|Ohio native, Rob Johnson is no stranger to the music scene. An established guitar player with already three solo albums to his credit, he had generated quite a name for himself on the underground scene with his impressive style and technique. However, not content with just catering exclusively to the instrumental market, he set about putting a band together. And so in the Spring of 1997, Magnitude 9 was born. Joining forces with Rob was Psycho Drama frontman Corey Brown who was introduced to Rob through mutual friend, David Chastain of Leviathan Records. The two hit it off immediately and began writing songs together. In the meantime the band expanded with the addition of keyboardist Joseph Glean, drummer John Homan and bassist Kevin Chown (of Artension) completing a stellar line up which would result in an excellent collaboration of talents.
The band's debut album "Chaos To Control" was written over a 7 to 8 month period toward the end of 1997 and then released in Europe the following year. The album was released to critical acclaim both in Japan and Europe and won praise from fans for its unique blend of hooks and melodies combined with virtuoso musicianship. Comparisons to bands such as Fates Warning, Iron Maiden and Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force ensued as Rob Johnson stepped into the spotlight as one of a new breed of guitar heroes. "Chaos To Control" was an accomplished debut from this bright new talent and put the band firmly on the map of the resurgent progressive metal genre.
Now after a brief hiatus, Magnitude 9 has returned with their long awaited follow up, entitled "Reality In Focus". A fine successor to their debut, the new album marks an improvement in the band's overall approach and sound. Having refined their skills and honed their songwriting, they have delivered a collection of melodic metal at its finest with progressive roots and neo-classical overtones that fans are sure to embrace. More importantly they have not compromised their songs for the sake of technique or flashy playing but rather focused on keeping the music full of pounding melodies that are constantly interspersed between amazing instrumental passages. The new album also includes a superb cover of the Iron Maiden classic 'Flight Of Icarus' upon which they have put their own stamp thus making it sit quite comfortably between their own compositions.
"Reality In Focus" is an excellent new release from one of the most promising melodic power metal bands around and is sure to appeal directly and immediately to today's progressive metal audience and beyond! "Reality In Focus" was released in Europe in January 2001.