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Magnum ‘Sacred Blood, Divine Lies’ cd

album by:
Magnum
Version:
cd
Price:
£12.99

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On January 26, 2016
Last modified:January 26, 2016

Summary:

A well deserved 5/5. Outstanding.

Magnum to me are the quintessential British rock band, never a band to court controversy nor chase fame by wild antic’s on or off stage, they remain the gentlemen of rock. In fact they were one of the very first bands I ever saw ( at Wigan’s Pier Nightclub back in 79, I was 14 ) and this may be one of the reasons I have stuck by this band through thick and thin. The other reason, off course is the music.

‘Sacred Blood, Divine Lies’ is Magnum’s 19th studio album and in my humble opinion is their best yet, the masterful songwriting by Tony Clarkin and Bob’s expressive singing has really helped to raise Magnums profile these last few years, whatever Steamhammer / SPV have put in Magnum’s tea, they need to keep brewing it.

Tony is on a songwriting roll, as he made no secret of the fact that he had already starting writing for this album while touring the 2014 release ‘Escape From The Shadow Garden’ last year. In fact there where so many songs for this album, the band had a hard time choosing the track list, in fact there are an extra three tracks on the cd/dvd digipack.

The title and opening track ‘Sacred Blood, Divine Lies’, is a near seven minute epic, Tony sets the scene with a simple yet effective riff for Bob to sing over, this is a typical Magnum pomp song, a great soaring chorus, great use of time changes, a Clarkin solo that is quite frankly sublime and some damn fine drumming from Harry James just makes you want to listen to this song on repeat.

On ‘Crazy Old Mothers’ Mark Stanway does what Tony did on track 1, he lays down a great Piano/organ intro for Bob to sing over, another great track clocking in at nearly six minutes. Tony plays the intro later on guitar as the song builds to a climax, before a lonely outro by Mark. Superb

‘Gypsy Queen’ is more of a straight forward track, more rocking than the previous two, lifted by Tony undeniable gifted playing. There’s some tasteful drumming on this from Harry, always complimentary in his playing but can take a lead role when needed as demonstrated on later tracks.

‘Princess in the rags’ has a nice groove to it, a well-rounded rocker with a punchy guitar kick that gives this song a lift, a soaring solo adds more layers, adding to the solid rhythm section of Al and Harry.

‘Your Dreams Won’t Die’ is a typical Magnum ballad, far more intelligent and better written than most ballads today. Bob singing like only he can sing a sorrowful song.

‘Afraid of the night’ is a very different song altogether, full of complicated time changes and arrangements make this a fascinating listen. Al Barrow’s bass fretwork on this is the glue that binds it all together.

 

‘A Forgotten Conversation’ is the standout track for me, on this standout album, a gentle introduction has Bob once again singing over Mark’s keyboard lushness, before the pounding rhythm  section join in to give the song a harder edge, towards the end Tony lays down a stunning solo. This man is a genius.

‘Quiet Rhapsody’ certainly needs a good few listens to fully appreciate it, an electronic, almost ambient dance intro in its presentation gives way to a funk based rocker. Bobs vocals on this album have been particular impressive so far, and he handles this change with ease. Al’s bass breakdown is also impressive, a track you get more out of the more you listen to it.

‘Twelve Men Wise and Just’ is another six minute plus epic piece of story telling like only Magnum can do, a great upbeat rocker with a great sing-a-long chorus, some clever drumming from Harry, and a glorious harmonie close out.

Closing track ‘Don’t Cry Baby’ is equally as good as anything else on the album, gentle to begin with before getting heavier, however where this song excels is the substitution of the guitar solo, for a Piano solo, an inspired piece of writing from Tony and the gang. Tony’s guitar does make a brief appearance at the end as the song fades out.

Another superb album from Magnum, and quite easily be their most complete yet. 5/5

 

 

TRACKLISTING:

01 Sacred Blood, “Divine” Lies  6:41

02 Crazy Old Mothers 5:48

03 Gypsy Queen 4:29

04 Princess in Rags (The Cult) 5:27

05 Your Dreams Won’t Die 5:25

06 Afraid of the Night 4:32

07 A Forgotten Conversation 4:56

08 Quiet Rhapsody 5:40

09 Twelve Men Wise and Just 6:18

10 Don’t Cry Baby 5:05

DVD

Bonus Videos

  1. Sacred Blood, “Divine” Lies 6:41
  2. Crazy Old Mothers 5:48

Bonus Audio Tracks

  1. Phantom Of Paradise Circus 5:54
  2. Don`t Grow Up 4:47
  3. No God Or Saviour 5:53

 

Jewel case Version

 

01 Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies  6:41

02 Crazy Old Mothers 5:48

03 Gypsy Queen 4:29

04 Princess in Rags (The Cult) 5:27

05 Your Dreams Won’t Die 5:25

06 Afraid of the Night 4:32

07 A Forgotten Conversation 4:56

08 Quiet Rhapsody 5:40

09 Twelve Men Wise and Just 6:18

10 Don’t Cry Baby 5:05

 

LP Version

 

LP1

Side A

01 Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies  6:41

02 Crazy Old Mothers 5:48

Side B

01 Gypsy Queen 4:29

02 Princess in Rags (The Cult) 5:27

03 Your Dreams Won’t Die 5:25

LP2

Side A

01 Afraid of the Night 4:32

02 A Forgotten Conversation 4:56

03 Quiet Rhapsody 5:38

Side B

01 Twelve Men Wise and Just 6:18

02 Don’t Cry Baby 5:05

Sacred Blood, Divine Lies will be released on February 26, 2016

A well deserved 5/5. Outstanding.

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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