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Reality in Focus
Released: 2001, InsideOut Music America
I want to let everybody in on a little secret. This is one great CD. 2 weeks ago if someone had told me that this CD would be stuck in my player for spin after spin after spin the immediate question would be.. "Who in the hell are Magnitude 9?" Well, they are one the better bands that I have come across in the last little while. If you are a fan of Queensryche, Yngwie Malmsteen or bands of that ilk then you might find Magnitude 9 to your liking. The band was formed by guitarist Rob Johnson , an established solo recording artist who had released 3 solo CDs. He was not content with releasing a instrumental CDs and set out to form a band. Vocalist Corey Brown ( Psycho Drama) was the first to join with the band filled out by keyboardist Joseph Glean, drummer John Homan and bassist Kev Chown (Artesuion). Magnitude 9 released CHAOS TO CONTROL in 1998 and are back with REALITY IN FOCUS.
I just want to get one thing clear. Even though Rob Johnson has released instrumental CDs he is far from a one dimensional shredder. He can write some great songs too. "No Turning Back" opens the release on a high note with a great hard driving sound. "Far Beyond Illusion" is a great progressive tinged track that makes good use of some tasteful keyboard work from Glean. The progressive leanings are carried on with the next track "Afterlife". Johnson shines on this track with some great fretwork and a Glean is not to be outdone and adds a great keyboard solo. Great stuff! Another great surprise on this CD is the cover of Iron Maiden’s classic song "Flight of Icarus". This is one of my all time favourite songs of all time and I have to give the band credit. They do an outstanding job with Brown doing his best Dickinson imitation. One of the better Maiden covers I have heard. Other good tracks on the disc include the speedster "Temples of Gold" and the closer "Mind Over Fear".
When I found out that Rob Johnson had 3 solo instrumental CDs released before he put together Magnitude 9 I was expecting a lot of guitar wanking and songs that were nothing more than a way for Johnson to show off his guitar prowess. Boy was I wrong! Magnitude 9 is a total band project with some great songs touching on progressive, classic and even powermetal. Needless to say this is a great mix and Magnitude 9 have definitely created a winner of a CD with REALITY IN FOCUS. To check out more on Magnitude 9 drop by their website http://www.mistchild.com/magnitude9/
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