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Magic Pie: King For a Day

Now 10 years into their career, Norway's Magic Pie show no signs of slowing down or the well drying. This band have released a string of wonderful albums that have bridged the gap between classic '70s progressive rock, vintage hard rock, and pop, with their latest King For a Day continuing on with that successful formula. The line-up of Magic Pie in 2015 consists of:

- Kim Stenberg / guitars, vocals
- Airikur Hauksson / lead vocals, guitar
- Eirik Hanssen / vocals, guitar
- Jan Torkild Johannessen / drums
- Erling Henanger / keyboards, backing vocals
- Lars Petter Holstad / bass, backing vocals

"Trick of the Trade" kicks off King For a Day and brings all the trademark Magic Pie elements to the forefront; those soaring vocal harmonies, irresistible melodies, hard charging keyboards, and emotional, tasty guitar licks. Right off the bat, you can tell the production work of Rich Mouser (who has worked with Spock's Beard, Transatlantic and Dream Theater) is spot on, the sound lively and precise, and this lead in track just sticks with you long after its 6-minute length. "Introversion" combines some Dream Theater & Deep Purple influences, with Hammond organ & synth dominating alongside some heavy riffs, but as always with this band it's those heart tugging vocal melodies that just grab you from the outset. Check out the stunning a cappella section midway through which will instantly bring to mind vintage Yes or Gentle Giant, and its followed by a ripping guitar solo and then some soothing keyboard tapestries...just wonderful stuff. Rich symphonic prog is all the rage on "According to Plan", complete with engaging synth & Hammond organ, plus those immediately catchy vocal harmonies, which leads into the atmospheric, brooding "Tears Gone Dry", a 12-minute mini epic that recalls classic Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, and Genesis, featuring a powerful vocal performance from Airikur Hauksson and sizzling lead guitar & synth solo tradeoffs. "Silent Giant" is more of a moody hard rocker, with spiraling guitar & synth lines that climax with a blistering lead guitar solo from Kim Stenberg, and the near 28-minute title tracks closes out the show in grandiose fashion, bubbling keyboards and one complex instrumental passage after another dazzling the listener with musical virtuosity. Having a line-up where basically everyone can contribute on the vocal front really does wonders, as Hauksson's Peter Gabriel meets Glenn Hughes styled delivery is supported by enormous layers of backing vocals to great effect. I'm reminded at times of all those great early Spock's Beard albums here, as Magic Pie have managed to craft some truly 'magical' vocal sections amid some mind boggling musical passages on this lengthy epic.

King For a Day manages to pull together all that is modern day progressive rock, with a healthy nod to the '70s of course, but satisfying fully those who crave musical complexity as well as enchanting, memorable melodies. Fans of Yes, Deep Purple, Genesis, Dream Theater, The Beatles, Spock's Beard, and The Flower Kings will surely love every minute of this, and no doubt this album has to be considered one of the frontrunners for best prog release of 2015. Job well done!

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
1. Trick of the Trade (6:09)
2. Introversion (12:24)
3. According To Plan (6:35)
4. Tears Gone Dry (12:14)
5. The Silent Giant (5:22)
6. King For A Day (27:29)

Added: May 24th 2015
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 4116
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Magic Pie: King For a Day
Posted by Miamiscot on 2015-05-25 12:27:47
My Score:

Excellent review!!! Very nicely done.

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