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Magnum - The Monster Roars Award winner

The Monster Roars
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 24 March 2022, 8:35 AM

When dealing with the 70’s in terms of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock, one must have in mind that commercially praised bands as BLACK SABBATH, DEEP PURPLE, LED ZEPPELIN, SCORPIONS and few others aren’t the only ones of that scene. There were many others as URIAH HEEP, THIN LIZZY, UFO, WISHBONE ASH, BLUE ÖYSTER CULT that helped the genres to grow and evolve as well. It’s a matter of respect to known their works, and see that names that weren’t so huge had (and still have) an important influence one the following decades. One name that isn’t respect as deserved is from the English quintet MAGNUM, a warrior that still lives and releases album, refusing to retire as long as the band still has something to offer. And hearing to “The Monster Roars”, it comes clear that they’re still a name to be praised.

Their musical work shown on the album needs no longer descriptions: it’s the usual form of playing Hard Rock, plenty of influences inherited from Blues and Progressive Rock (an inheritance of a time when labels didn’t matter as today) that they use since their beginning (back in 1972), something that flows in a spontaneous and charming form, filled with very good melodies and choruses, with all the instruments and vocals working in a an excellent way. It’s a solid form of music, full of life and energy, something that some younger bands seem to forget to put on their music. The sonority used on the album isn’t hard to describe: obviously they took advantage of modern technologies to record the album, but the way things were recorded, mixed and mastered kept the organic feeling that their music needs to be expressed. It has strength, but it’s defined and allows the fans to understand what is being played and expressed.

All the songs are really amazing, showing that since they came back in 2016 after a hiatus, they really want to keep playing and recording, refusing to live off their past. And songs as “The Monster Roars” (a fine moment filled with contrasts between heavier parts guided by the guitars, and introspective moments focusing the keyboards), “Remember” (an accessible song filled with some AOR touches, but be prepared for some heavy weight moments), “I Won't Let You Down” (this one shows influences of Progressive Rock in many moments, and the presence of bass guitar and drums on the rhythms is really great), “No Steppin’ Stones” (the accessible appeal of the song is clear, based on a very hooking chorus and melodies that are easy to assimilate, and what lovely singing, a perfect combination between harsh tunes with clear singing), “That Freedom Word” (a heavier moment plenty of clean and introspective parts, with excellent guitars on riffs and solos), “Your Blood is Violence” (another one with a heavier appeal, but some groove inherited from Jazz Rock appears in many moments), “The Day After the Night Before” (another song guided by an accessible feeling that’s hard to resist to), and “Come Holy Men” show that these guys are inspired and living a very good moment of the band’s career.

“The Monster Roars” is really a very good album and deserves to be heard as often as the fans can. And once more: as some younger bands have nothing more to say, MAGNUM still’s here and fighting, so be at their side!

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. The Monster Roars
2. Remember
3. All You Believe In
4. I Won’t Let You Down
5. The Present Not the Past
6. No Steppin’ Stones
7. That Freedom Word
8. Your Blood is Violence
9. Walk the Silent Hours
10. The Day After the Night Before
11. Come Holy Men
12. Can’t Buy Yourself Heaven
Bob Catley - Vocals
Tony Clarkin - Guitars
Rick Benton - Keyboards
Dennis Ward - Bass
Lee Morris - Drums
Record Label: SPV/Steamhammer Records


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Edited 23 March 2023

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