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MAGNUM ‘On The 13th Day’ cd

Magnum are a British institution as far as I’m concerned, as they were the first band I ever saw, I was 14 at the time ( Wigan Pier ) and I’ve followed their career, both ups and downs ever since.
‘On The 13th Day’ will be the bands 18th studio album and follows the release of ‘The Visitation’ which charted at number 55 in the UK national album charts, and at number one in the UK rock chart at the end of January 2011.
What is immediate about this new release is that main writer Tony Clarkin appears to be writing with less pomp and more rock ( for Magnum ), giving singer Bob Catley more lower keys to sing, it’s not that Bob has lost his voice, far from it, it is just that Bobs voice has aged, changed, and Tony’s writing has reflected this, writing another chapter in the magnum song book.
The album opens quietly with ‘All The Dreamers’, which at just over 7 minutes is a brave album opener. It works though, as you’re soon in familiar Magnum territory, Clarkins riff’s complement Mark Stanway’s Keyboards, and a gruff sounding Catley gives the song importance.
‘Blood Red Laughter’ is a bit more rockier, a typical simple clarkin riff, leading into a great solo, this is an album highlight for me along with the single ‘So Let It Rain’.
‘Didn’t Like You Anyway’ is another possible single and will certainly become a live favourite; a catchy punchy riff drives this song along, with Bob delivering a strong chorus.
“On The 13th Day” needs a few listens (as with most Magnum albums) before the track opens up and you can hear the full arrangement, this track has some beautiful harmonic bass playing from Al Barrow, underpinning Tony’s solo.
Drummer Harry James is not shy either, he brings a welcome powerful drum sound to the record when needed, with some nice fills and then providing a simple beat at other times, the ex Thunder hitter suits the band with his uncomplicated yet solid style of drumming.
‘Dance Of The Black Tattoo’ is an interesting track, with heavy guitar riffs, certainly taking Magnum down a different path, something different and maybe one to explore further in the future.
‘Shadow Town’ is a classic Magnum tune, strong lyrically, with Tony Clarkin giving Bob, at last, some high notes to sing.
“Putting Things In Place” is a beautiful ballad, whilst ‘See How They Fall’ is a great slice of old school Magnum, full of pomp and lots of hand waving from Bob.
This opus closes with “From Within”, the weakest track on here for me, it has a great chorus, but the music stagnates, never really going anywhere, not a bad track, but not up to standard compared with the rest of the album.
“On The 13th Day” delivers some of the best Melodic Rock you will find out there, full of superb well-crafted songs, top notch musicianship, and they’re British, what’s not to like. 9/10

‘On The 13th Day’ will be available as a limited digipak edition with a bonus CD featuring unreleased, acoustic and live tracks from the Magnum vaults, plus as a double coloured vinyl LP, standard jewel case CD and download. The cover is once again created by famous fantasy artist Rodney Matthews (Asia, Nazareth, Eloy).

Limited Digipak
Disc 1
1. All The Dreamers 7.09
2. Blood Red Laughter 4.40
3. Didn’t Like You Anyway 4.33
4. On The 13th Day 5.35
5. So Let It Rain 4.50
6. Dance Of The Black Tattoo 5.16
7. Shadow Town 5.57
8. Putting Things In Place 4.41
9. Broken Promises 4.55
10. See How They Fall 4.56
11. From Within 4.42

Bonus Disc 2
1. Those Were The Days 4.12 (Demo From 1988-89)
2. Eyes Like Fire 5.23 (Full Version)
3. Blood Red Laughter 4.12 (Acoustic Version)
4. We All Need To Be Loved 4.12 (Live From Prague CZ)
5. Shadow Town 4.59 (Acoustic Version)
6. Moonking 6.29 (Live From Mannheim D

Jewel Case
1. All The Dreamers 7.09
2. Blood Red Laughter 4.40
3. Didn’t Like You Anyway 4.33
4. On The 13th Day 5.35
5. So Let It Rain 4.50
6. Dance Of The Black Tattoo 5.16
7. Shadow Town 5.57
8. Putting Things In Place 4.41
9. Broken Promises 4.55
10. See How They Fall 4.56
11. From Within 4.42

Vinyl Version
LP 1
Side A
1. All The Dreamers 7.09
2. Blood Red Laughter 4.40
3. Didn’t Like You Anyway 4.33
Side B
1. On The 13th Day 5.35
2. So Let It Rain 4.50
3. Dance Of The Black Tattoo 5.16
LP 2
Side A
1. Shadow Town 5.57
2. Putting Things In Place 4.41
3. Broken Promises 4.55
Side B
1.. See How They Fall 4.56
2.. From Within 4.42

Band Website:
www.magnumonline.co.uk/

About David Farrell

General Manager and 'THE' competition guy at planetmosh.com. Manager of The Goddanm Electric www.thegde.co.uk, Tour manager for Serpentine, and ex-general Dogsbody at Hammerfest.co.uk. Media partner to numerous bands. Also takes photos, writes reviews and likes classic rock, with a touch of thrash to get the blood flowing.
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