CD Reviews

Magenta - 'Chaos From The Stage' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 09, 2017    
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A top quality release.

A somewhat bizarre title given that there's nothing the least bit chaotic about this live CD/DVD collection (it's actually a line of lyrics from the closing track, 'The Lizard King'), in fact it smacks of a band that are so tight they're waterproof and operating at the very highest level, something one has come to expect from them. Surprisingly, the DVD comprises the entire show whilst the audio CD omits four tracks, presumably on the grounds of limiting it to a single disc, which seems a bit of a shame.

They successfully intersperse shorter and more expansive songs, mainly taken from their 'Metamorphosis', 'Chameleon' and 'The Twenty Seven Club' albums, with the brevity of 'Glitterball' proving to be the perfect set opener. Everyone shines, but I have to mention both Rob Reed (keys) and Chris Fry (guitar) who are superb throughout. In my opinion Fry is up there with Steve Hackett in terms of ability, quality and flexibility of his playing. His solos always hit the mark, as do those of Reed. After her battle with cancer, it's fantastic to hear Christina Booth at her best on vocals with the Godsticks rhythm section of Dan Nelson (bass) and Tom Price (drums) anchoring everything superbly.

'Lust' from the 'Seven' release is sensational and a highlight from the set. It's a song that I'd point anyone new to the band to listen to it if they want a flavour of what Magenta are all about. Terrific guitar and keyboard solos, a fabulous vocal arrangement and even a bass motif that would do the late Chris Squire (Yes) proud, it really stirs the blood. Continuing the Yes theme, Fry does a pretty good Steve Howe impersonation on this one, he also excels on the excellent 'Demons' which puts me in mind of Hackett.

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Elsewhere the poignant 'The War Bride's Prayer' is linked seamlessly with 'Prekestolen' before the band take the energy level up again with 'The Devil At The Crossroads'. 'R.A.W.' wouldn't be an obvious song choice from their extensive catalogue whereas 'Pearl' is a band classic.

The DVD is well shot and consists of straightforward concert footage without any daft effects or overly vigorous cuts between scenes, so very much to my taste, although it is a little distracting watching Booth fiddle with her in-ear monitors.

Overall, as always from Magenta, a top quality release.

Gary Marshall

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