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Magnum - Breath Of Life CD (album) cover




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3.15 | 34 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Magnum is alive again

After a trio of rather weak albums released during the first half of the 90's, Magnum took a long break from recording. Following an eight year period of silence, Magnum released Breath Of Life early in the new millennium. This period away from the studio was probably just what the band needed to reassemble their powers and this album is clearly their best since Wings Of Heaven from 1988. It does not have standout tracks like Days Of No Trust, Wild Swan and Don't Wake The Lion from that album but Breath Of Life is a more consistent album overall. Like the 80's and 90's Magnum albums this too is melodic (Hard) Rock with only occasional and slight progressive tendencies. The style can perhaps be compared to Asia in the 90's.

The most important thing in melodic Rock is the melodies and this is where their 90's albums were lacking in my opinion. On Breath Of Life we finally have a set of strong melodic songs with some powerful choruses. And, most importantly, these songs take a while to sink in and are all the better for it. I don't like choruses that stick to you like bubblegum and are impossible to get rid of even long after you have grown tired of them. The lyrics are also better than on most previous albums with no obvious cringe worthy passages. There is not even one song with the word 'love' in the title this time! Another appealing aspect of the album is that there is a nice balance between ballads and rockers.

The distinctive vocals of Bob Catley is a large part of what makes the typical Magnum sound and his voice is as strong as it ever was here. We also have the usual good guitar work and a strong backing of keyboards, bass and drums. The whole band sound much more inspired here than they had done for a long time. As I said, the progressive aspects are present in the band's sound here but you have to look for it in the details; some short instrumental parts, some discrete twists and quirks in the songs, etc. This album requires several listens and it has a clear tendency to grown (on me anyway). Give this more than one listen.

Breath Of Life is one of Magnum's better albums, at least for a very long time. Surely this is not everyone's cup of tea, but for many Prog fans this can probably be enjoyable!

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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