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THE METAL OBSERVER - Review - MAGNUM - On A Storyteller’s Night

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Magnum - On A Storyteller’s Night (10/10) - Great Britain - 1985

Genre: Melodic Rock
Label: Polydor Island Group
Playing time: 45:47
Band homepage: Magnum


  1. How Far Jerusalem
  2. Just Like An Arrow
  3. On A Storytellers Night
  4. Before First Light
  5. Les Morts Dansants
  6. Endless Love
  7. Two Hearts
  8. Steal Your Heart
  9. All England’s Eyes
  10. The Last Dance
Magnum - On A Storyteller’s Night

Let us travel back in time to the year 1985 and to the album which infected our great leader and exile-Canadian Alex. Yes, it is MAGNUM’s hit wonder “On A Storytelers Night“. Cause our beloved Alex was at loss of words either due to the musical grandeur or due to rapture, I will try it myself. If I can manage it or not that’s another story.


It starts with “How Far Jerusalem” an epic Rock song, carried by the mighty riffs of Tony Clarkin, which starts a bit tough, but which intensely finds its way to your auditory station, and it cannot be driven away (which is true for all the other songs too). Somehow I have the feeling that the songs which enclose the term “Jerusalem” exercise themselves in epic and dramatic structures; take BLACK SABBATH or KREYSON. Whatever, with “Just Like An Arrow” it goes on slightly elated. The ideal dance-floor sweeper. The title song begins calm and with a comforting and creepy melody, before the guitar starts neatly. Shortly after another calm phase follows, then they rock on and offer an incredibly awesome atmosphere in the solo part. Very, very great this song!!!


“Before First Light” sets forth again merrier and more direct and welcomes you with a good mood, but a serious undertone is hard not to be noticed. But then comes the hymn par excellence "Les Morts Dansants". A song that starts a bit restrained, but which builds up step by step and finally explodes in the head. The one who is left cold by this melody, by the chorus, by the arrangement is already dead, but nobody told him/her yet. There is a sublime bleak undertone to the most of the songs, but it never takes over so much that one is not able to glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel.


I could go on like this describing all the songs, but that would not make much sense. Cause who has not yet sensed that this album is one of the best of all times, will never do. The detail–fancying front cover by Rodney Matthews should already form an urge to buy the record. I have bought the Picture LP version cause of it. You should at least own the CD. (Online May 6, 2006)

Falk Kollmannsperger

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