New tunes from Magnum: almost exactly two years after The Serpent Rings, the hard rockers are back with The Monster Roars. Release date is 14th January 2022. Here is my review.
Magnum – About The Artists
Magnum is a hard rock band from Birmingham, United Kingdom. The band has originally been founded in 1972 already. The original lineup features Bob Catley (vocals), Tony Clarkin (guitar), Kex Gorin (drums, percussions, died 2007) and Bob Doyle (bass), who has been replaced by bassist Dave Morgan in the founding year. Already their debut album Kingdom of Madess has a chart placement in the UK in 1978. Magnum’s breakthrough was likely Chase The Dragon in 1982, their first UK Top 20 album. In 1988 and 1990, the band released very successful albums, Wings of Heaven and Goodnight L.A., which also had Top 10 placements in countries like Sweden or Switzerland.
In 1995, the band announced a break-up. Catlin and Catley still worked together as hard rain, which finally lead to a re-formation of Magnum in 2001. They are the only Magnum founding members in the band, nowadays collaborating with Rick Benton (keys, since 2016), Lee Morris (drums, 2017) and Dennis Ward (bass, 2019). After the reunion, Magnum became more successful than before. Nowardays, markets like Germany or Switzerland are more profitable for them than their home grounds. The Monster Roars is Magnum’s 22nd studio album.
Magnum – The Monster Roars – Track by Track
The twelve track album lasts 59 minutes.
1. The Monster Roars
The monster is obviously roaring from the very beginning of the album. The title track does not start too monsterous, but rather slow and gentle, before Magnum let’s the electric guitars talk after 45 seconds. Nonetheless, the album starts rather epic and lyric, not too forceful.
The riffs are out with the second track latest. Remember has a lot of power – but it also comes with these quiet, thoughtful lyrical moment. Great contrast and simply a good listen. The chorus is just a too catching piece of music.
3. All You Believe In
If you don’t like the hymnic All You Believe In, you don’t like rock. The chorus with beautiful harmony between keyboard sounds and guitar riffs is a track, which simply stays your mind from the very first listen. A definite must-be-on-the-set-list for the next Magnum tour!
4. I Won’t Let You Down
After being euphoric about the last five minutes with All You Believe In, the following I Won’t Let You Down had a bit of a hard time. The song cannot create the same level of emotions – but it also has a smashing chorus, which is again illustrating the great quality of music Magnum are still able to produce.
I won’t let you down
I’m here when you stumble
I won’t let you down
When you start to grumble
5. The Present Not The Past
While the first minute of this 5:24 minute song feels like Magnum is giving us a power ballad here. However, there is again a very energetic chorus, which also adds a hard rock hymn touch to the song. Powerful, but not as good as the two songs before.
6. No Steppin’ Stones
Ooops, what’s that? No Steppin’ Stones starts with brass sounds. Compared to other songs on the album so far, the verses have already a lot of power. Thus, this sixth track on the album feels like a groovy four minute firework with a very unexpected additional touch. These brass sounds create a very memorable listen, though – thus, I really like it.
7. That Freedom Word
That Freedom Word is having a very dramatic plot and feel, working with nice contrasts. I feel that Magnum do better than in other tracks here – I enjoy taking that almost five minute hard rock trip with them.
8. Your Blood Is Violence
This eighth song is one of my favorites on The Monster Roars. A good chorus, but especially the verses, which give a nice atmosphere (a bit of classic rock songs), create a nice style here.
9. Walk The Silent Hours
Walk the silent Hours
Locked in fragile blues
Close with desperate eyes
Life is so
Way out of tune
There’s is no standing room.
The only struggle I have with Walk The Silent Hours is whether you can still call this one a power ballad. The song is very thoughtful and slow atmosphere, even the chorus is very decent. Very nice lyrics and storytelling performance by the British.
10. The Day After The Night Before
Even though the track opens with a nice rock’n’roll reference, it creates its magic and energy rather slowly during its 4:24 minute duration. That’s a bit too lame for me – maybe I am just not patient. The chours is not bad, but the song does not catch me as well as other tracks in here do.
11. Come Holy Men
Come Holy Men is a nice rocker (and I touches me much more as well). Good vibe, great melodic chorus. Magnum make me smile again.
12. Can’t Buy Yourself a Heaven
This five minute song is the closing one of The Monster Roars. The beginning of Can’t Buy Yourself a Heaven is having a folk rock reference. Good lyrics, very nice arrangement. A Magnum track for any music listener.
Magnum – The Monster Roars – Spotify
Here is The Monster Roars on Spotify:
Magnum – The Monster Roars – My View
The English rockers did a good album – maybe not a very good one. I would like to have more catching moments. On top of that, the plot of the songs feels very similar (slow verses, very energetic and rocking chorus). There are just few surprises, which leads leads to a bit of monotony. On the other hand, you can’t praise Magnum sufficiently for this amazingly long career. Great that we (still) got these guys.
British Hard Rock & Metal
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