MAGNUM // THE MONSTER ROARS // ALBUM REVIEW

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Magnum is one of just a handful of British bands that have endured the test of time with regular and consistently good releases. Here we are around fifty years on from their inception with the winning combination of Bob Catley and Tony Clarkin at the helm and a new release on the horizon.

            The title track starts off proceedings. It lures the listener into a false sense of security as initially, it is a stripped-back affair of Catley’s vocal, piano and guitar before the sheer power of Magnums backline is unleashed courtesy of lee Morris on drums and new addition, Dennis Ward on bass. `Remember’ kicks of with Clarkins trademark singing guitar tone, drums kick in and this upbeat track rocks out. This is classic Magnum through and through. Elements of `On A Storytellers Night’ and `Vigilante’ are within.

            `All You Believe In’ is a beautiful track with superb keyboard work by Rick Benton. Rousing guitar riffs punctuate this positive track. `I Won’t Let You Down is a slower track that brings in string sections and jumps between an almost country feels and a Meatloaf style opus.

            `The Present Not The Past’ has the eighties feel. Driving riffery, soaring keys and Catley’s creamy powerful vocal rise and fall as the story is relayed reaching its peak with a rousing chorus. `No Steppin’ Stones’ again has that epic Meatloaf feel replete with a brass section intro and chorus. This is a real departure from standard Magnum and as such doesn’t quite fit with the surrounding tracks although Clarkin’s solo is outstanding here.

            Back in the world of moody singing guitars, `That Freedom Word’ pounds out its message. Catley’s voice growls with passion here. `Your Blood Is Violence’ is dripping with emotion, singalong “whoas” and catchy guitar phrases drives this track along. `Walk The Silent Hours’ starts akin to a Foreigner ballad and maintains a strong emotional vibe throughout.

            We get back to all-out rocking with `The Day After The Night Before. This meaty epic pulls out all the stops and is bound to get the crowd jumping when played live. `Come Holy Men’ continues to take no prisoners as the familiar wall of guitar sounds push through the mix here. Magnum is in top form here. The modern-sounding guitar/synth riff adds an interesting edge too.

We end with `Can’t Buy Yourself A Heaven’ which is a semi-acoustic piece with an air of medieval minstrels coming through until Clarkin unleashes a full guitar assault that is off the scale.

            Save for the out of character `No Steppin’ Stones’, all the songs found here see a return to the classic Magnum sound that works so well. Catley’s voice is strong and articulate and Clarkin’s playing as ever is beyond reproach. The band’s famed storytelling song structure continues to endear them to many. All in all, a strong album to be proud of.

 

Magnum – The Monster Roars arrives via Steamhammer / SPV on January 14th.

 

Review: Paul Sabin

 

 

 

Tracklisting:

   The Monster Roars 4:01
   Remember 5:07
   All You Believe In 5:02
   I Won’t Let You Down 3:57
   The Present Not The Past 5:26
   No Steppin’ Stones 4:10
   That Freedom Word 4:53
   Your Blood Is Violence 6:45
   Walk The Silent Hours 4:54
   The Day After The Night Before 4:24
   Come Holy Men 5:02
   Can’t Buy Yourself A Heaven 5:01

Line-Up:

Tony Clarkin – Guitar
Bob Catley – Vocals
Rick Benton – Keyboards
Dennis Ward – Bass
Lee Morris – Drums

Tour Dates 2022:
 
28.03. UK-Cambridge – Junction
29.03. UK-Norwich – Waterfront
30.03. UK-London – Islington Assembly Hall
31.03. UK-Birmingham – Symphony Hall
03.04. UK-Southampton – Engine Rooms
04.04. UK-Cardiff – Tramshed
17.04. NL-Weert – De Bosuil
18.04. DE-Frankfurt – Batschkapp (with Gotthard)
19.04. DE-Fürth – Stadthalle (with Gotthard)
20.04. DE-Hannover – Capitol (with Gotthard)
22.04. DE-Singen – Stadthalle (with Gotthard)
23.04. DE-Balingen – Volksbankmesse (with Gotthard)
24.04. DE-Regensburg – Airport Obertraubling (with Gotthard)
26.04. DE-Munich – Tonhalle (with Gotthard)

MAGNUM // THE MONSTER ROARS // ALBUM REVIEW
8
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