Magnitude 9 - Decoding The Soul
InsideOut Music
Melodic Progressive Metal
10 songs (45'54)
Release year: 2004
Magnitude 9, InsideOut Music
Reviewed by Marty
Magnitude 9 is a melodic progressive metal band from the U.S. whose previous releases include Chaos To Control (1998) and Reality in Focus (2001). This new album, Decoding The Soul, is their third and has just been released. This is my first exposure to the band and I must say that I'm very impressed. Their infectious brand of melodic heavy metal with a progressive edge is topped off by the outstanding vocal talent of Corey Brown. His voice is pure, strong and almost flawless and his vocal style along with the heavy yet still very melodic edge that is such a staple of this band's sound, makes them a very enjoyable band to listen to.

The use of chunky and pounding heavy guitar riffs with richly melodic vocals gives the band a sound that borders on such other acts as Symphony X and Dream Theater with other similarities to Queensryche and Fates Warning, especially the Parallels album. The choruses are rich and layered for most of the tracks and guitarist Rob Johnson delivers a fine performance both with the infectious riffs and the stunning lead work. With Dead In Their Tracks, the band speeds thing up a bit, venturing into power metal territory. On Thirty Days Of Night, they use a more modern and heavier approach utilizing some Queensryche style abstract riffing. The whole sound of the band, even though very fresh and melodic has a distinctive 80's feel and bears little resemblance to the current melodic power metal that's seems to be flooding out of Europe these days. The progressive edge to this band shows it's face on a few tracks with extended keyboard and lead guitar passages having a decidedly neo-classical sound.

The sound and melodies that this band churns out are huge. Every track oozes with quality and it's an album that draws you into it more and more with every listen. Thundering drums and thick chunky guitar are the norm for most of the tracks and if I can find any fault with this album it's that after the first 4 or 5 tracks, they seem to settle into a formula whereby the verses/choruses are in the same spot, have the same harmonized vocal treatment and generally all start to sound the same. Even with the repetitiveness in sound, the high quality of their music still remains.

Fans of melodic heavy metal as well as fans of progressive metal with both find lots to like about this band. The vocals of Corey Brown alone are enough to distance this band from a large majority of other bands in the same genre. There are no filler tracks on this album and it flows nicely from track to track. It does require several listens to appreciate all this band has to offer and I wish I had time for a few more listens before reviewing it. It's an outstanding album and one that is of the sort of quality that you'd come to expect from some of the more "established" bands in the same genre. Fans of Fates Warning, Queensryche, Dream Theater and Symphony X should all find something to their liking and top it all off with some of the best melodic vocals I've heard lately, you have a recipe for a great band.

Killing Songs :
New Dimension, Lies Within The Truth, Facing The Unknown and Changes
Marty quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Magnitude 9 that we have reviewed:
Magnitude 9 - Reality In Focus reviewed by Chris and quoted 93 / 100
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