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Magna Carta MA-9029-2
Produced by: Trent Gardner

Released: OUT / Website
Relatives: Nostradamus, Dream Theater
GENRE: Progressive Rock

  1. Apparition
  2. Aria For Italy
  3. With Father
  4. Reins Of Tuscan
  5. Reproach
  6. Mona Lisa
  7. Il Divino
  8. Inundation
  9. Apprentice
  10. First Commission
  11. Mother Of God
  12. This Time, This Way
  13. Inventions
  14. Shaping The Invisible
  15. Introduction To Francois
  16. Heart Of France
  17. Sacrament
  18. End Of World

In the finest tradition of the recently released Nostradamus opus, comes another rock opera, but not quite on the same scale of Nostradamus.
This one has it's own set of rules. From the progressive house of Magna Carta, this epic record is likely to be to progressive rock what Nostradamus has been to European hard rock.
Yes, this is a progressive rock opera.
And little expense has been spared, with a big production, full orchestral backing and a plethora of performers contributing to the production.
The backing band consists of Trent Gardner, Wayne Gardner, Jeremy Colson, Partick and Steve Reyes, with help from Joe Franco and Luis Maldonado.
The vocalists - or cast as they are credited consist of: Dream Theater's James La Brie, Davey Pattison, Michelle Young, Josh Pincus, Lisa Bouchelle, Mike Baker, Trent Gardner, Robert Berry, Steve Walsh, Bret Douglas and Chris Shryack.
The story revolves around the life of Leonard DaVinci. The plot is played out in typically dramatic fashion, with the flair of Queen influenced pompishness, and all the essential characteristics of good prog rock - swirling keyboard solos, time/pace and tempo changes, big harmony vocals and solo spots, plus the required amount of guitar shredding.
All of this set to the more dramatic backdrop of a rock opera, with orchestral parts laying a solid musical base.
Production at the hands of Trent Gardner is excellent.
Dream Theater fans take note - James LaBrie is Leonardo and dominates the vocals. A great performance.
BOTTOM LINE: This isn't as essential a purchase as Nostradamus was to hard rock fans. But if you love 70's Queen and Yes, or more recent bands like Act, Dream Theater and Symphony X and Magnitude 9 check this out.
A credible ensemble performance, with a truly quirky prog twist.
ESSENTIAL FOR: Progressive fans and fans of James La Brie, Trent Gardner and Robert Berry.

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