I started out as a fan of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and when I heard that they originated as a hard-rock/metal band called “Savatage,” curiosity got the best of me, and I bought this album. What can I say? Paul O’Neil continues to impress me. Much like the TSO albums, “Wake Of Magellan” is a concept album that tells a story, and to really get the full value of each song, you need to listen to the whole album, but it’s well worth your time. The music ranges from ballads to head-banging metal to theatrical (sometimes it reaches all of these extremes in a single song), and yet it somehow all gels together seamlessly. If you’re a TSO fan, as I am, and you’re trying to decide whether or not to risk buying a Savatage album, let me just say that you can definitely hear TSO’s roots in this album. Think of it as TSO on steroids, with distortion, but with no less talent. Yes it’s heavier and grittier, and whether or not you like that is a matter of personal taste, but this is an undeniably a great album. And Zak Stevens on vocals is terrific. The one thing I didn’t particularly like on the TSO albums is that sometimes the vocalists don’t have the greatest voices (Jody Ashworth’s overly operatic delivery as “Beethoven” on “Beethoven’s Last Night” is probably the only downside to that TSO album), but Zak Stevens’ voice fits the music perfectly here.