Magic Pie -
Fragments Of The 5th Element

(CD 2019, 46:09, Karisma Records KAR159CD)

The tracks:
  1- The Man Who Had It All(5:25)
  2- P & C(5:35)
  3- Table For Two(4:08)
  4- Touched By An Angel(8:04)
  5- The Hedonist(22:58)

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Four years after the release of King For A Day (2015, see review), Norwegian outfit Magic Pie returns to the scene with a brand new album; Fragments Of The 5th Element. Over the years, the band has successfully blended traditional progressive rock with elements of hard rock and classic rock. Highlighting both the harmonic multiple vocals parts as well as the inventive guitar parts. Magic Pie remains a steady line-up since their previous release with vocalists Eirikur Hauksson and Eirik Hanssen, guitarist Kim Stenberg, keyboard player Erling Henanger and long time rhythm section; bass player Lars Petter Holstad and drummer Jan T. Johannessen.

Fragments Of The 5th Element kicks of with a bombastic signature track The Man Who Had It All. A song where elements of The Flower Kings are blended with Dream Theater reminding breakdowns. Although the musical ideas are fine and the song is an interesting one, I think you have to be a fan of Eirikur's vocal style, to fully enjoy the music. During the following P & C, elements of the vocal parts of Styx and parts of Kansas can be recognized, the groovy keyboard part highlights this fine seventies reminding composition. Table For Two is a delicate ballad style composition, with subtle guitars and nice keyboards. Another slow and intense track is the eight-minute lasting Touched By An Angel. Although I love the guitar solos, the lead vocal parts don't really do it for me. The album's piece de resistance is an incredible track that lasts for almost twenty-three minutes. The Hedonist is one of those epical progressive tracks that basically are obligated songs for the progressive rock aficionado. The Hedonist sees multiple layers of bombastic vocals, luscious keyboards and sometimes, furious guitar solos. All in all a perfect epic.

Magic Pie returned with a solid, dedicated album, filled with well-composed songs and impressively played. Musically Magic Pie easily equals The Flower Kings and due to the sometimes-powerful guitar parts, Fragments Of The 5th Element could even appeal to the progressive fan who likes his music a bit more powerful and technical.

**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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