Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
Few things in life are as reliable as a new Magnum album. You always know that what you’re going to be presented with is a selection of beautifully crafted and epic songs, the lyrics filled with an oblique wonder as the listener paints their own interpretation.
Barring a few slight missteps during their long career, there’s always been a quality that runs through their material like a name through a stick of seaside rock.
The opening title track is suitably bombastic, the mix of hard rock with more than a sprinkling of pomp, the gentle opening and pensive passages throughout juxtaposed with the big riffs of Tony Clarkin, his solo positively buoyant as Bob Catley puts his all into the delivery.
This is a careworn edge to the singer’s performance, some of the brightness of old replaced by a more lived in feel that comes with years on the road and whilst this may not have smooth edges, it adds character and depth, highlighting the lyrics.
‘Remember’, ‘All You Believe In’ and ‘I Won’t Let You Down’ all bear the hallmarks of latter-day Magnum, the bounce and grit there front and centre, the keys of Rick Benton well up in the mix. Harking back to the arena filling sound of their commercial peak, ‘The Present Not the Past’ keys into Clarkin’s ability to write songs built for audiences of thousands, its hooks and power interweaved with dynamic peaks and troughs in the pace that grab the attention.
‘No Steppin’ Stones’ adds stabs of horns into the mix, a party friendly rocker that it’s impossible not to move to and following it, the propulsive ‘That Freedom Word’ builds up the muscularity with the hard hitting power of drummer Lee Morris driving things along with the punchy riffing.
The epic sweep of ‘Your Blood is Violence’ gives bass player Dennis Ward a chance to bring a huge groove and his vocals perfectly add to the outstanding display of Catley, the harmonies lifting ever skywards and the whole an album highlight of immaculate storytelling.
After this tumult, there’s more of a thoughtful pace to ‘Walk the Silent Hours’ before the album closes with the run of sophisticated rockers in the shape of ‘The Day After the Night Before’, ‘Come Holy Men’ and the grand ‘Can’t Buy Yourself a Heaven’. Whilst they take no really unexpected turns, don’t expect grunge, nu metal or rap to intrude, ‘The Monster Roars’ does all you could expect it to and that’s no bad thing.
Veteran fans will be thrilled that the band are still able to put out such high-quality fare and there’s obviously a lot more gas in the tank to take them down the road ahead. A hard rock institution, Magnum continue to deliver the goods like no others.
1. The Monster Roars 3:57
2. Remember 5:05
3. All You Believe In 5:01
4. I Won’t Let You Down 3:57
5. The Present Not The Past 5:27
6. No Steppin’ Stones 3:57
7. That Freedom Word 4:52
8. Your Blood Is Violence 6:44
9. Walk The Silent Hours 4:51
10. The Day After The Night Before 4:23
11. Come Holy Men 5:01
12. Can’t Buy Yourself Heaven 5:00
The Monster Roars” will be released on January 14th, 2022 through SPV/Steamhammer in the following configurations:
=> CD DigiPak
=> Limited Box Set
=> 2LP Gatefold, 140 g, red vinyl, printed inner sleeves
=> Download / Streaming
Pre-Order Link: https://smarturl.it/MagnumTheMonster
=> Exclusive CD/LP Bundle with a shirt only at the Steamhammer shop
Pre-Order Link: https://shop.steamhammer.de/artists/magnum/store
=> 2LP Gatefold exclusive coloured edition only at the Napalm shop
Pre-Order Link: https://napalmrecords.com/english/magnum
Exclusive 2LP Gatefold exclusive coloured edition only for the UK
Pre-Order Link: https://www.plastichead.com/item.aspx?catno=244105
MAGNUM live 2022:
28.03. UK-Cambridge – Junction
29.03. UK-Norwich – Waterfront
30.03. UK-London – Islington Assembly Hall
31.03. UK-Birmingham – Symphony Hall
03.04. UK-Southampton – Engine Rooms
04.04. UK-Cardiff – Tramshed
17.04. NL-Weert – De Bosuil
18.04. DE-Frankfurt – Batschkapp (with Gotthard)
19.04. DE-Fürth – Stadthalle (with Gotthard)
20.04. DE-Hannover – Capitol (with Gotthard)
22.04. DE-Singen – Stadthalle (with Gotthard)
23.04. DE-Balingen – Volksbankmesse (with Gotthard)
24.04. DE-Regensburg – Airport Obertraubling (with Gotthard)
26.04. DE-Munich – Tonhalle (with Gotthard)
27.04. DE-Cologne – Carlswerk (with Gotthard)
28.04. DE-Stuttgart – Im Wizemann
29.04. CH-Pratteln – Z7
01.05. CZ-Prague – Club Storm
02.05. DE-Hamburg – Edel Optics Arena (with Gotthard)
03.05. DE-Berlin – Tempodrom (with Gotthard)
05.05. IT-Milan – Legend
06.05. DE-Saarbrücken – Garage (with Gotthard)
07.05. DE-Schwalmstadt – Die Schwalm Rockt!
08.05. DE-Bremen – Pier II (with Gotthard)
10.05. SE-Gothenburg – Pustervik
11.05. NO-Oslo – Vulkan
12.05. SE-Huskvarna – Folkets Park
13.05. SE-Stockholm – Fryshuset Klubben
14.05. SE-Karlstad – Nöjesfabriken
16.05. SE-Malmö – Babel
09.09. UK-Belfast – Limelight 1
10.09. IE-Dublin – Voodoo Lounge
12.09. UK-Glasgow – Garage
13.09. UK-Sheffield – Leadmill
14.09. UK-Nottingham – Rock City
16.09. UK-Holmfirth – Picturedome
17.09. UK-Manchester – Academy 2
Tour Agency: CSW Agency