The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world





Always a big fan of the mid to late eighties vintage of Magnum, it has been good to see them finding some form over their last few releases which have gone someway to recapture the sound of the glory days. Tony Clarkin has a great way with a song and his brooding epics always stand out. Here unfortunately though my initial impression is very luke-warm.


For those of you out there who sensed a reawakening of ‘the lion’ over the last few releases unfortunately this time round he will take some rousing. I can’t actually say I don’t like this album, I just find it confusing. I can see that Tony is trying something new but some of the songs here sound a bit too ‘obvious’ in trying to capture what I can only assume the guys ‘hear’ as a modern sound. So I’m in a quandary as how to actually describe this, let’s have the songs do the talking…


From the intro to ‘Black Skies’ you can tell that Tony hasn’t lost it, but there’s a darkness here and a heaviness, the sound is akin to the sound of Europe’s last album, just not as good or as effective as the sound was for them. It’s almost like a homage to that harder melodic sound but quite frankly whilst the sound is ‘nice’ the song just seems to just lack something.


‘Doors to Nowhere’ has some great guitar and lots of drive, it’s all fists in the air but again falls a little short of ‘great’, a nice enough listen but not a real ‘great’.  


The rest of the album similarly has me feeling uninspired. It feels comfortable rather than exciting and whilst the sound is good the songs could be better. ‘Wild Angels’ even sounds a bit Springsteenesque and is a fair song.  ‘Spin Like a Wheel’ again is good but no classic, but at least here we have the ‘feel’ of real Magnum.


I do like the semi-epic 'Freedom Day' though, much more like it. Closer 'Tonight's the Night' is my favourite track here, it's a bit like Magnum meets ELO and this does work.


On the whole I’m a little disappointed and I feel that even fans might be too. After a couple of strong albums that really hinted that the next might be something special we get this. As I said it’s not a bad album, just very under-stated and a little comfortable. C+