Magic Pie is a Norwegian Progressive Rock band releasing their third album, The Suffering Joy. Their debut album, Motions Of Desire, their sophomore release Circus Of Life (2007), and this new album have all been released via Progress Records. After the release of Circus Of Life, vocalist Allan Olsen quit, and the band brought in Eiríkur Hauksson (Ken Hensley, Artch) to handle the vocal duties.
In early 2010, the band was confident their new album would be out during that spring, but they got struck by several incidents of bad luck -- among them a fire that totally destroyed keyboardist Gilbert Marshall's studio and most of their equipment. December's projected release date was also delayed, but now, in January 2011, the album is finally out and it has definitely been worth the wait.
Especially impressive is "A Life's Work" pt. 1-4 that opens the album. The twenty-four minute long epic features long, majestic parts with massive layers of keyboards and backing vocals, as well as impressive technical instrumental parts. Of course, the vocals are also impressive as Hauksson is a great and sought-after vocalist. He really lifts this release an extra notch.
There's more vocal work to be impressed by on The Suffering Joy, especially on the acoustic guitar driven "Endless Ocean." One of the trademarks on this release is the massive amount of backing vocals. Since everyone in the band except the drummer sings, this allows them to make the most of their talents, and they really do. The best song on the album is arguably "Slightly Mad." It starts off with a massive amount of energy and blends the technically challenging parts and heavy riffing in a great way. The organ on top really makes the difference. Once again Hauksson's vocals are top notch.
Magic Pie is a band that consists of great instrumentalists as well as great songwriters and one hell of a lead singer. Their music is very 70s Progressive Rock-inspired, yet they have a distinct style of their own. If you're a Progressive Rock fan, you'd be a fool not to check out The Suffering Joy.
Magic Pie is:
Kim Stenberg - Guitars, vocals
Eirik Hansen - Vocals, guitars
Gilbert Marshall - Keyboards, vocals
Eiríkur Hauksson - Vocals, guitars, keyboards
Lars Petter Holstad - Bass, vocals
Jan T. Johannessen
Metal Express Radio
Review by: KRISTIAN NERGĹRD