The Wake of Magellan

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The Wake of Magellan
Wake of the magellan.jpg
Studio album by Savatage
Released September 15, 1997 (Europe, Japan)
April 7, 1998 (US)
Recorded 1997
Studio Soundtrack Studios and Studio 900 (overdubs), New York City
Genre Progressive metal, symphonic metal
Length 60:06
Label Concrete/Edel (Germany)
JVC Victor (Japan)
Lava/Atlantic (US)
Producer Paul O'Neill, Jon Oliva, Robert Kinkel
Savatage chronology
From the Gutter to the Stage
(1996)From the Gutter to the Stage1996
The Wake of Magellan
(1997)
The Best and the Rest
(1997)The Best and the Rest1997

The Wake of Magellan is the tenth studio album released by the American heavy metal band Savatage. The album was released in September 1997 in Europe and Japan, and in April 1998 in the US.

It is a concept album and is based on two real life events. The first, the Maersk Dubai incident, occurred less than a year before this album was released when the captain of a freighter threw three Romanian stowaways overboard in the middle of the Atlantic. A fourth stowaway was saved by the courageous action of a deckhand, who risked his own life to protect the youth. The second event regarded the Irish reporter Veronica Guerin who died fighting the growth of the drug trade in her country. Her death may accomplish what she could not in life. These events are combined into the story of an old Spanish sailor, who has decided to end his life by sailing his small boat out into the Atlantic until it sinks. In his mind he has romanticized this decision as a glorious, Vikingesque way to die. When the ocean winds push him into a great storm, and he believes that his wish is about to be granted in a great dramatic fashion, he suddenly sees a man drowning in the ocean. In an instant he finds himself taking back every wish for death's embrace, and fights to save this soul. After many twists and turns, he is able to save the stowaway that had been thrown overboard. Returning to land, he now realizes that not only every life is precious but also every hour of that life.[1]

This is the first Savatage album to have the same line up as the previous album since Hall of the Mountain King in 1987 and also the last to feature vocals from lead singer Zachary Stevens. The progressive metal band Dream Theater are thanked in the album's liner notes. Dream Theater keyboard player Derek Sherinian and Al Pitrelli went to college together, were both in the band Ethyl Mertz and toured with Alice Cooper for the Trashes the World tour. Pitrelli and John Petrucci also played together on a Japanese release called Guitar Battle.[2]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[3]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal8/10[4]
Metal Hammer (GER)7/7[5]
Metal Rules5.0/5[6]
Rock Hard9.5/10[7]

Matthias Breusch of Rock Hard praised the album for being "a super-melodic, varied, one hundred percent song-oriented concentrate opus, precisely made without visible weld seam", which conquered his heart after repeated listenings. He lauded Savatage for "consistently carry through their unmistakable style and yet constantly change".[7] Metal Rules reviewer was happy to find Jon Oliva still active as lead vocalist in two songs, but considered Zak Stevens' performance that of "a vocal genius".[6] AllMusic Stephen Thomas Erlewine's review lingered on the ambitious narrative by Paul O'Neill and remarked how "Savatage's surprisingly graceful music not only does fit the story line, but it has sweeping melodies, intricate arrangements and stunning solos that are compelling on their own terms", showing how "the group continued to improve in the '90s".[3] Canadian journalist Martin Popoff found The Wake of Magellan "quite thick plot-wise", but appreciated how the album got "right to the metal, a decidedly raw and basic metal oddly enough", despite the band remaining "king of piano-to-riff dynamic", more in the way of Kansas than of Queen, which Savatage had been compared to.[4]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Paul O'Neill.

No.TitleMusicLength
1."The Ocean" (instrumental)Jon Oliva, O'Neill1:33
2."Welcome"J. Oliva, O'Neill2:11
3."Turns to Me"O'Neill, J. Oliva, Al Pitrelli6:01
4."Morning Sun"J. Oliva, O'Neill, Chris Caffery5:49
5."Another Way"O'Neill, J. Oliva, Pitrelli4:35
6."Blackjack Guillotine"J. Oliva, O'Neill, Caffery4:33
7."Paragons of Innocence"J. Oliva, O'Neill5:33
8."Complaint in the System (Veronica Guerin)"J. Oliva, O'Neill2:37
9."Underture" (instrumental)J. Oliva, O'Neill3:52
10."The Wake of Magellan"J. Oliva, O'Neill, Caffery, Johnny Lee Middleton6:10
11."Anymore"J. Oliva, O'Neill5:16
12."The Storm" (instrumental)J. Oliva, O'Neill3:45
13."The Hourglass"O'Neill, J, Oliva, Pitrelli8:05

Personnel[edit]

Savatage
Additional musicians
  • Bob Kinkel – additional keyboards, additional production, engineer
Production
  • Paul O'Neill – producer
  • Steve Sisco – assistant engineer
  • Ben Arrindell, Joe Johnson – additional engineering
  • Adam Parness, Ed Osbeck, Jin Won Lee, Mike Scielzi – additional assistant engineers
  • Dave Wittman – mixing
  • Kevin Hodge – mastering at the Master Cutting Room, New York
  • Mark Weiss – photography
  • Edgar Jerins – cover art

Charts[edit]

Year Chart Position
1997 German Albums Chart[8] 11
Japanese Albums Chart[9] 44
Dutch MegaCharts[10] 79
1998 Billboard Heatseekers Albums (US)[11] 26
2010 Greek Albums Chart[12] 30

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Wake Of Magellan (1997/1998)". Savatage Official Website. Retrieved April 30, 2018. 
  2. ^ "Savatage FAQ, Section 2 – The Albums, Part 2". Savatage.com. Retrieved May 16, 2008. 
  3. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Savatage - The Wake of Magellan review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved April 30, 2018. 
  4. ^ a b Popoff, Martin (August 1, 2007). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 3: The Nineties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 384. ISBN 978-1-894959-62-9. 
  5. ^ Schöwe, Andreas (September 1997). "Savatage – The Wake Of Magellan" (in German). Metal Hammer. Retrieved 2018-05-08. 
  6. ^ a b EvilG (January 1, 1999). "Savatage – The Wake of Magellan". Metal Rules. Retrieved April 30, 2018. 
  7. ^ a b Breusch, Matthias (1998). "Review Album : Savatage - The Wake of Magellan". Rock Hard (in German). No. 124. Retrieved April 30, 2018. 
  8. ^ "Album – Savatage, The Wake of Magellan". Charts.de (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  9. ^ AA.VV. (April 25, 2006). Album Chart-Book Complete Edition 1970~2005. Tokyo, Japan: Oricon. ISBN 978-487-1-31077-2. 
  10. ^ "Savatage - The Wake of Magellan". Dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). Media Control Charts. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  11. ^ "Savatage Chart History: Heatseekers Albums". Billboard.com. Billboard. Retrieved April 22, 2018. 
  12. ^ "Savatage - The Wake of Magellan (Album)". Greekcharts.com. Media Control Charts. Archived from the original on March 15, 2012. Retrieved May 1, 2018.