It’s been less than 2 years since MAGNUM’s last album, “On The 13th Day” was released and already we have another one, “Escape From The Shadow Garden”.
Track one, “Live ‘Till You Die” opens with a dramatic string section, before Tony Clarkin lets rip with an instantly recognizable Magnum riff, and Bob Catley lifts the song completely.
“Unwritten Sacrifice”, drops a little, after the very strong opener, but can still hold its own with some clever keyboard work from Mark.
“Falling For The Big Plan” mixes things up a bit, with a nice piano melody. As the song begins to build, the drums and guitars come together, with yet another great chorus melody. This is Magnum at their Song writing best, full of twists and turns and a great solo from Tony.
“Crying In The Rain” is another stand out track, opening up with a great bass and guitar combination from Alan and Tony, only matched when Harry joins the party with some high quality drumming. There are lots of great harmonies and power chords on this song and they all crash together just in time to run a grooving riff throughout the rest of the track.
“Too Many Clowns” is a bit more of a straight up rocker, a simple track with an old school bluesy feel to it. This gives the slight impression that the magic on this album has been short lived, however you couldn’t be so wrong.
The next track “Midnight Angel” clocks in at a little over 7 minutes, the type of song Magnum do very well. This is a great song, with a real sense of storytelling with some outstanding lyrics, it is also very diverse in its different sections, yet Tony Clarkin’s guitar work runs through it and pulls it all together.
“Don’t Fall Asleep” is the only real ballad on this album, with great string sounds and some emotive playing by the whole band, Bob’s vocals shine on this.
The album comes to a close with “Valley Of Tears”, another long track hitting in at over 6 minutes. With a typical Magnum message of struggle in the face of adversity, the track begins to give off a positive vibe around the two minute mark and make’s for a grand finale.
Magnum has once again delivered a very mature slice of adult rock, a near classic of a release from Britain’s elder statesmen.
Plus, we mustn’t forget the cover is once again created by famous fantasy artist Rodney Matthews,
Whose work is always a joy to examine and find hidden gems.
- Live ‘Til You Die
- Unwritten Sacrifice
- Falling For The Big Plan
- Crying In The Rain
- Too Many Clowns
- Midnight Angel
- The Art Of Compromise
- Don’t Fall Asleep
- Wisdom’s Had Its Day
- Burning River
- The Valley Of Tears
Tony Clarkin – guitars
Bob Catley – vocals
Mark Stanway – keyboards
Al Barrow – bass
Harry James – drums