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Bob Catley - Immortal (CD)

Bob Catley
by Grigoris Chronis at 11 September 2008, 8:31 PM

Ward and Karlsson again??? Oh my…it's getting kinda funny, in the meantime, witnessing the PINK CREAM 69 bassist and the multi-project Swedish guitarist featured in a Frontiers Records release quite often, even if - truth is - they cannot easily let down someone's expectations. Leave aside Immortal is a remarkable album by MAGNUM's vocalist, a CD you should not avoid checking if you're 'into' the specific blend.
Many countries (mine included) have fallen short of acknowledging MAGNUM's importance in the 'classic' Rock circuit. Be it the lack of regional distribution/promotion or the not-have of fans' music literacy, the Birmingham-based quintet has not reached success in all areas, with their fluent hard/pomp/heavy Rock songwriting and the distinctive vocals of Bob Catley both being trademarks of their sound for 30 years now. Bob, aside, has already released 5 studio albums and a live one since 1998, with the last one (Spirit Of Man - 2006) claiming to be his best, even if I'm more fond of the three first albums, where he collaborated with TEN mainman Gary Hughes (a devoted MAGNUM follower, witnessing TEN's songwriting, by the way).
Anyway, for the Immortal sessions Bob (also in HARD RAIN, a mid-90s project with Tony Clarkin) used the help of Dennis, Magnus, ELEGY drummer Dirk Bruinenberg (also in ADAGIO, Ian Parry, VULTURE) and German axeman Uwe Reitenauer (PINK CREAM 69, PLACE VENDOME), recorded the vocals in Germany in early 2008 and left the rest in Magnus' and Dennis' hands. In relation to his MAGNUM deeds, it's again obvious than Bob displays his 'heavier' self, with enough references to the 'epic' side of MAGNUM but - also - with enough references to his early, more 'Melodic Rock', solo career. In a great cover artwork (call me Rodney Matthews!) we see Dreamers Unite creating a perfect atmosphere (intro) with some follow-up terrific lead theme and Bob's voice burning up, We Are Immortal is a mid-tempo Hard Rock gem (sweet keys added), End Of The World speeds things up in the familiar AOR grooves with some MAGNUM-ish couples…and the list goes quite strong, to cut a long story short.
Bob's singing (aged 61!) is just immense. Again. His clear, passionate, 'traveling', amorous voice will bring no escape if you're 'into' his throat's capabilities (the harmony vocals are great, too!), while he succeeds in fronting a great musicians' lineup. The rhythm section is ideal, Karlsson focuses mainly in the keys' parts (donates some soloing in a couple of tracks only, I think) and creates the perfect atmosphere, and Mr. Reitenauer proves to be a lethal six-string weapon, with a fat 'confident' sound and some well-prepared and aptly-executed soloing. No remarks over here, no more remarks.
It's kinda 'obscure' thought to evaluate how this album was made in such value. Immortal should be placed on top in your shopping basket. In a better production than Spirit Of Man was, to be added. OK, Dennis and Markus again, but…Bob and…what an album!

4 Star Rating

Dreamers Unite
We Are Immortal
End Of The World
Open Your Eyes
The Searcher
One More Night
Light Up My Way
You Are My Star
War In Heaven
Win The Throne
Heat Of Passion
Bob Catley - Vocals
Uwe Reitenauer - Guitar
Dennis Ward - Guitar, Bass, Keyboards
Magnus Karlsson - Guitar, Keyboards
Dirk Bruinenberg - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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