|Magnum - 'The Visitation' (SPV)|
|Written by Dave Prince|
|Monday, 17 January 2011 05:30|
With the tagline - 'Prepare To Be Visited!' comes Magnum's 16th studio album in a career spanning some 33 years... and the duo of Bob Catley and Tony Clarkin are standing stronger than ever!
One thing that does stand out on this album is that the crystal clear sound is there as always, but with a new sense of urgency. First track 'Black Skies' opens up with a musical nod to Babylon Zoo's 'Spaceman' of all things but then as quickly as you hear that... it kicks into life as a somewhat understated opener. The lyrical genius of course is not lost on me... in today's current financial climate it's good to hear those velvet pipes of Mr Catley sing words of such darkness. Next up is 'Doors To Nowhere', which keeps the pace of the previous song but ups the ante with the level of ass kicking... (now there's something I never thought I'd say/type in a Magnum review!)
A word at this moment must be given to the rhythm section of Harry James and Alan Barrow (on drums and bass respectively) which sounds so tight, the bulge is popping out! Third song in and it's the title track, which is simply outstanding and worth the price of the album alone... the breakdown brings to mind artist Matt Berry's recent antics with the Korg ms20 synthesizer. 'Wild Angels' is another song that almost flies by, but leaves just enough of a lasting impression so that it is instantly recognisable on the next few listens.
The mid way point of any album is normally where I decide if this a good album or not... and with a song like 'Spin Like A Wheel' this concludes my decision and a hand gesture that every Bob would be proud of... I think this will be a future anthem for the band as it's in a very similar vein to 'Just Like An Arrow'. 'The Last Frontier' is another call of hope with its opening line of 'No Peace On Earth Yet. Before The Dawn' but from this point onwards the album does slow down somewhat and whilst it's only a small niggle it's still there...
Overall then 'The Visitation' is a very good album that once again shows Magnum still has the class to outshine the mucky pups kicking at their heels... But for how much longer? You do have to wonder.