Magnum has been around a long time. I actually always meant to listen to them over the years but just never did. I finally did when I reviewed their last album, “Sacred Blood ‘Divine’ Lies.” Rather than just accept the last album as “truth,” I decided I needed to explore the band more. And I have to say that while Magnum does have an AOR vibe, they also have a Uriah Heep prog style to them as well.
This made be realize that my last review was a bit half-assed. So now with a bit more context, I dove into their new album “Lost On The Road To Eternity.” The music is almost always outstanding on this album. The lyrics do get a bit cliche from time to time. The stomping opener “Peaches and Cream” is a good example of typical hard rock, meathead lyrics. They are only outdone by “Ya Wanna Be Someone” for the worst lyrics on the album.
Granted this does not include the terrible “hey, hey, yeah, yeah, yeah, whoa whoa” chorus of “Forbidden Masquerade.” It’s strange because that song is actually really good. It sounds like songwriter Tony Clarkin left them as a placeholder and just never went back to write something good. But enough of the complaints right? OK then!
One area that has improved is more keys courtesy of new guy Rick Benton. “Lost On The Road To Eternity” has a lot of tasty synths and Benton always seems to choose the right patch for the right song. And he isn’t pushed to the back of the mix either. The balance between him and guitarist Clarkin is great throughout the album. Kudos to vocalist Bob Catley who can still sing, though more gravely than he was back in the day.
An added bonus is a guest vocal spot on the title track from Tobias Sammet of Edguy and Avantasia, who Catley has guested for in the past. Sammet doesn’t really add anything that Catley couldn’t have just done himself but it’s a nice gesture from one friend to another. Plus it’s a damn good song, one of the best on the album.
The album has plenty of very catchy choruses like on “Storm Baby” which helps out some somewhat iffy lyrics. “Welcome to the Cosmic Cabaret,” “Without Love” and the closer “King of the World” are all outstanding tracks (lyrics and all) which, combined with the title track and “Show Me Your Hands,” make “Lost on the Road to Eternity” a really fun and enjoyable listen.
I think I missed the point of Magnum previously by not listening to more of their whole catalog. You can’t judge a band like this one on a small sample. It’s not going to be perfect but what band with 20 albums is going to be perfect? There aren’t very many! “Lost On The Road To Eternity” stands up to anything that Magnum has done (now that I have heard more) and makes for a great listen. And yes I like the last album more than I did before!
1. Peaches and Cream 4:54
2. Show Me Your Hands 5:45
3. Storm Baby 6:13
4. Welcome to the Cosmic Cabaret 8:08
5. Lost on the Road to Eternity 5:54
6. Without Love 5:55
7. Tell Me What You’ve Got to Say 6:27
8. Ya Wanna Be Someone 5:56
9. Forbidden Masquerade 5:02
10. Glory to Ashes 5:35
11. King of the World 7:04
Release Date: 19 January, 2018
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