This English diamond for many years now is among the highest ranks of European vocalists. He, who had saved more than one rather weak album with his charismatic and characteristic voice, offers us his third solo-album, still treading the same path as the two albums before. Inspired by J.R.R Tolkien's saga "The Lord Of The Rings" Bob and Gary Hughes have set this exceptional work into a breath-taking concept.
Musically the album is closer to TEN, but the melodic songs and the furious guitar-work of former DARE-guitarist Vinnie Burns earn the songs the label "extra-class". All of the songs are quite calm and very melodic, but seamlessly fit into the row of MAGNUM-classics.
For Metal-fans that like their stuff heavier, "Middle Earth" won't be the right album, for friends of demanding Rock-Musik this epos will be a masterpiece. Bob Catley and Gary Hughes have combined to a congenial dream-team and I can only hope that they will continue to produce such out-standing material for a long time still.
So Bob Catley has succeeded in his endeavour to step out of the shadow of MAGNUM - impressively. Grandiose album.
Guest Reviewer Manfred Thanner