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Magnum - The Eleventh Hour CD (album) cover




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3.24 | 68 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Chasing 'Chasing the Dragon' never proved as successful. 'The Eleventh Hour' is the followup from Magnum's triumphant 'Chase The Dragon'. This followup album is not as special but 1983 was a shocking year for prog so we can let them off the hook for at least producing something worthy of note. 1983 proved to be an Annus Horribilus for prog and only artists such as Marillion, Bacamarte and the new Yes were able to produce albums of true excellence.

'The Prize' features Clarkin's erratic acoustic guitar and Catley's straightforward vocals. The guitars kick in with Gorin's drumming patterns and we are on our way into Magnum style prog. The band do not actually break any musical barriers and keep firm beats and strong melodies, like the classic pomp rock of the NWOBHM. Huge lead solos and big vocals are the order of the day with fanciful lyrics: a good combination but never anything more than good.

'Breakdown' has a medieval sound with a quiet balladic style. There is a heavy reliance on the piano and keyboard skills of Stanway, and Catley's storytelling vocals. The chorus is loud and uplifting with distorted guitar riffs. The tempo is almost a swing beat.

'The Great Disaster' is a standard rocker with intricate riffing and a highlight of the album.

'Vicious Companions' features strong vocals and a great catchy hook on guitar.

'So Far Away' is medium paced with nice drum fills and keyboard slamming from Stanway. It features a variation of time sigs, and a wonderful instrumental break that swirls into a fade out, making this a definite highlight.

'Hit and Run' has the similar feel to a Kiss song, the guitars crunching out simple chord progressions; a real soft metal track.

'One Night Of Passion' has a sensational bassline from Lowe, and a honky tonk piano that is well played setting a strange mood. The guitar harmonics are a real treat and this is perhaps the best track on the whole album.

'The Word' begins with an Elton John piano style and Catley's pleading balladic vocals. It is real stadium rock and you can even see the firelighters being lifted high to this strong melodic track.

'Young and Precious Souls' and 'Road To Paradise' finishes the album with two rock tracks with clean lead breaks and strong melodies.

The result is a standard rock album of the difficult 80s when prog was hospitalised by the punk and disco plague. There are good moments but not enough to elevate this above a 3 star rating. Not as good as 'Dragon' or 'Storyteller' but still a strong rock album.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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