Album Reviews

Magnum – The Monster Roars Review

Label: Steamhammer

Genre: Melodic Rock

Release Date EU: January 14th, 2022

 

Line-Up:

Tony Clarkin – Guitar
Bob Catley – Vocals
Rick Benton – Keyboards
Dennis Ward – Bass
Lee Morris – Drums

 

Tracklist:

The Monster Roars
Remember
All You Believe In
I Won’t Let You Down
The Present Not the Past
No Steppin’ Stones
That Freedom Word
Your Blood Is Violence
Walk The Silent Hours
The Day After the Night Before
Come Holy Men
Can’t Buy Yourself Heaven

 

 

Melodic rockers Magnum premiered in 1978 with the ‘Kingdom of Madness’ album and belongs since then to the icon of a genre they impacted a lot. One of the success factors of Magnum is the combination of guitar and vocals with Tony Clarkin and Bob Catley, both being the driving forces of Magnum since the very beginning.

More than four decades are between the debut and the newest longplayer ‘The Monster Roars’ and one thing is for certain; the monster surely roars. This is at least my conclusion after having listened to the record several times.

The title track is at the same time the opener of the album. Catley, accompanied by the typical Magnum piano play is what starts the song before Clarkin’s guitar adds the hard rock aspect to the song. It doesn’t take long before the magic of Magnum’s music unfolds, a pleasure that in twelve songs that create the tracklist of ‘The Monster Roars’.

I don’t think that anybody expects Magnum to change their sound. The success formula, that worked during all the years, is also the base for ‘The Monster Roars’. Melodies meet a rocking guitar, that is how the sound can be portrayed and the quintet builds on this rock-solid foundation.

The album includes all one can ask from Magnum. There is the rocking ‘The Present Not the Past’, a song with a great melody line and a solid rock spirit. What’s next is a song called ‘No Steppin’ Stones’, a moment that is special. The band added a brass section which gives the song a different ambience while still sounding like 100% Magnum. I guess it is these moments that clearly show that the band still evolves and although sticking to the main principles are open for new influences. The result sounds stunning.

One of the anthemic moments is entitled ‘Walk the Silent Hour’, a song that has some louder moments but, in general, is built on a calmer basic pattern. The contrast to such a reflective moment is called ‘Come Holy Men’. It’s pounding Magnum hymn that includes all trademark we know from the band.

‘The Monster Roars’ is an album that can be described as Magnum roars. As all the other Magnum releases also the newest addition to the creative output is full of anthemic moments, great melodies, musical savvy, and a lot of feel for sound and expression of songs. This album is a treat for ears and mind and showcases a band that, even after four decades in business, is still relevant and a great example for continuity, passion and dedication.

 

Written by: Markus Wiedenmann

Ratings:  (8/10)

 

 

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