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Magnum - Into The Valley Of The Moonking (CD)

Magnum
Into The Valley Of The Moonking
by Harry Papadopoulos at 25 July 2009, 10:25 AM

To tell you the truth I never thought that I would choose and eventually do this review. So, after a long time and a lot of listening, it is time to take a look at MAGNUM's latest album entitled Into The Valley Of The Moonking.

Well, what can I say about this British band that they are active for 37 (!!!) years. If I could start writing MAGNUM's story, I would need a dozen of pages. So, let's stick that during all those years -with a six year break in the nineties- they managed to make it to the U.K. top ten three times, with Chase The Dragon (1982), Wings Of Heaven (1988) and Goodnight L.A. (1990). During the six years that MAGNUM was split up, Tony Clarkin and Bob Catley, the only two remaining founding members, formed HARD RAIN and released two albums. Now they are giving us their fifteenth album with the -not that inspired- title Into The Valley Of The Moonking. Fortunately the album is way more inspired than the title.

I cannot say that I was impressed by the opening track Cry To Yourself.. Not that it is bad, quite the opposite, but it didn't have anything to tell me. But when All My Bridges started, everything got in place. Starting with a prog/rock keyboard melody and continuing in that path, showed me that those lads still have it. Take Me To The Edge rocks hard as hell and reminds of the old days and surely is one of the heaviest songs of their come back. I could go on telling something for each track, like my favorites, In My Mind`s Eye and Feels Like Treason, but I think you got the point from my above saying. Of course, the album has its ballad moments like in Time To Cross That River. I'm not a huge ballad fan but I admit that I like this one. The quintet is in a really good shape and Bob's voice, -even though it doesn't have the same range- is deeply emotional and passionate. As for the others, Tony once again proved that he can write songs that sticks in your mind. The only negative I can find in this album is the production as far as the drums are concerned since sometimes they sound flat.

MAGNUM are like an old wine. Over thirty years active and they still have it! I believe that Into The Valley Of The Moonking is probably their best album from 2001 and on. A must-have for their fans and for everyone else that wants to listen to some good old prog/rock.

Ps. The cover by Rodney Matthews is going to get your attention for sure.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Intro
Cry To Yourself
All My Bridges
Take Me To The Edge
The Moon King
Noone Knows His Name
In My Mind`s Eye
Time To Cross That River
If I Ever Lose My Mind
A Face In The Crowd
Feels Like Treason
Blood On Your Barbed Wire Thorns
Lineup:
Tony Clarkin - Guitars
Bob Catley - Vocals
Mark Stanway - Keyboards
Al Barrow - Bass
Harry James - Drums
Record Label: SPV Records
     


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