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Magnum - On A Storyteller's Night CD (album) cover




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3.79 | 78 ratings

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Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
3 stars MAGNUM's 6th release denotes a complete transformation, a complete modification in the band's sound and songwriring approach. On A Storyteller's Night is the first album with a different record label (after 5 albums in Jet records) and it designated MAGNUM's long-awaited break in the charts. The similarities with the previous 2 releases are limited to the excellent cover artwork by Rodney Matthews - yet again a wonderful work with an atmosphere that does not reflect the style of music. The company of creatures sat around the old table in front of the fireplace makes me think of a fantasy/fairytale album style...

On the contrary, the musical directions are quite straightforward and well-defined within the 10 tracks. Even the listing of the tracks follows a more-or-less standard pattern: 4 rockers-1 ballad-4 rockers-1 ballad. The sound deviates largely from the band's recent past and displaces the pomp - often prog related - heavy rock forms with one single style: AOR. Although a more sophisticated form of this genre was apparent before in the shape of Styx-like references, here the sound is completely dominated by melodic, FM-derived rock. The standards of production are excellent and the tunes come out as dynamic and powerful as they could have been.

The musicianship for this chosen style is at high standards and the voice of Bob Catley is probably at its best, sounding more mature than ever. Everything is well-looked after; the guitars, the back-up vocals, the sequence of riffs. Asia, Boston, Journey, Survivor, Foreigner, Toto are just some of the bands that come in mind when listening to this release. The prog-related elements have almost diminished here and the sound tends to follow an ''orthodox'' AOR approach. How Far Jerusalem and the title track are the ones that still hold a few pomp-prog references and my personal favourites from this - nonetheless - solid album. Undoubtely, the heavy melodic catchy refrains are the main feature in this release.

MAGNUM's AOR/melodic hard rock often moves into heavier patterns remiding of more modern bands of the genre like Tyketto, Danger Danger, FM, Treat etc. The feature that annoys me in this release is the pre-decided commercial direction of the sound that could be nicely summed up in the lyrics of the hit track: it goes deep my love, only for you, just like an arrow. However, for prog fans who enjoy the pleasant AOR tunes from times to times (including myself), this album may find a decent place in their discography.

aapatsos | 3/5 |


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