Released on: SPV/Steamhammer Release Date: Available now.
‘On The 13th Day’ is the band’s seventeenth studio release, in their lengthy career started officially in 1972, although I really only became aware of their fine work in 1978, which makes sense, as they only released their official first album ‘Kingdom of Madness,’ that year, in 1979, I picked up both ‘Magnum 2’ and the live ‘Marauder,’ yet still did not get to see the band live for the first time, until 1980 when I saw them twice live, the first time as special guests to Def Leppard on their first headline tour – ‘On Through the Night.’ – and then at 1980’s Reading Rock Festival.
A very unique and special band.
All through the 80’s - certainly in the UK - the band went from strength to strength and kept it going into the 90’s until ’95, when leading and founding member Tony Clarkin decided to call time on Magnum.
He and fellow founding member, lead singer Bob Catley formed Hard Rain, trying to be perhaps a little more mainstream, but clearly there were heavy Magnum touches.
Ed’s note: Hard to avoid when Tony Clarkin writes and produces most if not all of the material!
Since reforming Magnum, including ‘On the 13th Day,’ they have released six studio releases, so as of right now it does not look like they are letting up any!
It’s such a wonderfully epic track, classic Magnum through and through without a shadow of a doubt. Great riffs, great hooks and terrific vocals from Bob Catley! I really can’t say enough about how great this track is, it’s perfect Magnum!
Quick and punchy chords lead you into the first verse and I really like the little lead flashes here and there, really nice, yet not overbearing. This is a great up tempo punchy track and yes you know, there are elements in the underlying riff that sound like ‘that song’ but I’m taking nothing away for the track as it offers way more than the Survivor track and yes, I am a Survivor fan …
Magnum really have got back on track to a sound that I know for sure, fans of the older more classic Magnum song style – Think ‘ ... Storytellers ...,’ ‘Vigilante,’ ‘Wings of Heaven,’ ‘Breath of Life’ or even ‘Brand New Morning’ to some extent. – and I for one am really, really enjoying it! Again, I only wish I could see them live again.
Seems quite strange hearing Magnum doing this, then the pre-chorus picks up some from the darker verses, then into the chorus it’s more in keeping with up tempo Magnum rockers, but overall this is quite a new path for Magnum to me. It’s fresh for the band, that’s cool to me.
The huge ballad that is ‘Putting Things in Place’ is next and this is where Bob Catley excels as his vocals with Mark Stanway’s simple piano and loads of strings too, with an easy going bass and drum track and power chords in all the right places sell the song well.
Simple repeated yet punchy chords can make for such strong song structures and Tony Clarkin knows how to do that oh so well, yet there’s so much more going on in every Magnum song and on this track, a surprising little flurry of upfront keyboard work appears.
I often wish, from what Magnum fans of old will know all too well, that Mark Stanway could get more ‘highlighted’ moments.
I certainly think the guy has more than shown, that he can be up there with the like of Geoff Downes (Asia) in the past, but generally in recent times, he’s really not as prominent as he could be.
Don’t get me wrong, the man contributes great style to every Magnum album, but I just know he could add a lot more, if only given the room to do so.