Magnum - Lost on the Road to Eternity - (9.5/10)

Published on March 28, 2018

Tracklist:

  1. Peaches and Cream
  2. Show Me Your Hands
  3. Storm Baby
  4. Welcome to the Cosmic Cabaret
  5. Lost on the Road to Eternity
  6. Without Love
  7. Tell Me What You’ve Got to Say
  8. Ya Wanna Be Someone
  9. Forbidden Masquerade
  10. Glory to Ashes
  11. King of the World

Genre:

Melodic Rock

Label:

Steamhammer

Playing Time:

66:53

Country:

United Kingdom

Year:

2018

Website:

Visit page

Like perfectly aged whiskey!
 

 

What much can still be said about Magnum, the legendary British melodic rock band that had released its first album, Kingdom of Madness all the way back in 1978 and now 40 years later has reached its 20th studio album, Lost on the Road to Eternity. Well, there are two things to be said, both of which are in the line-up department, first and foremost the arrival of keyboardist Rick Benton and drummer Lee Morris, especially the former being of note, as he is replacing long-standing member Mark Stanway, who left the band after having been an integral part since 1980.

 

That being said, the two lynchpins of the Magnum sound, guitarist Tony Clarkin and singer Bob Catley, are still there and between Clarkin’s characteristic guitar play and Catley’s inimitable voice, there is pretty much zero danger of the new album being anything but vintage Magnum. The biggest difference is that Lost on the Road to Eternity is a bit more guitar oriented, but whichever shade of Magnum the Brits had offered throughout their lengthy career, they never strayed far from their core sound, without getting themselves into the shallow waters of self-repetition.

 

Just having broken the 70-year-mark, Catley’s vocal prowess belies his years, like good whiskey it has aged extremely well, and he is just the perfect complement for Clarkin’s compositions. Good parts of the album operating in varying shades of mid-tempo, cleverly varying enough not to become too uniform, but at the same time offering a very cohesive unit that should please any fan of the band.

 

“Peaches and Cream” is not an ode to oatmeal or corn, but a straight, mid-paced rocker that is stamped as pure Magnum from the get-go, catchy yet with this well-aged maturity that can be firmly put into the melodic rock category, but without any of the shallowness or stickiness that often is associated with especially this particular style of music. One reason for this is Clarkin’s unique ability to infuse an almost progressive rock style spirit into his songs without ever incorporating actual elements of said sub-genre, just enough to get an extra little something.

 

Dynamic “Storm Baby” is one of the highlights, setting out with a calm piano, but generating this innate power later on, same for 8-minute epic “Welcome to the Cosmic Cabaret”, including a fairly extensive instrumental section, where Benton can show that he has not just been brought in to emulate Stanway’s style. The title track must be one of the most symphonic/orchestral songs in recent years and one that has a rare guest appearance, with Avantasia’s Tobias Sammett returning the favour of several appearances of his counterpart Catley on his albums, two unique voices coming together here.

 

 

What is one of the biggest surprises of Lost on the Road to Eternity is the lack of pure ballads. The Brummies have several songs that show some tendencies (“Storm Baby”, “Glory to Ashes” and “King of the World”), but they all evolve into something more than what it originally seemed to be, especially “King of the World” has a surprise in store with a sudden acceleration after 5 minutes, which adds some excellent drive to the end of the album.

 

While still standing closer to the more streamlined sounds of their later years than the edgier beginnings of their career, Lost on the Road to Eternity is another excellent addition to the Magnum back catalogue and the stronger guitar presence is a nice difference compared to some of the less heavy efforts. Either way, even the twentieth time around, Magnum still sounds like Magnum and despite their advanced age there are no signs of any drop of quality.

Alex Melzer

Author: Alex Melzer

The grey eminence behind TMO. Head of the Brotherhood. Conqueror of Cancer

One thought on “Magnum – Lost on the Road to Eternity

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *