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Magnum - The Visitation CD (album) cover




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3.27 | 37 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars To be honest, Magnum, aside from interesting articles in magazines such as Classic Rock, disappeared from my radar since I enjoyed seeing them live supporting Marillion, of all bands, in Wolverhampton during the Season's End tour. Wandering around a record store at the weekend, I saw this and bought it on a whim as much as anything else.

I'm glad I did. Originally firmly rooted in the blues influenced classic rock of my youth, Magnum, with this new album, prove to the world that they are still relevant and capable of putting out music that draws from a number of influences. Here, we have a mix of everything from symphonic leanings through to traditional riffing hard rock, but all presented in a coherent and thoroughly enjoyable, if not exactly essential, release.

As befits a band recording since the late 1970's, the musicanship is never less than excellent, and it is clear to me that Bob Catley, at the grand age of 63, has a set of vocal pipes that put to shame many artists more than 30 years his junior. Tony Clarkin's wonderful guitar solo on Freedom Day raises the hairs on the back of the neck.

The album opener, Black Skies, announces their intent in glorious style. Elsewhere, Wild Angels is the type of track that will have me reaching tonight for a listen to some of the heavy rock I haven't played in far too long a time. It is simply a great classic rock song, no more, no less. The difference now, though, is that the band augment this type of music with some, at times, very interesting and thought provoking socially relevant lyrics to the world in which we live now. The Final Frontier is a very good example, which, incidentally, would grace many a fine "true" prog band's catalogue. The orchestration on this and Mark Stanway's keyboard work is exceptional, and utter symphonic prog.

Of course, there is some more standard fare included. Spin Like A Wheel, clocking in a over seven minutes, is at least two minutes too long. It's not bad as such, but rather ordinary AOR, which is fine if you enjoy that type of thing.

Three stars for this. Recommended for those, such as me, curious to reacquaint themselves with a fine English rock band for the first time in an age, and those who enjoy both classic hard rock and more AOR orientated fare, fused with some decent symphonic leanings.

lazland | 3/5 |


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