Icarus" is very nicely done, very true to the original, once more demonstrating Corey Brown's vocal capabilities. What excites me most about this disc is that some of the musical elements repeat giving the songs a more unified feel than they had on Chaos to Control. While it is clear that this is not a concept disc, it is also clear that the writing had a sense of direction. Chaos to Control made my list of "must have" discs. I'd say that this newest disc replaces it quite nicely. Magnitude 9 have outdone themselves and give us a more mature and complete disc. It is quite the achievement when you consider that their first disc was very solid. This one builds on that foundation. This disc is what progressive metal is all about.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 03/2001

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Decoding The Soul

Magnitude 9 - Decoding The Soul ©2004 InsideOut Music
1. New Dimension
2. Lies Within The Truth
3. Facing The Unknown
4. To Find A Reason
5. Walk Through The Fire
6. Dead In Their Tracks
7. Changes
8. Torn
9. Thirty Days Of Night
10. Sands Of Time

With the cover art depicting a very testy UFO demolishing some futuristic human city, one would want to believe Magnitude 9 would at least be a campy, but fun space opera band or have a little Hawkwind influence in them. Alas, this is not the case. Magnitude 9 is, unfortunately, yet another glossed up hard rock band playing fancy AOR music. Decoding the Soul, the band's third release, is a placid, bland and entirely faceless recording that escapes any sort of identity. The band of course has a bit of the Dream Theater influence as well as a lot of mid 90s Fates Warning. You might recall Fates Warning suddenly went radio friendly with Parallels and the insipidly dull Inside Out (ever wonder where Magnitude 9's label got their name?). That's where Magnitude 9 dwells. There's also a tinge of the softer side of Queensryche lurking about, but why drag Queensryche's already tainted name through more mud?

Like several of their labelmates, Magnitude 9 suffers from lacking a face of their own, coupled with relatively unengaging songwriting. Decoding the Soul is far from offensive, but it is ever further from having enough substance to warrant hearing more than a couple times.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2004

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