It’s a sign of definite quality when a band can look back at a career which started as early as 1972 (!) and are still capable of thoroughly awing their fans with every new album. Magnum deliver this kind of quality on a regular basis and are set to prove their outstanding position once again with their latest studio offering ‘The Monster Roars.’ Even after difficult months marked by pandemic-related concert cancellations, contact restrictions and uncertain perspectives for the whole music industry, the English rock act have succeeded in creating a
vibrant, homogeneous work that impresses its listeners from the first to the last note and includes a number of surprises.
‘The Monster Roars’ kicks off with a real bang: opening with the title track, Magnum make it unmistakably clear that the group’s current line-up consisting of Bob Catley (vocals), Tony Clarkin (guitar), Rick Benton (keyboards), Dennis Ward (bass) and Lee Morris (drums) is
bursting with enthusiasm. Especially the signing of American bassist Dennis Ward (ex-Pink Cream 69, Unisonic, Place Vendome) has proved to be an absolute stroke of luck.
“Unfortunately, we haven`t been able to play live with Dennis yet as all concerts had to be cancelled or postponed due to the lockdown. But we’ve already rehearsed intensively with him and were delighted to discover that he not only plays a first-rate bass but also provides
fantastic backing vocals,” explains Tony Clarkin and adds: “Dennis has catapulted the band to another level in a number of ways. We`re looking forward to our first live shows with him and are certain that our fans will be as excited about Dennis as we are.”
The title track, however, is only the prelude to a recording that features solid rock numbers such as ‘Remember,’ ‘The Present Not The Past,’ ‘The Day After the Night Before’ and ‘That Freedom Word’ as well as atmospheric ballad track ‘Walk the Silent Hours’ and midtempo ‘Can’t Buy Yourself Heaven,’ with the anthemic ‘All You Believe In’ bringing to mind Queen and ‘No Steppin’ Stones’ sparkling with an amazing brass section. Magnum’s lyrics are also (almost) all about the present, as song titles such as ‘Your Blood Is Violence,’ ‘Come Holy Men’ or ‘Can`t Buy Yourself Heaven’ prove. Clarkin: “This album is more about social subjects, including political issues.” No doubt about it: ‘The Monster Roars’ is a welltempered mixture of typical Magnum trademarks, contemporary influences and trailblazing approaches which are guaranteed to win the band lots of new fans.
‘The Monster Roars’ will be available from 14 January 2022 on Steamhammer/SPV as a CD DigiPak, 2-LP gatefold, limited box set and – exclusively from the Steamhammer online shop – CD/LP and T-shirt bundle. The first single (including lyric video) ‘I Won’t Let You Down’ will
be released on 12 November 2021. The second single ‘No Steppin’ Stones,’ also supported by a lyric video, is scheduled to follow five weeks later, on 17 December 2021. The cover artwork, which is rather unusual for Magnum, was photographed by Rob Barrow, brother of
former Magnum bassist Al Barrow, and is continued in the conceptual booklet.
And last but not least: In addition to the twelve songs on the regular album, Magnum offer three bonus tracks as part of a limited box set, including a new version of ‘Days of No Trust,’ the opener of their 1988 album classic ‘Wings of Heaven,’ and new remastered version of
‘Sweets For My Sweet,’ their very first single release from 1975, as well as a previously unreleased track from the same era. So there`s lots of exciting stuff to be discovered on ‘The Monster Roars.’ As we’ve come to expect from this exceptionally creative band!
Tony Clarkin – Guitar
Bob Catley – Vocals
Rick Benton – Keyboards
Dennis Ward – Bass
Lee Morris – Drums
Read our review here.