Magna Vice are a progressive/power metal band from Finland, and their debut album Serpent of Wisdom is a concept piece dealing with the story of war veteran Ed Diamond who suffers from hallucinations post-war and now has to deal with real life. This band sure has an appreciation for all the classic groups, so look for some references to Deep Purple, Rainbow, Yes, Black Sabbath, ELP, Magnum, Dream Theater, and Rush throughout Serpent of Wisdom. "Hope You Find Your Way Out" rocks like some of the vintage Deep Purple output, but with Geddy Lee or Robert Plant on vocals, as huge Hammond organ & guitar riffs drive this exciting, heavy rocker. "Gods of War" lumbers between doomy power metal and atmospheric progressive rock, while "Green Giant" features some stellar guitar solos in what is otherwise a very solid progressive metal epic. Most of the tracks are quite lengthy and allow for plenty of instrumental flair and soaring vocal sections, as which "Knowledge Talks, Wisdom Listens" is a perfect example. On "Yellow Sky" the band show their vintage prog side, as sumptuous keyboards and lilting guitar textures come to the forefront, but it would have been better if the singer had toned his approach down some for this one. His high pitched wailing is great on the heavier numbers, but this more tranquil song could have used a more subtle approach.
Considering that Serpent of Wisdom is Magna Vice's debut, they show some real polish here, which is a good sign for things to come. Though not perfect, there's a ton of promise to be found on this release, and a keen grasp of the classic bands, which will no doubt help them as they grow as musicians & songwriters. Definitely a band to keep an eye on.
1. Temple Of Sin
2. Hope You Find Your Way Out
3. Gods Of War
4. Green Giant
5. Knowledge Talks, Wisdom Listens
6. Real Delusions
7. Yellow Sky